Odds against Paul Scholes reaching the play-offs with Oldham

Odds against Paul Scholes reaching the play-offs with Oldham

Paul Scholes becomes the new Oldham Athletic manager

Paul Scholes has been unveiled as the new manager of League Two outfit Oldham Athletic. The former Manchester United midfielder has signed a one-and-a-half-year contract at Boundary Park and will take charge for the first time when they take on Yeovil Town at home on Tuesday.

The 44-year-old is a lifelong Oldham supporter so it is a dream job for him to begin his career in football management. Since retiring, he has stuck to punditry with BT Sport until now, but will follow in the footsteps of former England teammates Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Sol Campbell in stepping into the dugout.

Talking about the appointment of Scholes, the club’s owner Abdallah Lemsagam, said: “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.

“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 per cent and hopefully we can work together to bring success back to this club.”

There was initially some doubt as to whether Scholes would be allowed to take over as The Latics’ new manager, given the fact that he holds a 10% stake in National League side Salford City. The Ammies could potentially be playing in the same league as Oldham next season as they chase promotion and there are rules stating an individual cannot hold roles at two different clubs in the same league. However he was cleared by the English Football League after resigning as a club director, and the fact that he holds a 10% stake is disregarded as long as it is held for “investment purposes”.

Oldham odds-on not to finish in the play-offs

Scholes’ remit will ultimately be to guide Oldham Athletic to promotion. The club are currently playing in the fourth tier for the first time since 1974 after being relegated from League One last season. Previous manager Frankie Bunn managed to get them into the play-off places for a few weeks earlier in the campaign, but was ultimately dismissed as they drifted into mid-table, which is where they sit now.

There is no doubting that the club’s owners expect them to bounce back sooner rather than later, but Scholes has his work cut out if he is to achieve that feat this season. The Latics sit nine points adrift of the top seven with 16 matches left to play, although they do have one or two games in hand over all of their rivals apart from Newport County. Bookmakers currently see them as outsiders in the race for play-offs and rightly so given their league position, with Sky Bet offering odds of 7/2 for a top seven finish.

By contrast, their odds to finish outside of the play-off places is as short as 1/5 with the same bookmaker. It is therefore clear to see that they do not think that they can force their way into the top seven this season, meaning that Scholes may have to instead settle for a promotion push in the 2019/20 campaign.

Paul Scholes Manchester United Sir Alex Ferguson

Paul Scholes could be set for an illustrious managerial career if his playing days are anything to go by.

Who are Oldham’s main rivals for a play-off place?

Looking at the League Two table, it looks as though the top three clubs in Lincoln City, Mansfield Town and Bury will take some shifting from the automatic promotion places. After that, any club from Colchester United in fourth right down to Crewe Alexandra, who sit a place below Oldham in 15th, will still have hopes of making the play-offs.

As it stands, Colchester United, Carlisle United, Forest Green Rovers and Exeter City are sat in the four play-off positions. The first three of those clubs are odds-on to remain there, whilst Exeter City will be replaced by eighth placed MK Dons according to bookmakers, with Paul Tisdale’s men priced at 1/4 for a top seven finish with Sky Bet.

Oldham Athletic will therefore have to overtake at least two of these five clubs if they are to force their way into play-off contention, which is easier said than done as all five have been there or thereabouts in the play-off race for the entire season.

League Two Top 7 Finish Odds

(All odds with Sky Bet)

Lincoln City – 1/250

Bury – 1/50

Mansfield Town – 1/50

Forest Green Rovers – 1/4

MK Dons – 1/4

Colchester United – 4/9

Carlisle United – 4/7

Exeter City – 10/11

Oldham Athletic – 7/2

Tranmere Rovers – 7/2

Swindon Town – 4/1

Newport County – 9/2

Crewe Alexandra – 15/2

Stevenage – 10/1