The legendary Red Devils manager was infamous for his mind games.
And his influence on officials was always controversial too as Manchester United earned seemingly favourable decisions down the years.
No longer are the Red Devils feared, though, as they once were by opponents and referees alike.
City boss Pep Guardiola has suggested ahead of tonight’s visit that Old Trafford is not a “scary” place to go now.
But Solskjaer is determined to make The Theatre of Dreams a nightmare for other teams again.
And he desperately needs all the help he can get tonight when title-chasing City arrive for one of the biggest Manchester derbies in recent memory.
While City and Liverpool scrap it out for the title with just four games to go, United cannot afford to drop points or consider the permutations of helping their arch-rivals clinch their first Premier League trophy.
United’s match with City, which kicks off at 8pm, comes as:
A top-four place and Champions League qualification is on the line following Sunday’s 4-0 drubbing at Everton, and Solskjaer has tried to use one of Ferguson’s old tactics to give his players a potential advantage against their neighbours.
Andre Marriner will referee the derby at Old Trafford, and former Premier League official Peter Walton has explained how Solskjaer has mimicked Ferguson ahead of the fiery clash.
Walton told The Times: “Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has clearly learnt from the master. Sir Alex Ferguson was always trying to put an idea in the referee’s mind before a game and Solskjaer has taken on his technique, saying that he expects Manchester City to kick his Manchester United players to stop counter-attacks in tonight’s derby.
“But the FA has introduced rules prohibiting managers from commenting before a match on referees or refereeing appointments, so the Manchester United manager risks getting into trouble.
“He is in good form and has the mental strength to deal with it”
“Andre Marriner will also be aware of the comments — in the social media age it is not possible to escape hearing these things.
“But referees are taught to have the mental capacity to put it out of their mind. That is why psychologists work with those officiating in the Premier League.
“Andre will have been chosen for this game because he is in good form and has the mental strength to deal with it.
“That does not mean he won’t be conscious of the fouls that City may commit.
“Referees are well prepared for the style of game they are likely to face. They know which teams press high and who will be looking for the counter-attack.
“They will know about tactics, previous games between the teams and potential line-ups, taking into account suspensions and injuries.
“So Andre and his assistants will be primed to look for City playing an expansive game with pace up front and potentially committing little fouls to stop counter-attacks.”
United are expected to utilise the pace of Marcus Rashford when breaking tonight, although out-of-form Anthony Martial could be dropped to the bench following an anonymous performance at Everton.