Paul Scholes’ managerial career did not get off to the best of starts as he resigned from his post as Oldham manager after just one month at the helm. The former Manchester United midfielder finally took over as manager of the club after years of flirting with the idea of taking over he made the leap earlier this year.
However, he has now released a statement explaining his decision to leave, so early into his managerial career.
"In the short period since I took on the role it unfortunately became clear that I would not be able to operate as I intended and was led to believe prior to taking on the role.”
Scholes was the most recent player from the famous Class of 92 to dip his toes into football management, with Gary and Phil Neville, Nicky Butt and Ryan Giggs already taking their first steps on the road to becoming a top manager. From this group of managers, only Gary Neville can be considered a real failure after his spell in charge of Valencia which was nothing short of disastrous. Brother Phil was partly responsible for this failure but he has bounced back in spectacular style with the Lionesses, who won the SheBelieves Cup last week and are looking in great shape to challenge for the World Cup later this year.
Giggs is in charge of his country whilst Nicky Butt is making reasonable progress with Manchester United’s under 19’s. Elsewhere, the easiest comparison to make for Paul Scholes is with Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. Those three were compared constantly towards the end of their playing careers and once they had retired, with debate raging over who was the best English central midfielder.
Now, the three have ventured into management at different levels. Gerrard, after working with Liverpool’s under 18’s got the job as manager at Rangers and was impressive early on, although his side have now fallen out of the title race with recent poor performances. He looks like he has earnt another season in charge though to really prove what he can do. Meanwhile, Frank Lampard is now Derby County boss and could find himself as a Premier League manager by summer, if the Rams can break into the top six and then win the play-offs.
That is one task that several Derby managers in recent years have come close to achieving, but ultimately all have fallen short. If Lampard can pull promotion off this season, he will have exceeded all expectations of him as a manager at the first attempt. So Lampard wins this round with Gerrard just behind him and of course, the jobless Paul Scholes in third.
This although a disappointment, does not mean the end of the road for Scholes as a manager. Oldham may not have turned out to be the correct fit for him, but another lower-league club could take a chance on the former United midfielder.
Sol Campbell has shown that former players can make a real go of it in League Two whilst other big-name players such as Thierry Henry have failed at their first clubs and faced tough challenges along the way. Great players don’t necessarily make great managers but it is far too early to write Paul Scholes off. There could still be a brilliant manager in there waiting to be unleashed.