Despite sacking their manager over three weeks ago, Oldham have yet to finalise their search for a new manager. Interim boss Richie Wellens is set to continue in charge for the immediate future.
Many Oldham fans may have been expecting a decision sooner rather than later and speculation is still a rife over who will be next in charge of the Latics.
MM looks at five possible options as the race to become the next Oldham manager hots up.
The man on everybody’s lips at Oldham recently is Paul Scholes, who surprised everybody when it was revealed this week that he had been interviewed for the Latics job.
A Manchester United legend and a boyhood Oldham fan, Scholes represents a fairy-tale choice despite his lack of managerial experience.
Part of the side that won both the Champions League in 1999 and 2008, Scholes has a rich history in the game having come through the famed Class of 92 academy group and has a background in youth development and coaching despite never being a manager.
Having helped out Nicky Butt with the Man United under-19 team on an informal basis during the first half of the 2013–14 season, Scholes agreed to rejoin the United backroom staff on a temporary basis after the sacking of David Moyes until the end of the season as a favour to former teammate Ryan Giggs, following the Welshman’s appointment as interim player-manager on 23rd April 2014.
Scholes would resonate with the fans and would surely be a popular appointment among the Latics faithful.
His lack of managerial experience and other commitments, however, would be a worry for a club that still remains in a desperate situation and would pose a major risk for Oldham at this stage.
Scholes already has his fingers in many pies, so to speak, and his constant commitment to Salford City, which he partly owns, could cause a conflict of interest as the season goes on.
Sources close to the player already suggest that the deal is highly unlikely but Scholes still remains a frontrunner in a long list of candidates.
Famed as one of Everton’s best ever centre-backs, Stubbs has endured a mixed experience in management and will surely be willing to make another impression in the English game.
Stubbs’ last stint in English football saw him in charge of a deflated Rotherham side who struggled for form under the Scot.
Eventually, Rotherham’s dire form caught up with Stubbs when he was sacked on October 19 last year after only two months in the job which brought only one win in his 14 games with the club.
With this in mind, Stubbs would be out to prove a point if he landed the Oldham job and would surely be motivated to make amends to a reputation now tarnished by his time at The Millers.
Many people forget Stubbs’ heroics at Hibernian where he guided Hibs to their first Scottish Cup victory in their history when they pipped giants Rangers to a 3-2 victory at the back end of the 2015-16 season.
Undoubtedly, Stubbs is a presence which would hopefully instil confidence in the team and he looks to still be one of the favourites for the job going into the coming weeks.
Could Stubbs be in line for a renaissance in English football very soon?
One of the more left-field options has to be Pablo Correa who, for many, may not be a name that is all too familiar.
Correa is currently the manager of AS Nancy in the French Second Division and, for all intents and purposes, can be considered a relatively unknown quantity when it comes to managerial success.
Despite a brief spell at fellow Ligue 2 side Evian in 2012, Correa has spent a total of 13 seasons at the French club and it would not be unfair to suggest that Correa has been relatively untested in a wide range of jobs given this fact.
As a player, the Uruguayan also spent five years of his time in France with AS Nancy with experience in both Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, even playing alongside successful Irishman Tony Cascarino at one stage.
Correa is a fan favourite at Nancy and relatively unproven outside of France and would certainly prove a risky appointment for Oldham given their perilous position in the table.
However, there is nothing to say that Correa could not build a legacy with Oldham given his proven style of longevity management at Nancy and could well build at Oldham over a long period of time.
Such an appointment would clearly come down to the board and whether they would favour a foreign investment over a shorter term fix. Only time will tell.
One managerial rumour that has gone quiet recently is that of former Real Madrid and AC Milan man Clarence Seedorf who took the local press by surprise when his name emerged as Oldham’s potential next manager.
Seedorf is regarded by many as one of the best midfielders of his generation and the Dutchman brings the pedigree as being one of the top ex professionals out there.
For a club the size of Oldham, Seedorf would represent a coup and a sign of ambition from a club who are at the bottom end of League One, but questions over whether it is what they need right now is another.
Obviously, from a managerial perspective, Seedorf comes with no guarantee considering his lack of success. The Dutchman was privileged in his opportunity to become AC Milan manager in January 2014 but was dismissed only four months later after he failed to hit the heights despite some early promising signs.
Seedorf also had a stint at Chinese outfit Shenzhen but, again, found himself coming up short after missing out on promotion to the top flight in 2016, resulting in his dismissal.
With this in mind, Seedorf would be a huge risk. He would undoubtedly create a buzz around the camp again due to his international stature as a professional but whether he would be the man to take Oldham forward and out of the relegation zone remains to be seen.
Seedorf is already reported to be out of the running but, given the length of time this process has taken, he remains a possibility for the future.
At this point there is no reason to suggest that Richie Wellens could not be given the role on a full time basis. Oldham’s general reluctance to appoint a new manager may well be an indication that no suitable person has been found for the vacant managerial role, paving the way for Wellens to step in and take the role on himself.
Since their thrashing at Oldham on September 23, Wellens has led the Latics to three wins on the trot and has admitted himself that he would love the job full time.
It was confirmed this week that he would take training ahead of their game on Saturday against Blackburn Rovers and he is beginning to make more of a case to the board over his position with the new managerial hunt becoming more prolonged.
Despite playing for an array of clubs over his playing career, Wellens is a local lad and well respected by his peers and his fans.
With the club still in the relegation zone, there is no doubt that the board will be under pressure to make a decision sooner rather than later. Wellens knows the club inside out and could be viewed as a safe bet at this crucial time in Oldham’s season.
Image courtesy of Oldham Athletic, with thanks.