When it was discovered towards the end of January that Paul Scholes was in talks to become Oldham’s new manager, the general reaction was a combination of obvious surprise and then acceptance that this would be an appointment that made sense.
Less than eight weeks later, the news of Scholes’ resignation is being digested.
In between there has been one victory, followed by three draws and three defeats.
There have also been arguments, broken promises and disenchantment that cut so deep that one source close to the former England and Manchester United midfielder said his position had become “untenable”.
And, as anyone who has watched Scholes’ withering condemnation of Manchester United and their managers over the past few years on TV knows, when he feels something is wrong, the 44-year-old does 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 same room had been used for a team meeting to discuss Oldham’s tactics for the day’s League Two match against Crewe.
Instructions had been delivered. To an extent they had been executed. On an awful pitch, Oldham had taken a 23rd-minute lead through Callum Lang. But they had been hanging on when George Ray scored an injury-time equaliser.
Scholes, as he had done for most of the game, tucked his chin into his top and accepted his fate with barely a…