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    Former Manchester United and England star Paul Scholes, who became manager of Oldham Athletic in February 2019

    Studs Up: Scholes is Latest Golden Generation Star to Tackle Management

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    Paul Scholes won 11 Premier League titles, three FA Cups and two Champions League trophies for Manchester United and 66 caps for England before hanging up his boots in 2013 and was once described by Zinedine Zidane as "undoubtedly the greatest midfielder of his generation."

    Scholes, 44, was officially confirmed on Monday, 11 February, as the new manager of Oldham Athletic — the club he has supported since boyhood — on a contract which lasts until the summer of 2020.

    Scholes — whose biggest flaw as a player was his tackling — has worked as a television pundit for BT Sport in recent years and did a limited amount of coaching with United when his former team-mate Ryan Giggs took charge briefly in 2014.

    He is the third former England midfielder this season to be given his first managerial job — Steven Gerrard was appointed by Glasgow Rangers last summer, as was Frank Lampard at Derby County.

    Along with David Beckham, Alan Shearer and Rio Ferdinand, they were known as England's Golden Generation.

    "There have been past options but now the time is right. I know it has been 20 or 30 years since there has been excitement at the club and it has always been a club fighting relegation. I am like every other manager who has been here and I want to try and change things," said Scholes.

    But while Rangers are one of the two biggest clubs in Scotland and Derby are pushing for a place in the English Premier League, Scholes' Oldham are mid-table in the fourth tier of English football. 

    Many on social media felt the decision to give Scholes the job was a bit hard on caretaker manager Pete Wild — himself an Oldham fan — who led the team to victory over Premier League Fulham in the FA Cup and ended his spell in charge on Saturday, 9 February, with a 3-0 victory at Crawley.

    "This is a squad that should be pushing for promotion. That might be out of reach for this season but certainly not for next season," said Scholes, who thanked Wild for the job he has done. 

    Wild, who took over when Frankie Bunn was sacked in December, is understood to be returning to his role as an academy coach.

    Manchester United Class of 92 team
    © AP Photo /
    Manchester United "Class of 92" team
    Oldham's Moroccan owner Abdallah Lemsagam is confident Scholes will be a success.

    "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 in a statement on the club website.

    But Lemsagam has struggled to pay the players' wages this season and he does not even have the financial clout to match Salford City, the fifth tier club who is jointly owned by a number of former United players, including Scholes, who has a 10 percent share. 

    He was cleared to take up the position last week when the English Football League decided his financial interest in Salford did not represent a conflict of interest.


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