Why are so many keeping faith in Paul Lambert?

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After the latest very disappointing result on Saturday, Aston Villa have now mustered only fifteen points from the last seventeen games, winning just four, drawing three and losing a whopping ten!

This is long term poor form which stretches over nearly half a season so it cannot be considered a mere blip. In my fall out with Paul Faulkner and Randy Lerner I predicted a slow crawl to forty points back in early January and was virtually laughed at and accused of being unsupportive. The truth is I would much rather see a progressive, rosy picture developing and still sit with Faulkner et al in the directors’ box but I have to call it as I see it and the football being produced by this manager is simply nowhere near good enough. The warning bells, in my mind at least, were ringing then despite our reasonable points tally at the time.

Our football is at best dull and predictable and the vast majority of teams have worked out how to play us, leading to the severe dip in points accumulation since December 4th.

Supporters who still have faith in Lambert all point to a lack of spending power and are adamant that if he gets money to spend on quality players this summer we will see a very different Aston Villa next season. I have to say I am not convinced. I would ask where the proof is in coming to that conclusion. It is certainly not based on the style of play we have largely seen at Villa in the last two years and he only had one season at Norwich in the top flight, where they mainly played counter-attacking football as it was the Canaries’ first season in the Premier League so every team played to win against them. No team would have been going to Carrow Road that season looking to park the bus or play defensively, which suited Lambert’s tactics down to the ground.

Where Villa have really struggled under Lambert is in games in which teams still do come to Villa Park and sit deep, knowing that is the best way to nullify Villa’s threat. At no point has Lambert looked like solving that problem. He said this weekend that “we only know one way to play” and he has never said truer words since he has been here. I know better players will create more chances but all footballers have two legs and it’s the lack of willingness to run off the ball and beyond the ball that grates with me, especially as the players do have ability when in the right mindset. At home, I would have liked to see us try Lowton and Bacuna down the right hand side. Also, Agbonlahor and Weimann, who are both good players, have been poor for some time yet are picked every week regardless of their form. What message does that send out to the likes of Tonev, Helenius, Albrighton and even young Robinson? You will note that two of those players mentioned are in fact ones he signed last summer who were meant to help Aston Villa Football Club to progress this season, which brings me on to Holt… Why on earth was he signed? Why is he on the bench every week when it’s clear for all to see that he is a shadow of the player he was under Lambert at Norwich?

In my opinion, Lambert is very similar to O’Neill. They have a very similar approach to tactics: big centre forward and a deep lying, counter-attacking style. There are subtle differences, of course: O’Neill liked wingers whereas Lambert doesn’t but the ethos is the same.

There is no doubt that such an approach will bring some good results, as we have seen. O’Neill had far more money to spend, hence the better results, but it still had a ceiling and my big fear with Lambert is that, like O’Neill, he doesn’t know any other way or believe in any other way of playing whether you give him better players or not. As we all witnessed, O’Neill had his day but we never stopped being a counter-attacking side and our home form was never great; in fact, it deteriorated the longer O’Neill was at the football club.

After eight years of this sort of football, with the exception of the Houllier season when he wanted to take us in a different direction, I am eager to see something different at Villa. I want to see a team that looks after the ball better, passes and moves more and is prepared to attack in numbers, giving the player on the ball multiple options. It won’t always work and sometimes we’ll get beaten but at least it will be building something that means we’ll have a base from which to truly compete again when better players do come along. I have serious doubts that Paul Lambert is the man to deliver the goods. He has openly admitted that he has little regard for possession and, while possession statistics can sometimes be misleading, it is no surprise that the teams that play the most attractive football – Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton and Southampton – all have high possession percentages and take great care of the football. All their managers have a total football ethos.

A small team like FC Basel plays a lovely, expansive game, which has troubled many big clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur in recent seasons in European competitions. Have a look how much they have spent. Not very much. Money helps but it is not the be all and end all, as we have seen so clearly at Manchester United this season. Moyes’ men have been largely average despite the manager spending £65 million on two players!

I tweeted yesterday, wondering whether Lambert would have booted Carroll out of the side if he had gotten the Liverpool job. Rodgers had no intention of building a side around a big number nine. I feel Lambert certainly would have kept Carroll and Liverpool would have been playing a very different brand of football.

Nearly all Lambert’s supporters believe money to be the answer to all his managerial woes at Aston Villa. I have my doubts and would urge anyone to give me evidence to back up such an argument. Right now, the evidence points to one way of playing. One thing is for sure: I can’t wait for the season to end and for the club to have a long hard look at itself, ditching the excuse management and the apathy, and looking to provide some much needed hope and entertainment next season as the vast majority of us have had enough of this prolonged struggle.

22 COMMENTS

  1. I heartily agree with all you have said. Several weeks ago I said that Lambert should be sacked and he was not.

    One of Lamberts problems is that he does not listen to advice from anyone. Just goes on his same boring way. I have no complaints with what he did in his first season but this season in cutting the wage bills and bringing in young players. has been a disaster. He should have signed some experienced players and his 1st signing should have been Gareth Barry who is still a good player, and a Leader who inspires.

    The first thing to do now is to sack him! The go out a get a good manager who has both experience and flair and likes to play good football and will bring Wingers back! Football without making use of wingers is total rubbish! Give his a reasonable amount of money to spend and then have a big clear-out.

    Players who we should clear out include:
    Baker, who is not even good enough for Division 1 or 2 and is just a cart horse! Tonev, Herd, Holt, Luna,

    We need a real commanding a Commanding Midfielder who can hold the ball, a top winger, New Central defender.

    Maybe relegation or just finsihing above the bottom 3 would be good as it would be the catalyst to get rid of Lambert.

    Let us have a team and manager to be real proud of and let us win a cup and finish top 6. How come Southampton have only been up a season before this and are managing to stasy near the top few?

    IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE AND WE NEED TO DO IT NOW

    Malcolm D Watts

  2. I understand what your saying Howard but I would still categorise this as a transition year. Forget how much was paid, the style of footballer etcetera and just remember the massive turnover of personnel this squad has undergone. For me I feel it is too soon to be overly critical just on that basis alone. It feels like a case for horses for courses at the moment based on the resources available and to just survive while getting some experience under these players belts and the style of football reflects that. For me it is the next transfer window and the next season that will really reveal the level of intent, ambition and potential of the squad as a few key players may make a lot of difference. If that doesn’t work out by this time nect year then I will be thinking about joining you in the disillusioned camp… but not quite yet, not quite yet.

  3. I agree with you completely. Plus he has a total lack of personality. How I miss the personalities of Big Ron or John Gregory. In fact, I think I’d prefer Barry Fry.

    Our added problem is that our owner is not particularly ambitious. Remember Cleveland Browns?

  4. So if Lamberts tactics are the same as O’Neils where is the hole in midfield & all the attack from the wings with nobody in the box that were features of the later’s era ? As for comparing Villa with ManC how many seasons did it take them to get where they are now even though they hand picked players from other teams ? Of course I’ve no doubt Southampton could be quoted , but they have not started from scratch & built a new squad from the ground upwards under the critical eyes of fans desperate for success that they claim is their right to have !
    And What of Basle how big a club are they , & more importantly how would they fare playing week in week out in the Prem ?

    As for Gabby & Andi playing whilest out of form is that entirely true ? Certainly it’s not been so for the whole season as Lambert chopped & changed the team & the tactics . But we’ve reached a point in the season where results are important , and playing what has been a winning formation probably seems the best option even if 2 key members of the team are off form . But Albrighton started on Saturday & Tonev was a sub so could we be seeing the start of a change in tactics ? But I do wonder if we are strong enough in central midfield to only play with 2 there ?
    And yes it could be argued that we should have bought better but is that down to Lambert or the money men ? And if the latter could the rumours be true that we will strengthen the squad in the summer with better quality players ?
    But if we get rid of Lambert before his squad is complete will we ever get the winning team we all crave ?

  5. Well you start off by saying “why are so many keeping faith with Paul Lambert” and yet I know quite a few season ticket holders who will not be renewing next season” I feel sure this is the only way to make Lerner understand that we the paying public will not keep turning up for this mediocre trash each home game. So the answer to your question about keeping faith with Lambert begs me to ask just why do you keep making that 360 mile round trip each home game.
    I’m afraid its the likes of you that will keep Lambert in a job and
    our Lord Lucan Chairman at the club.

  6. I still fully support Lambert because I don’t believe he is the problem, he is just getting the blame as Randy Lerner and Paul Faulkner don’t even understand that footballs are spherical. No one can deny that football has become and probably will always be about money, and Lambert isn’t given any to spend, he’s had to overhaul a whole squad with £40m over the past 2 years and admittedly some of the signings haven’t all been Benteke standard but if you pay peanuts you get monkeys, and that can’t be attributed to Lambert, other things have got to change!

  7. Agree with 80%. No points progress this year, without being anal about it. I think we have seen different formations in attack and in defending positions, which I regard as positive. I do think we have evolved Howard with the young squad, 3 ‘good’ signings of proven quality (another debate) and we will make progress. One thing missed here is the competition, lots of very dodgy squads in need of repair, maybe we are ahead of the game on this ?

  8. Certainly would not trust any money in PL hands I’m afraid so many poor signings in the summer, first division standard at best and still we have a gaping hole where our midfield should be. Ironically if we had recruited a couple of experienced midfielders this project might have had a chance of working, as it stands the damage is done and Lambert has committed career suicide.

    As you say I cannot understand why anyone with even half a brain can defend this obstinate and arrogant excuse for a manager, possibly the only person would be Paul Faulkner our mute and witless chief executive

    Supporting Villa at the moment is like undergoing death by a thousand cuts, death of a football club doesn’t do it

    S

  9. Ill turn the headline round, why are people questioning Paul Lambert?I think hes had about the least amount of cash to spend of any prem club for the last two seasons,and he had to deal with the dross left by previous managers.Our academy has only produced poor/average at best players,hes worked with very little and started from the lowest point for a long time.Hes bought some good players,benteke,Lowton,bacune,Vlaar Okore, for very little money.All very well longing for Barcelona/Liverpool type football, who down the bottom with similar finance has played it and prospered,Swansea maybe,but they are struggling now,and they arrived in the prem on a crest of a wave.I dont care who the manager is,no one could have done any better.This together with the expense and turmoil in yet another sacking/new manager/scouts/backroom staff means there is only one sensible way to go. He at least should be given the chance to see what he can do with a normal budget.

  10. Just read your latest article and sadly have to agree with you. Currently the style of play is depressing although the positives are that you can see certain players are improving week by week but your right our style of play is predictable MON style was just following brian cloighs NFFC of the 80s but PL just hasnt got the balance of the team right i still have some faith but Villa need to buy really wisely in the summer and sadly to get it right a couple of the fans favourites will need to move on I do believe PL will eventually get it right and although not Wenger style with more strength and quality will suceed but its going to take a couple of seasons more

  11. Good post mate.
    Contrary to some of the happy clappy Villa sites, most notably the OS, a few sites have now seen the light re Lambert.

  12. Interesting report. Most anti-Lambert posts are not constructive and lack any real substance, yet this one puts together some great arguments. Although I believe Lambert is a bright manager I agree that this year has been an awful let down in many respects. That said I am wholeheartedly fed up of Premier League teams changing mangers every few months. I was at Anfield yesterday and saw first hand the effect of changing managers. Tottenham were clueless and lacked bite, the fans quickly turned against one of their biggest icons in Sherwood, accusing him of desertion.

    I’d love Villa to be winning every week, I have to endure a brother in law Baggie giving me grief (although he has been quiet of late), but it can’t happen all at once. It wasn’t so long ago that Villa fans were shouting “Paul Lambert’s, claret blue army” when we played Norwich under the dreadful rein of McLeish. I don’t recall us all shouting for Brendan Rodgers when Swansea came to town. Even Fergie wasn’t welcome when he first landed at MUFC. Villa need to change but it can’t change everything all at the same time. Accept it, we will get better but the road won’t be easy. Regardless of where we are, regardless of results we will still bleed claret and blue so venting our frustration only serves to keep us going until the next game. Then we can do it all again or marvel at the difference a week makes.

    Alan Hansen may have been proved wrong about not winning with kids but in my mind one thing is certain. No-one wins anything when everyone goes in different directions. Up the Villa

  13. I am always disappointed when Villa fans do not see the true issues at the club and feel that sacking the manager is the way forward. Tactics and substitutions only ever get mentioned in defeat, we get carried away with every win and over dramatic with every defeat. We feel we have a right to beat some teams when if we take our claret and blue specs off, squad for squad we are no better, it hurts but its true. Put our squad in any other kit in the premier league, where would you expect it to finish? 10th, 11th, 12th? About where we are then. Not being anti-Lambert doesn’t mean i think he is a great manager, but i see the squad of a certain quality he has been forced to put together and hope they improve all at the same time. People mentioning he should have signed Barry or experienced player xyz, they all have high wages, we wont pay more than £20k, who is going to come and struggle with us for that?
    The problem is at the top, this will not end until we start to compete in the transfer market and we can bring in higher quality players and actually pay the wages. Will this happen, who knows. But if the changes made by Sunderland, Fulham, Cardiff and the baggies are anything to go by, i’d rather stick with Lambert.

  14. I feel 1 more term would be fair to lambert. That’s long enough for him to have built a decent team who can entertain and win matches. Cutting off the head doesn’t always destroy the beast. Lerner came in with a fanfare an great new ideas. We were having new stands, a hotel an a new train station!!!He gave it a shot but for one reason or another run out of momentum. If there is a buyer out there I urge him to sell. If not invest some of the Sky millions bring back the feel good factor ditch the draconian wage structure and once again fill Villa Park with happy villans. Maybe I’m a bit of a dreamer but SOMETHING needs to happen QUICK

  15. Why I am still in support of Paul Lambert.

    Firstly, I admit – I like the fella I respect what he’s done in his footballing career to date and I like the fact that with all the constraints of managing Aston Villa he never took the easy option and stayed at Norwich which, given his success there could have guaranteed him a job for life – or as near as dammit.

    I look at David Moyes and draw comparisons with our Manager.
    Yes, he currently is on dodgy ground – but took on the thankless task of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson when like Lambert at Norwich he could have taken the easy option and stayed in a job that would I’m sure all would agree would have given him more longevity. In fact, the closer I scrutinize Moyes’ Everton record the more I can draw comparisons with Lambert. Twice he fought battles against relegation – whilst trying to get his own team together & the story that followed was that despite not winning a trophy at his time there he moulded them into a team that were constantly in the upper echelons of the league.
    That is my one wish for Paul Lambert and Aston Villa.

    Yes I accept that Paul Lambert has made mistakes during his short tenure at our club, just because I don’t rant and rave on social media sites (well okay.. I do a little) doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt as much as it does for others. But he himself is about to complete his 3rd season in top-flight football as manager and is very much on a learning curve himself.

    Playing Style: Now that is Lamberts Achilles heel., teams can set up against us far to easily to counteract our pattern of play whereas the big teams I think take little or notice and assume they’ll blow us away with there better footballers. But this dovetails nicely into why I think Lambert deserves another season….

    Off Field Problems: You don’t have to be ITK to see that there have been and still are to some off field problems with our players. Indeed even the recent trip to Portugal threw up another story of ill-discipline and a certain player has not been seen near the 1st team since & will more than likely be gone in the summer. Added to that the burden of being given the task of shipping out players on contracts that are frankly obscene given their actual ability.
    I do see light at the end of tunnel though and think that Paul Lambert has contributed to the cleansing of the high earning / low impact playing staff. For me it would seem unjust that given his hard work in doing this he is fired and a n other replacement comes in and reaps the rewards (if the chairman ever decides to fall back in love with Aston Villa – but that’s another subject).

    Buying Strategy: For me good but can do better …. No manager in the history of the game has ever gone through his career and not bought a dud. For example Sir Alex Ferguson (Bebe £7.25m wasn’t it) and he’s still considered the best manager ever been so I look at the likes of Bowery & Luna as 2 low cost gambles that haven’t and probably never will come off. But on the flip side Paul Lambert signed Christian Benteke and persuaded Brad Guzan to give it another go at our club, Benteke was a tad under £7m and despite his on/off performances this season still, in my eyes is one of the best Premiership strikers & when the relative success turned his head last season & he handed in the transfer request I thought Paul Lambert handled it wonderfully well … Yes a good World Cup could still see him leave but he’ll go on our terms thanks to the new contract.
    There are other players to talk about but I digress and have gone on long enough….

    I’ll leave you with one last thought …. The club decide to get rid of Paul Lambert at the end of the season and the job to find his replacement falls on the shoulders of Randolph Lerner / Paul Faulkner… if that doesn’t send shivers down your spine then nothing will.

    I’m sure there are Villa fans out there ready to pull what I’ve written to bits but I write from the head and heart and as a supporter of our great club for nigh on 40 years.

  16. I’m just not sure where we are as a club at the minute. I was gutted when we missed out on Sissoko last January because we couldn’t afford him and his wages and we ended up with Sylla. I don’t expect us to be competing with the petro clubs, Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal or Spurs, all of whom have significantly higher revenues/wealthier benefactors BUT run properly we should be competing with Everton (who I suppose are competing with the 6 mentioned), Newcastle and certainly Southampton. Spent wisely, there is enough revenue to build a proper, balanced squad – a strong first XI with a decent bench and some younger options to make up the squad. I feel that Lambert has just got the balance all wrong! To go into a season with only one CB > 25 yrs of age is madness, especially when that CB is injury prone. This is just not fair on Clark and Baker either, who are decent prospects but are having their game ruined by lack of experience around them. Bennett and, to a lesser extent, Lowton and now Bacuna have suffered from the same. Similarly, to not have an advanced midfielder (or a no. 10 as “he calls it”) after two years at the club is madness. To have no real options to replace Andi and Gabby when we play three up top but to have four no. 9s is mad!

    I think Lambert has done a decent job on a relatively small budget, considering what he has had to do, but there are also times when his tactics look crazy (playing Andi wide left etc., sitting so deep against Everton after we had just gone to Plop and showed them how to play) and times when he looks bereft of ideas or inspiration.

    He also comes across as a dull individual. I do wonder how he inspires a team of millionaires when I watch him on TV and he makes me want to fall asleep. Mourinho – massively entertaining, Martinez – livewire and bubbly, Laudrup – smart and classy, Arry – entertaining, Pochetino – who knows?, Lambert – dull as dishwater. I know its not everything but it would be so nice to have a Gregory or Atkinson character at the club.

    It do think he is like O’Neill in many ways – insular and stubborn and he seems to have his favourites.

    If we were to change, I do wonder who we could attract though that would do a better job/carry on the transition. It would need to be someone that would look to utilise the players that we have – a solid spine in Guzan, Vlaar, Okore, Westy, Delph and Tekkers – and make that work with a few quality additions. I would personally like to see Laudrup with a coaching team of, say, Laursen/Mellberg, Cowans and Dublin/Yorke (another bug bear of mine – I like to see a mix of coaches so there is a defender, a midfielder and a striker that all understand the nuances of their positions)

  17. For me it’s quite simple. Changing the manager won’t address the much deeper problems holding us back, ie a serious lack of planning and vision as well as football know-how at top level. And, whether this is what you meant or not I think you hit the nail on the head “There is no doubt that such an approach will bring some good results, as we have seen. O’Neill had far more money to spend, hence the better results, but it still had a ceiling…” I don’t think Lambert has reached his ceiling. And changing the manager now is too risky for me. It might work, but more likely it won’t. Is that a good reason to keep a manager on? Christ no. If we accept he isn’t the man long term then it could be equally risky letting him sign players, more expensive ones at that, that a new manager in a couple of years might not want. But long and short is, do you trust Faulkner and Lerner to appoint anyone better? I don’t.

  18. I’m still finding it hard to believe any Villa fan who has paid good money to watch that dross this season can still think this manager has got anythibg else to offer in the future?

    You can blame Lerner/ Faulkner Lack of money spent on fees/Wages or the unwillingness to sack another manager after a relitivly short time in charge but in truth Lambert simply isn’t up to the task.

    If you take the example of Rodgers at Liverpool or Martinez at Everton its clear that both teams have been coached into a style of play, there is no substitute for hard work on the training pitch but what do we see week in week out? the same basic errors! Some of the defending against Stoke & UTD you wouldn’t see on a Sunday? giving the ball away, not tracking runners, missing guilt edge chances its all to familiar to often.

    he plays the same team playing the same formation week in week out 4-3-3 Home and Away no matter who the oposision is?
    Both Gabby and Weimann playing off Benteke when niether are creative or score enough goals the just run around like headless chickens and fall over alot.

    Bacuna has come in for some real stick as has Bertrand lately unbelievabley but what have they got infront of them? No protection what so ever. Westwood is very neat and tidy but hes not a tackler and hes not creative most of his passes go sideways or backwards and his delivery from corners is terrible? again where is the coaching? he has wasted money on Sylla who he plays allbrighton ahead of out of position cos he’s that bad.
    Tonev possibly the worst player I have seen down the Villa and thats saying something! Helanius that bad he’s got Holt on loan ahead of him. Bennett Chelsea game aside has been poor, Luna only Spanish player who cant pass,
    the list goes on! who in their right mind would give him any more money to waste? I’d rather trade all them in and have 1 Gareth Barry back?

    He has got to go for me. I cant see any imrovement on last season as thibgs stand were only 4 points better off than 1st April 2013. Hardly progress is it?

  19. Fans can moan about the lack of money however spending 40m in two seasons is still quite a lot of money and spending money on likes of Luna, Sylla, Tonev, Helenius and Bowery and giving them wages even of 10-15k ALL ADDS UP so I just dont understand Lambert’s vision. Why not sign one or two quality players last summer for around 5-7m and on 30k a week? It is not hard if you do it correctly and don’t pay players who dont even get any game time…..I’ve had enough with sh*t players (El Ahmadi to note) who are not good enough. Pretty much the whole side has been signed by the manager. Faulkner and Lerner don’t choose the players, they simply lack vision – a different matter. Lambert is tactically inept – NO PLAN B.

  20. I agree with the content of this article, Howard. You back everything up with valid stats. I don’t believe Lambert has faith in his player’s abilities and sets his side up accordingly. I don’t believe that many of the squad possess the technical ability or the required desire to mix it in the Premiership. We never see many examples of players ‘fighting for the cause’. When Gibbs was wrongly sent off the other week for Arsenal, it reminded me a bit of how it would be at Villa. If you were sent off wrongly, you’d be stamping your feet and screaming. Gibbs just cooly ran down the tunnel. This is the kind of reaction I would expect from the Villa players. Do most of them really care about the club ? We tend to roll over and die too easily, for my liking.

    The lack of width in the team is a major problem. Most successful Villa sides have played with a wide man. Oh, for the days of Tony Morley and even Tony Daley. Defences are penetrated with balls into the box, and this is done most effectively with width.
    I have not seen much progress to be honest. I know Lambert has had to reduce the wage bill and has had limited funds to invest, but like Howard has identified, the fans need to be entertained, and season ticket holders at Villa Park this season have rarely been entertained, bar the odd occasion.

    Where are we going ? Are clubs unable to build a side now over a period of time ? I think so. I think all clubs are hoping for major investment from a consortium or an investor where money is no object. I think it is the only way to compete successfully in the Premiership these days. It’s sad in a way. I grew up in an age where the first division was so exciting, you never knew who would win the league. It was a level playing field. Teams played with 5 up front….2 wingers, inside right, inside left and a centre forward. Those were the days

  21. Personally i can’t see your big point here, Howard. A football team is not built over night, and Lambert is clearly making progress whit limited resources.

    You criticizes the style of counter attacking play, but we have to be reasonable here. You could chose to play attractive, offensive and positive football but loose every game like Solskjær try’s to do whit Cardiff, or you cold try to do the best out of a bad situation, and focus on keeping the other team from scoring – like we do now.

    I agree that Lambert’s style of play is similar to MON’s style, and i’m not saying he is the manager who is going to bring us to the Champions League. But at this time, at this place – he is the right man. And he probably also will be in the next two or three years.

  22. Thanks for all the feedback. For all of you saying its not Lambert’s fault and look at the financial constraints I urge you to read “The Hodgson Report” which was posted on here 5 weeks ago. If you honestly think I am daft enough to think that all the problems stem from simply the manager then you are ill advised so read that and then please revise your comments.

    As for Lambert he is far from blameless for a record of just 9 wins in 35 home games. That is truly diabolical and the away form this season has deteriorated as the season has gone with just one win away since Dec 4th.

    All the comments on here and on twitter who have supported Lambert have just confirmed the theme of the article.. “He needs money”. “What do you expect with the budget he has had” are all familiar quotes I have read and heard all season.

    Fact is he stated when appointed we would play good football, he also stated he would sort out the home form.. Neither is evident and the points tally and home wins per season are of a very similar level to his predecessor.

    How on earth people think he has done a good job is beyond me? The two things I would give him credit for is reducing the wage bill and getting some good results V top sides. However that does not constitute doing a good job and we continue to look on target for less points than David O Leary managed in Doug Ellis last season.

    Southampton got 1 more point than us last season. Now they have 14 more points and play a far more pleasing style of football. Yes they invested in good players in the summer but most importantly they have a manager who believes in getting players beyond the ball and using the width of the pitch.

    If Lerner stays I expect Lambert to stay. If he gets the 4 quality players in the summer like Pochettino got last summer do you expect us to suddenly start playing expansive football under this manager? That was the big question. All evidence points to us playing more like an O Neill side which some may enjoy. Frankly after 8 years of low possession, poor ball retention, behind the ball, counter attacking style I would like to see something else.

    My continued hope is the club is sold to a far more active owner who puts together a proper board fit to run a football club who will in turn appoint a manager who will put down a long lasting football ethos within the whole club.

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