Light at the end of the Tunnel for Villa?

June 9, 2012 10:37 pm

Paul Lambert has been confirmed as the next Aston Villa manager with a move away from Norwich City.

Can Paul Lambert revive Aston Villa?

Lambert succeeds fellow scot Alex McLeish who was sacked just one day after the final game of the season, ironically losing 2-0 to Norwich City at Carrow Road.

The 42-year-old led Norwich to consecutive promotions in the space of 2 years, from League One to the Barclay’s Premier League.

“I had my reasons [for leaving Norwich], which will probably remain private” after successfully completing his first year in the top division with a comfortable 12th place finish, 9 points above Aston Villa in 16th place.

But, if Norwich are better, why did Lambert switch?

Aston Villa is a team which in recent years has not been performing up to the standards that their fans expect. Since Martin O’Neill left Villa in 2010, 4 managers have passed by in two years.

Last season, Alex McLeish dived head first into the vacancy moving from Birmingham City to Aston Villa. (Yes, just what was he thinking?) Causing backlash in the streets of Birmingham, splitting the city in two, simply because the rivalry between the two clubs is one not to be touched with a barge pole.

In terms of football, McLeish may have been described by many fans as “tactically lost” or “living in his own dream world” because of his consistent use of defensive methods on a previously fierce attacking team under the reigns of David O’Leary and Martin O’Neill.

Alex Mcleish's foolish management almost cost Villa their Premier League status.

This tends to provide enough incentive for any manager to stay away from Aston Villa as they head in a downward spiral towards relegation.

However, Aston Villa Football Club, founding members of the football league in 1888, do have those records which can lure even fish out of a river without using a rod. They have won the English top division 7 times, the FA Cup 7 times and the European Cup in 1982.

Paul Lambert feels that he can get Villa back in the top half of the Premier League. “To do this, I need to refresh the squad to have all the tools I need to begin the next campaign.” As well as getting the full backing of the fans, “I need the fans to drive the club forward.”

“I’m delighted to be here, it’s an honour to be manager of this football club”

Which insists that his walk away from Norwich City was due to his belief the he can achieve greater accolades at Aston Villa.

Paul Faulkner, Villa chief executive, expressed in a press conference that he was looking to bring ‘vibrance’ back to the club through a ‘young’ manager with the desire to win. Also stating that Paul Lambert was his first choice, before reaching talks with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, ex-Manchester United Forward and now manager of League winners Molde in Norway, who decided to reject the offer in order to continue managing in his home country.

It is understood that Paul Lambert will be given money to spend after McLeish aimed to reduce an ‘astronomical’ wage bill last season. The offload of Carlos Cuellar, Brad Guzan and Emile Heskey have surely helped towards that cause. Wage bills aside, Norwich City captain Grant Holt has already been linked with a move to Aston Villa, following to man who has managed him since league one two years back.

The next step in Lambert’s early career is to decide the fate of various club members that have been linked with other clubs. Gabby Agbonlahor being one that springs to mind, being linked with a move to the North East to pursue future projects at Sunderland.

All that we can do is wait for someone to spur activity at Villa Park.


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