Why we should give Paul Lambert another year

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This season has been a rollercoaster ride, much the same ride as last season, but a minority of fans sing Lambert’s praises when we play well then call for him to get sacked after a disappointing result. There will always be disappointment in a season. Look at Chelsea, gunning for the Premier League title. The team is beating contenders like Arsenal comfortably but can’t beat teams like Villa and Crystal Palace.

Paul Lambert has made numerous mistakes this season but which manager hasn’t? David Moyes, Sam Allardyce and Chris Hughton have struggled this season but have seen their clubs back them, while clubs around them have swapped managers and have since seen a decline in form. The relegation places are currently occupied by three teams that have changed their managers during the course of the season, showing that chopping and changing tends to do more harm than good.

Lambert has created a project with Faulkner and Lerner. He will have been told to cut the wage bill and at the moment he is in the process of creating a new team. Despite being given a relatively large sum of money in each the past two summers, he has opted for quantity over quality. He brought in numerous players who have already been frozen out such as Luna, Bowery, Helenius, Lowton and Tonev. They may have been gambles and didn’t demand ridiculous transfer fees but we should still see more of them in and around the first team. Players should only be dropped based on performances. At the moment, Helenius and Tonev haven’t been played enough to show their best attributes. Still, Lambert’s gamble was low risk compared to Manchester United signing Bebe, who played only a handful of games before being sent out on loan, for £7.5 million.

The football hasn’t been the best at times this season but it did bring results on a few occasions. After the Liverpool game, we did start to play some nice football but that brought us good results and also some bad ones. We are very inconsistent: one week we play well and beat Chelsea, showing passion and determination to close their players down, and literally a week later we lose 4-1 to Stoke, allowing them to use the space to create opportunities in contrast to the Chelsea game in which we didn’t allow Chelsea players any room to find the space.

Where would sacking Lambert leave us? Apart from obvious doubts regarding the availability of a suitable, realistic replacement, the Lambert project would be unfinished. Lerner has invested money in Lambert and the Scot has effectively created a new team. He managed to persuade Benteke to stay at least until the end of the current season and brought back Guzan after the goalkeeper was initially released. Which manager out there would, or even could, continue working on the project with a minimal budget?

I would like to see Lambert stay for another year. In December, we can assess the first five months of the 2014-15 season. If we have made significant progress compared to this and last season then I would like him to commit to another two seasons.

21 COMMENTS

  1. I think your title should be “Why should we give Lambert another year?

    Not seen any really improvement in two seasons. No creative midfielders and Baker and Clark defend like the Chuckle Brothers.

    How much of Lambert’s £20 million last year was put to effective use ?
    He can take Lerner with him. #absentowner #noambition

  2. Well said Ashley and, without trying to sound patronising, for a 16 year old, it’s a good way of looking at things (in today’s modern “no patience” kinda world).

    I agree, Lambert is only 2 years into this project and I believe like you he deserves the opportunity to continue it.

    Fans that bleat “we should be battering Team A, B or C” have deuslions of grandeur. Aston Villa at present have NO right to beat anyone. We’re not top-6 any more, so saying that we should have a guaranteed 3 points is a load of tosh and embarrassing that after this point they then call for Lambert’s head.

    I think at least another season and then more (if like you say he seems to have shown a bit more progress) – I’ve seen some small progress this year and I think next will be better.

    UTV!!

    • Thank you – your comment is appreciated. I agree with you completely. We will need to see what he does in the summer and what areas he will improve. This season has been full of mixed results, full of highs and lows, but we are beating teams and getting points. The only time we should worry is when we are struggling to get results, like the bottom three are now.

  3. I have seen enough to convince me he will never get it right here. On his own admission we have no plan B when we are struggling. As for the project no one has a clue as to what it is because Lerner is absent and doesn’t talk to anyone. We are a rudderless ship and heading for the rocks. Money has been spent on players that are clearly not good enough and we won’t get that money back. I didn’t want Lambert in the first place and after 2 years have seen nothing to change my mind.

  4. Well said. Most younger people on the site only look at the ‘good times’ under MON they don’t remember all the years of struggle before that.

    I believe PL has done well to build a new squad for the ashes he inherited, some players didn’t work out but as you said they cost peanuts and it shouldn’t be too hard to recoup the investment and some may even return a small profit.

  5. Well said. I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said and I also think that sacking him now or even mid way through next season would be more of a risk. A good example is David moyes with Everton, they were a club who almost got relegated under moyes but he shown that sometimes if you stick with a manager it really can pay off and look where they are now, we are an average club and the chances of a world class manager coming to us would be extremely unrealistic, I think lambert is our best option and you never know he could surprise one or two people.

    • Thank you for your comment. I agree they are now an established Premier League team fighting for Europe. Could even use Sir Alex Ferguson as an example when he first joined Manchester United, got criticised and then went on to become one of the world’s best managers.

  6. Are completely blind,this PLambert. Is another oneil clone, tactically inept
    Ive just been on wm, if AVFC offer this guy another year they deserve
    The dross he calls football.Laudrupp,would offer more ,even he would be a gamble
    Worth taking. Bayern munich show what agreat coach is all about 53 games undefeated, 20pounds,entrance fee .that what you call football villa park would be
    Sold out every game, lambert out ,Laudrupp in for me

  7. HI there

    I am sorry but your heading is a contradiction! I think I said it all in my Comments in last evenings article.

    Whilst Lambert may have cut the wage bill etc. and has some attributes he is not up to the job. He will never learn because he does not listen to anyone!

    One of Lambert’s 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 stay near the top few?
    IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE AND WE NEED TO DO IT NOW
    Malcolm D Watts

    • I agree that he doesn’t listen to anyone, and can be a bit naïve. You say bring in Barry and he has been a good signing for Everton but his wages may have put Lambert off, unfortunately. I feel Baker with Vlaar at times is a decent partnership, but they also have bad days as well, like Stoke. But I can’t think of a manager that will come in and carry on with this “project”.

  8. 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.

    Just a sign of the brain washing and apathy that has set in at Villa Park. 9 home defeats in 16 home games this season is not progress and not doing a good job!

    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 is 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.

    • Honestly, I can’t remember the David O’Leary days as I was too young so I can only comment on what I’ve seen in the most recent years – Lerner splashing the cash on the wrong players and trusting the wrong managers with the money. But Lambert has come in and has been told to reduce the wage budget and he has been successful in bringing the wages down.

      You have mentioned Southampton but they have had the financial backing, which they have used to bring in quality rather than quantity.

      The reason why I want to see another year of Lambert is because I want to see what will happen in the summer, as he has laid the foundations of the team, hopefully has identified the areas we need to improve on and Lerner will provide the funds for him to buy quality over quantity.

  9. It’s the long term style and ethos of Lambert that disturbs me the most. If he gets the money for 4 quality players in the summer I still don’t see the style changing much. We may get better results but I would like to see a different way of playing evolve after 8 years of this low possession, poor ball retention, total reliance on counter attack etc. He is even more direct than O Neill and it’s no coincidence we have hit more long balls per game than any other team in the league, including sides managed by Pulis and Allardyce who both played more football than us when their sides visited Villa Park this season.

    He hasn’t delivered the type of football he talked about when arriving at all and the home form he was so sure he would repair, he hasn’t got close to solving.

    He will get another season if Lerner stays but I fear it will ultimately be yet another wasted year.

  10. I agree with this article. Too often fans these days who’s clubs aren’t winning the league call for their managers head. I understand Villa is under achieving as it stands, but when will people realise that a new manager will always make everything better. Look at Cardiff, Fulham West Brom etc.

  11. I remember O’Leary, and all managers back to Joe Mercer in 1958, so I might just qualify to comment on the present one.

    Firstly, Aston Villa is not a “project”, many are falling for that description of a club which is struggling and using spin to fool the supporters. We want to hear the word “ambition”, not some mumbo mumbo jargon, thought up by an owner and whatever Faulkner is.

    Any manager who comes out with that claptrap, has no idea what he’s doing, step forward Paul Lambert.

    I’ve seen some very bad managers at our club, he’s not included in that statement, but, he’s not a good manager, his attitude is blinkered, and driven by what Randy tells him, which I have to say, suits him, he wants young inexperienced players, to try and make a name for himself as a man motivator. Not really working is it.

    I’m getting fed up of hearing “give him more time”, he’s had enough time to blend a squad of young players, who are talented, and players with Premier league experience, 15 signings on and we are not looking anything like a squad to pull up any trees, just the opposite.

    Look at the cup results, and tell me this is the man to take Villa forward, and as for comparing him to other managers, forget it, look at him and think, “Why we should give Paul Lambert another year…………to try and get us relegated”. No thanks! We want a successful club not a “project”.

  12. In reply to john 64’s comment, bayern Munich are a superior team and have been since I’ve been alive for sure, so how you can compare bayern Munich to us is beyond me, I agree with some of Howard’s points saying that he promised attractive football and yet all we have had so far is hoofball up to Benteke. Obviously a lot of improvement needs to be made for example consistency, but I do believe that this year has been a gradual improvement from last and I do think after the games against arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and man city that lambert has the capabilities to outwit some of the top managers it’s just taking that and bringing it into the games that are more pressurised in my opinion.

  13. I think Paul Lambert can do much better than he is doing right now. That definitely does not mean that he is worthy of signing a new contract this very season, which was what some of the rumors were pointing to.
    To be frank, Yes, some of his buys such as Antonio Luna, Jordan Bowery and Aleksandar Tonev have turned out to not be worth their price, but at the same time the only bargain buys Benteke(7 million) and Bacuna(reportedly 800,000) have turned out to be mighty successful.
    It is true that Paul Lambert has made a sine wave out of Villa but well, 69 goals conceded last time compared to 46 now(at this stage of the season), and two or three more scored than at this stage last time, and I think that we are moving slower than snails crawling uphill, but well, at least we have moved that 1 meter. At this stage and point of time, we must recollect the fate of teams who sacked managers this season. Paul Lambert, give him a season, and he will make it spring.
    Very Optimistic fan Sarvesh
    Note: Maybe slightly more cynical fans may not like this comment, my apologies to them.

    • I don’t agree that the likes of Tonev, Bowery and Luna have been a waste of money. 500k for Bowery would be recoverable in the morning, there has been a lot more paid by championship teams for players a lot worse than him. The same goes for Tonev and Luna, while they haven’t found their groove at Villa I wouldn’t write them off yet. They both have a talent and either here or at another club we’ll see their best.

  14. It’s great to hear somebody who is optimistic too. Yes, we haven’t seen the best out of them, so it is wrong to write them off. Besides, now Benteke is out, so Lambert can maybe give some of these youngsters a chance to give their best to the team. My bet is that Bowery and Tonev will be keen to express themselves. Luna maybe yes, but Bertrand is always a more likely option.
    Also, I would love it if Lambert could play some academy graduates in the upcoming matches, somewhat in the steops of Fulham, so that they get some practice out there.

  15. Watched the Match against Fulham today,even with the injuries to several key players it was the same old dross.Our players are frightened to play the ball forward!its sideways and backwards,there is no confidence in our play,no structure to our play,to many players wont go and attack down the wings or through the middle.People standing there waiting for the ball!no movement, no plan.Twelve defeats at home!how has Lambert kept his job STH but maybe not next season with this clown in charge.

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