When it was detected near the end of January the Paul Scholes had been in discussions to eventually become Oldham’s new manager, the general reaction was a blend of obvious surprise and acceptance that this would be an appointment which made sense.
In between there was one victory, followed by three draws and three beats.
There have also been disagreements, broken statements and disenchantment which cut so deep this one source near the former England and Manchester United midfielder said his position had become”untenable”.
And, as those who have observed Scholes’ withering condemnation of Manchester United and their managers over the last few years on television knows, when he feels something isn’t right, ” the 44-year-old will not hold back.
Wind back to Saturday, 16 February.
Scholes sat in what passes for a press room at Boundary Park. Space was tight. Four hours earlier, the exact very exact room had been used for a group meeting to discuss Oldham’s tactics for its afternoon’s League Two match against Crewe.
Guidelines were delivered. To an extent that they were executed. In a horrible pitch, Oldham had taken a 23rd-minute lead through Callum Lang. However that they were hanging when George Ray scored an injury time equaliser.
Scholes, as he’d done for the majority of the match, tucked his hands to his top and accepted his fate with scarcely a spoonful.
Asked afterwards if he’d wondered, in any given point, what on earth he had been doing there; the reason he had been putting himself during such stress when he certainly doesn’t need the funds, Scholes responded in typically understated manner. “Yep,” he explained. “All week.”
He didn’t know it at the time but life was to find no greater.