It doesn’t take long to re-write history nowadays. A manager can gain one win in his final nine games and finish on 38 points, be deserving of the sack, yet a week later can still apparently be seen as the club’s savior. Nobody would have batted an eyelid if Paul Lambert had been relieved of his job as Villa boss after a terrible end to the season, but when Randy Lerner announced Aston Villa were up for sale and didn’t have a buyer in place, it kept Lambert in a job. The club’s limbo deepens, which to some journalists seems a little confusing…
James Nursey @ The Daily Mirror
Aston Villa fans should be thanking manager Paul Lambert, not calling for his head
Yet Aston Villa in reality actually desperately NEED Lambert right now.
And the Scot ’s refusal to walk after talks last week with Randy Lerner has actually done the club and its American owner a massive favour.
Because Lerner’s public announcement last week to put the club formally up for sale and engage a bank to sell Villa has changed everything and thrown them into chaos.
So quite frankly, thank goodness Lambert did not walk – as many in his position would surely have done. Because then Villa really would be in a right mess preparing for a season with no manager and an unsettled squad.
Credit to Lambert for sticking it out as we revealed first in the Mirror on Sunday night after talks with Lerner in New York.
Lambert this week unselfishly stressed to the press that his motivation is to do the best thing for the club – not himself – and he seemed quite genuine.
Villa desperately need his experienced hand on the tiller of a proven manager with leadership skills and clearly knowing the squad is a huge advantage as opposed to a stop-gap replacement coming in.
Lambert is continuing even though in effect he is on a hiding to nothing as he must try to sell well-paid players no-one wants (Alan Hutton) to raise cash and survive on loans and frees to bolster the squad.
It is an unenviable task but Lambert stressed this week he is no quitter and chief executive Paul Faulkner is sticking it out too despite also facing an uncertain future under any new owners.
Lambert told us locally-based journalists this week he will simply do as best as he can under the “tough” circumstances.
I get abuse on Twitter for being a supposed Lambert sycophant after discussing previous ‘progress’ under him such as lowering the wage bill and age of the playing squad.
From my objective neutral position, I would assess that occasional flashes of brilliance under Lambert, such as beating Man City and Chelsea this season , have not been translated into consistent upward progress in the League table.
And for every wonderful bargain signing like Christian Benteke, there have been as many gambles that have not worked out.
But Lerner’s recent statements have shown that under the financial “parameters” imposed on Lambert, survival was the main aim and necessity. Lambert’s successive 15th place finishes since joining from Norwich can now be put into this context.
And I, for one, admire Lambert for not walking this summer– especially after also losing his two assistants recently.
And when the manager speaks of everyone now needing to pull together he surely needs dissenting fans on board too.
He deserves that and Villa will need solidarity as Lambert’s main ‘thanks’ is more than likely going to be a P45 when the new owners eventually arrive.
1. Lets makes this perfectly clear – after getting 38 points, suffering a Villa record 10 home defeats and dropping points on even last year’s woeful season, Paul Lambert should have been sacked. He deserved it. He would have been axed at any other club and has only survived at Villa because Lerner has put the club up for sale and doesn’t have a buyer.
2 This article by Nursey is boarding on propaganda that would make even Dr Joseph Goebbels blush due to its blatancy. Throughout the article Nursey paints Lambert as some kind of Villa martyr, repeatedly stating that Villa are lucky he didn’t walk. And when we say ‘repeatedly’, we counted nine or so occasions in the full article. It’s as if Nursey has been told to send a message to the readers and it’s akin to trying to brainwash the reader by beating them into submission.
3. Nursey twice boasts in the article that the Mirror were first to break Villa news stories. If this was true, then maybe Nursey is on a contra deal with the club? They tell him news a couple of hours ahead of officially announcing it, while he plays willing sycophant in return. Just a thought, as the ‘I’ll scratch your back, if you scratch mine’ approach is often common place in the increasingly unethical journalism profession. Either that, or Nursey is or wants to be a big buddy of Lambert’s.
4. ‘The Scot ’s refusal to walk after talks last week with Randy Lerner has actually done the club and its American owner a massive favour.’ Lambert doing everyone a favour when he’s lucky not to have been sacked? Why on earth would Lambert walk? He’d be breaking his contract and also what other Premier League club would have him? At the moment, the Villa job is the best possible job there is for Lambert. And before you say it…going to Celtic wouldn’t be much of a challenge and would be seen as a step backwards with potentially a lesser salary.
5. Lambert’s players. Lambert’s tactics. Lambert’s failure to cover defensive injuries like Dunne’s and Okore’s in January transfer windows. Lambert’s toxic backroom staff that got sacked. Lambert’s bomb squad that devalued key Villa player assets. Lambert equaled McLeish’s all-time record-low Premiership points haul of 38 points. Lambert has in consecutive seasons broke the all-time record of the highest number of Villa home defeats in the club’s history. Tell me again why the club are lucky he’s still boss?
6. The only generosity that can be afforded to Lambert is his current situation gives him a chance to pay supporters back. It’s a case of ‘he got us into this mess, so now it’s time to get us out of it’. Due to what has transpired with Villa being put up for sale, it is an unexpected opportunity for Lambert to make good. He may be in what is effectively a caretaker manager position at the moment, but he could have at least a few months in the job to prove his worth to any new owners to reboot his Villa career. This should have been the gist of Nursey’s article, not the pouring of unrealistic praise on Lambert.
Media Muppet Score: 8/10
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