Comment: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has entered a madhouse at Cardiff City - and he won't leave it on the good terms on which he has arrived

Working for owner Vincent Tan is unpredictable and far from the familiarity he enjoyed at Manchester United and Molde

Into the madhouse of Vincent Tan steps Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the new coach of Cardiff City. The desire to manage in the Premier League proved too powerful an emotion to resist, even for a bright young thing from Norway who took Molde to the Norwegian championship for the first time.

Like many before him Solskjaer thinks it will be different this time. It won’t. The golden rule endures; he who has all the gold makes all the rules. The moment Solskjaer crosses the Malaysian magnate, the chauffeur-driven ride into Tan’s world via the director’s box at Arsenal will become a hearse carrying him into the netherworld of discarded football men.

The sense of entitlement that allows Tan to behave as he wishes, without regard for the sensibilities of the community into which he has bought, is a 21st-century expression of medieval moving and shaking, where decisions are based not on matters of fact but mood.

Solskjaer has entered the court of Henry VIII, and we know how that ends – unless gout, palsy or some such ailment takes down the king first.

That is not how he sees it, of course. Persuaded by the promise of extra cash to spend this month to keep Cardiff in the promised land, Solskjaer can see only the good side at this momentous juncture.

“I felt I needed to be back here,” said Solskjaer, a hero at Manchester United where he spent 11 years, much of it flying off the bench to transform outcomes, including the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich in Barcelona.

“I wish I was 25 again and playing in the Premier League. Time ticks for everyone so I can’t. Now I’m a lucky man to be a manager in the Premier League. And I want to stay for the long term.” Funnily enough, that is just how Malky Mackay felt when he was appointed in 2011.

How sweet the atmosphere must have been when Mackay led Cardiff City to Wembley in his first season in charge, taking Liverpool to penalties in the League Cup final, and then won promotion to the Premier League in his second year at the club. None of that spared him when the wind changed.

Tan’s tango in Cardiff demonstrates how little he cares about the commodity in which he has a controlling interest.

The sacking of Mackay sat easily alongside the dumping of the head of recruitment, Iain Moody, and – most damning of all – the unfeeling hauteur with which he tossed a century of blue-clad tradition into a skip to accommodate his cultural attachment to the colour red.

Anyone who has walked the streets of Kuala Lumpur will understand how a Malaysian billionaire might feel compelled to blow a  few quid on a fantasy football vehicle. The Premier League brand is everywhere in the Malaysian capital, and association with it a sure-fired way of coming to prominence both at home and abroad.

Foreign owners do not have a monopoly on abuse of power, reluctance to compromise or the waiving of common courtesies. The rich and powerful like to get their way the world over. What complicates the Cardiff model is the chasm that separates ownership and support.

Into the strange Tan-scape steps a young coach who served his apprenticeship in an environment that he knew and trusted, and where the rules of the game were universally understood and applied.

Solksjaer has none of that in Cardiff. Tan doubtless promised to give him licence to do the job his way, free from interference. There is cash to spend and a heap of goodwill behind him. But how long will it be before the emails start filling his inbox?

After the tough away trip to Newcastle in the FA Cup on Saturday, Solskjaer faces successive away fixtures this month at Manchester City and United in the Premier League and a trip to local rivals Swansea early in February.

Cardiff sit one point above the Premier League dead zone. Should they continue to struggle in the second half of the season, their campaign ends with trips to Sunderland and Newcastle followed by a home match against title-chasing Chelsea on the final afternoon of the season.

He might have to bring himself off the bench for that one. Good luck, Ole.

Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Arts & Entertainment
Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has been working on the novels since the mid-Nineties
books
Sport
Jose Mourinho, Chelsea players celebrate Demba Ba's goal and Gus Poyet
sportLive coverage of today's final game between Chelsea and Sunderland
News
Easter a dangerous time for dogs
these are the new ones. Old ones are below them... news
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Brand said he
people
Sport
Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
film
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Sport
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain drives in the rain during the qualifying session of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai
sport
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Life & Style
The North Korean TV advert for Taedonggang beer, that became a YouTube hit
food + drinkAnd what did it take to set up a taste test back in Wiltshire?
Arts & Entertainment
filmLife for Leslie Mann's can be challenging sometimes
Voices
For music lovers: John Cusack with his vinyl collection in 'High Fidelity'
voices...but don't forget rest of the year
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit