When the dust eventually settles on Paul Scholes`s first foray into management at Oldham Athletic, questions will be asked whether Scholes can survive at such a turbulent club?
It is easy for supporters to get caught up in the romance of such an appointment just like Nottingham Forest fans have with Martin O’Neill returning to the City Ground for instance. However, the problems at Boundary Park are well documented and have gone on for sometime despite new owners coming in. So the question should be, will Scholes tolerate the goings on at Latics?
As a football fan and someone who works with some loyal Oldham fans, I do wish Scholes the best of luck. I hope he can be a success at his hometown club and can help them move up through the divisions, but I suspect Scholes is not one to suffer fools and there are still questions around the current ownership of Oldham Athletic.
Rumours still persist of staff not being paid on time, possible HMRC winding up orders and many staff have been laid off in cost cutting exercises. Not to mention a number of previous managers and players who have come out and blasted the owner, Abdallah Lemsagam for the way he conducts himself at the club.
Former player, Craig Davies branded Lemsagam a “circus owner”.
Davies elaborated saying “With him calling players into his office and criticising their teammates to them, calling meetings to humiliate other players in front of all the team just days before the most important match of the season, paying players late and then picking which players get paid.
“This will have an effect on the mood of the club, not just the playing staff but the office staff too.”
Surely straight talking Scholes isn’t going to put up with this alleged meddling in team affairs?
This is a burning issue amongst Latics fans I have spoken to. You would expect Scholes to have done his due diligence prior to taking up his first managerial role and not just dived in soaking up the romance of the move. One can only suspect he will have set out his stall to the owner prior to signing and he alluded to this fact in his first interview as manager.
Scholes said “I’ve spent enough time preparing for this – it’s only during the next few games and months that we’ll know if it was the right thing to do. I’ve prepared well for it, I’ve watched the team play and I think they are capable of winning a lot of games. If they don’t, it’s my fault.”
Lemsagam has regularly wrote to the clubs supporters reassuring them that he is trying to sort out the mess left behind from previous owners and personally pumping £200,000 of his own money into the club every month.
The managerial merry go round at Boundary park has continued under the ownership of the Moroccan Lemsagam which is another worry for supporters. Maybe now it is finally time for some stability with the appointment of Scholes. However, there have been many first time managers at Oldham who have not been given time and have been sacked within months of taking over. Most recently another Oldham hero, Frankie Bunn lasted just six months, which is a worry for the ex Manchester United midfielder.
I am sure all Oldham fans will be hoping that the club can finally stop the hiring and firing mentality and give Scholes the time to settle in and impose his style on the side. There are a lot of eyes on Oldham, Lemsagam and Scholes with this appointment and the hope is that the manager is given time and allowed to impose his methods at the club. Those eyes are not just Oldham eyes, but from all around the world such is the interest in Paul Scholes.