Paul Scholes is the latest legendary English midfielder to head into management.
Scholes, 44, has been appointed as the new manager of fourth-tier Oldham Athletic, with the Manchester United legend taking charge of his boyhood club until at least the summer of 2020.
With Steven Gerrard in charge at Glasgow Rangers and Frank Lampard leading Derby County, Scholes is also swapping punditry for the managerial hotseat and says he has “a lot of passion” for Oldham.
Why is he now moving into management?
“I just feel ready. There have been times in the past where it has been an option for me,” Scholes told the media on Monday. “I wanted to come into this with my full coaching badges, I have watched the team closely. I think this is a good team with some really good players. With the squad we have I think we should be pushing for promotion.”
This job has been lined up for Scholes for some time, but due to his involvement as a part-owner of fifth-tier Salford City alongside his former United teammates the English Football League had to look into the matter and scope out any potential conflict of interests.
Scholes has stepped down as a director of Salford City, but still keeps his 10 percent stake in the club. With everything now squared away, Scholes’ main aim will be to push Oldham up the League Two table as they currently sit nine points off the playoffs with 16 games to go.
Oldham owner Abdallah Lemsagam told the club website that Scholes will have his “100 percent backing” as the Latics manager.
“Paul has won everything there is to win in football. He is a man who will bring a lot of footballing knowledge and his hunger to succeed in management will be there for everyone to see,” Lemsagam said. “It’s no secret how much he has wanted this job in the past and how much he loves this club, so I’m very happy to bring him into our family at Oldham Athletic. Paul will have my backing 100 percent and hopefully we can work together to bring success back to this club.”
His coaching career saw him help out with the youth and reserve teams at United towards the end of his playing days, and he then helped out Ryan Giggs during his interim spell in charge of United in the final months of the 2013-14 campaign.
Scholes won every single major trophy in the domestic game in England during his glittering career with Man United. He won two Champions League titles, 11 Premier Leagues and played 718 times for the Red Devils, as well as winning 66 caps for England with 14 goals on the international stage.
Most recently he has worked as a pundit for both ITV and BT Sport and is known for his dry sense of humor and savage takes on all things United, and especially Jose Mourinho in recent times.
Scholes’ remit will be simple: turn Oldham into promotion contenders in League Two.
Nobody is expecting Scholes to return Oldham to the Premier League (their last appearance in the top-flight was a two-year stay from 1992-94) but if his old teammate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gets the United job permanently then you can be sure plenty of United’s best youngsters will be heading to Oldham on loan for the 2018-19 campaign.