The Nitty Gritty – It’s Not Acceptable


My last article was entitled “Time for a long, hard look at ourselves” and I decided to take a long, hard look at the facts and figures. I found quite a few statistics to justify my position on Lambert. This article is a summary of my findings.

Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa Football Club managerial record thus far:

Games Played – 80

Games Won – 26

Games Lost – 36

Games Drawn – 18

Managerial Win % – 32.50

Let me be clear that from my point of view that is a very damning set of figures. Forget about the at times depressing and sub-standard football, let’s compare him to managers deemed not to be good enough in our very recent past. On that premise and using the set of statistics above, Paul Lambert falls into the Jozef Venglos category of failure. In fact, he is actually doing a worse job! If anything, he is one manager in our history I don’t think any other would want to be compared to.

Paul Lambert’s total transfer spend to date = £42,037,600 million:

That £42,037,600 works out to be an average of £21,018,800 million per season. I can hear fans screaming about how that’s not a lot given the “project” he has undertaken but let me offer some clarity by comparing his dealings with those of Everton and Southampton. You tell me if the quality they received does not show a lack of direction or a belief in what we have needed at Villa.

Everton, 13/14 season, spent £27,984,000

Players in under Roberto Martinez:

Romelu Lukaku – Loan Fee – £3,080,000

Gareth Barry – Loan Fee – £0.0000 “Wages Paid by City”

Gerard Deulofeu – Loan Fee – £0.0000 “Wages Paid by Barcelona”

Joel Robles – Signed for £3,520,000

James McCarthy – Signed for £13,464,000

Arouna Kone – Signed  for £6,160,000

Even ignoring the fact that David Moyes signed Pienaar and brought in Mirallas and Stones in his last season, you can see just by looking at the list above that the emphasis has been on quality – and it does not cost the earth.

Now on to Southampton:

Southampton, 12/13 season, spent £36,520,000

Notable players in under Mauricio Pochettino:

Jay Rodriguez – Signed for – £7,612,000

Gazton Ramires – Signed for £13,376,000

Nathaniel Clyne – Signed  for £2,816,000

Southampton, 13/14 season, spent £34,848,000

Dejan Lovren – Signed for –  £8,800,000

Victor Wanyama – Signed for £12,760,000

Dani Osvaldo – Signed for £13,288,000

As mentioned above with regards to Everton, this is a case of a manager setting out his targets and ensuring those targets were all quality players. Southampton spent what can be deemed quite a lot of money but when you consider that the side finished above us in the Premier League and utilised the Premier League television money in the correct way, it is easy to see that is why the Saints are currently fourteen points better off and have established themselves in the top ten quite easily.

In short, Aston Villa Football Club under Paul Lambert, aside from one or two astute purchases, has not made the most of the transfer market and the quality amongst the team is at its lowest level for a long time. Those stating that it is about the money and that Paul Lambert simply needs more are kidding themselves, in my opinion.

When he arrived in B6, Lambert stated that he would get the team playing football like the teams mentioned above. Pochettino said he would have Southampton playing attractive football and Roberto Martinez famously said he would bring Champions League football to Everton. It is undeniable that both men are well on their way to achieving their goals. Martinez’s lofty goal aside, he is ensuring that his Everton team plays very exciting football and the results are showing. Paul Lambert, on the other hand, has not achieved his task and, two seasons in, does not look like doing so.

Paul Lambert has indeed lowered the wage bill and deserves some respect for completing that task. However, Lambert is a football manager, not an accountant. This is not his fault but he decides on the players he can sign for his squad with the funds made available in his two seasons in charge. The quality of his signings on the whole will lead to little, if any, progress and speaks volumes.

Finally, let’s take a look at the current win percentage records of Pochettino and Martinez:

Pochettino – 38.89%

Martinez – 56.76%

Those figures show the differences between our clubs.

I delved into the nitty gritty and, ultimately, the results speak for themselves. The bottom line is that Everton and Southampton are two clubs that have spent almost similar amounts of money to Lambert and whose managers decided that quality was, and is always, needed whereas Paul Lambert has not. The truth of the matter is the key factor is not the extent of the funds available but the ability of the manager to spend those funds wisely. Paul Lambert has shown himself time and time again to be lacking that ability, leading to a weak and bitterly poor side.

Article submitted by @ThetechniqueSMC


  1. More garbage to justify your hatred for Lambert ? Certainly seems that way ! What other explanation could there be ? How else can a whole squad be replaced & it’s value reduced without buying cheap ? It’s easy to say teams x,y, & z bought players a,b,& c & you rate them better than what Lambert has bought .
    It’s easy to buy a few players to add to a squad to improve it & hopefully that is what will be done in the summer . But comparing a squad that is being rebuilt from the ground upwards on a limited budget with those being improved is a no brainer , But but of course your statistics seem to prove you correct, untill that is, one looks @ what is being compared & then it is easy to see that they prove nothing other than your hatred for Lambert
    Why is that ? Not the manager you wanted ? not giving you the instant success you crave ? Or something else ?

    It takes several seasons to make a club a success , & even with their billionaire owner ManC’s could not buy instant succcess !

  2. I’m not Lambert’s biggest fan but this is a ridiculous comparison to make. Everton and Southampton already had good footballing styles established and were in a decent financial position. They had a good balance between youth and experience, they did not require any major chances. Martinez and Pocchetino have only been required to add a couple of quality players and tweak the tactics. Lambert has had to completely rebuild the squad.

    • It’s not a ridiculous comparison to make: Southampton were relegation bound until Pochettino took over. He gambled on playing players like Luke Shaw and he changed the ethos on field. Not going to take anything away from Adkins but he is no Pochettino and his team played nothing like his. Futhermore, Everton have completely changed the way they play under Martinez. They have a similar budget to Villa yet their management team signs quality. Read the figures, they spent £6m more than Villa but look what they got in – Barry/Deulofeu both wages paid for by parent clubs. It’s never about wages, it’s about being able to buy astutely and the truth is Paul Lambert has failed at that. It’s not anti-Lambert, it’s stating facts.

  3. Spot on Colin. Did Martinez have to clear out a whole squad of under performing, massively overpaid players? Or did he have the likes of Baines, Jagielka, Pienaar, Coleman, Howard, Distin, Barkley, Mirallis and Osman on the books? Compare that lot with the shower like Dunne, Warnock, Beye, Ireland, Hutton, Makoun, Bent, Collins and Cuellar that Lambert inherited? If they were so bloody good, how come no-one wanted to pay anything at all for any of them? Then we’re told that Southampton spent nearly twice as much as Lambert, despite having a good squad and an excellent crop of youth players that Pocchetino inherited (although I note here he even gets the credit for signing Jay Rodriguez 6 months before he even got the Southampton job). Ask any Saints fan if he thinks Osvaldo is worth the near £14 million quid the Spanish maestro spent on him.

    • Nicola Cortese signed those players and it was him who personally signed Pochettino. Don’t think for one second Pochettino didn’t have a hand in those deals and it’s undeniable that Pochettino has had the Saints play completely different football than Adkins, whose side was heading for relegation.

  4. Lambert would bring in better players if he could. He can’t because Mr Lerner won’t let him pay out high wages. Lambert would have ear marked players who would have been good for Villa but when he found out how much wages they want he can’t get them. Take Bertrand – he might want another club in the summer but we won’t offer him the money he could get elsewhere.

    • He has had just under £42.1m in 2 seasons and has wasted at least £25m on players who are never ever going to be good enough and the question is why? The answer is simple – because he is not as good as you all believe he is.

      The man has a poorer managerial record at Villa than JOZEF VENGLOS! I mean, seriously? What more needs to be said for fans to just grasp it’s not working?

  5. If Villa sacked Lambert now, what teams would want him? You’d have to go a long way down through the leagues to find a club still happy to play football that way.

    • It’s purely horses for courses and I have fallen out of love with Paul Lambert. I reckon he would do well at another that would be happy and content with his style of football.

  6. similar budget is that all you can say ? the budget is only one factor but you are claiming that it is every thing ! And what qualifies you to claim that £25m worth of players bought by are Lambert ? your biggotted mind ? Your ranting about £42.1m being spent but exactly how big a squad would that buy @ your rate of spending , after all Villa had one of the smallest squads in the Prem before the over priced mediochrity started to be axed !
    And it was not that over priced mediochity that kept us up last season , it was mostly down to Lambert’s signings that did that , and hopefully they will allow Villa to finish higher in the league than last season, despite us losing our Star striker !

  7. I’ve never posted on any of the Villa blogs before, but felt compelled to comment on this.
    If you genuinely believe that Everton signed Barry & Deulofeu on season-long loans for absolutely no financial outlay, you need to prove such a claim. This is simply NOT TRUE. Writing articles with such clear bias and unwillingness to accept the difference in the relative state of different clubs’ squads, renders it meaningless.
    The quality of our football, and some of the signings made by our current manager, leave much to be desired. However your vaunted example of Southampton, is more questionable when you hear that they still owe around £28million in unpaid transfer fees, and arguing that half of Lambert’s transfers are flops is silly, and ignores the fact that ALL managers have the same issue. Name any legendary manager, and you’ll still find a long list of their purchases that didn’t work out!

    • is a very thorough website dedicated to explaining transfer deals etc. Lukaku is a prime example – it shows how much was paid to take him. Deulofou was signed on guarantee of 1st team football and Barry was let go as his squad place/registration was utilised elsewhere. His wages are still being paid by City.

      I have not plucked figures out of thin air, I assure you. Let’s say I am wrong on Barry. I would imagine that Everton would at least pick up half his wages, which would be around £45k a week – not bad for a quality player, is it?

  8. All this anti Lambert talk is rubbish!! Lerner is the one you should point at, Lambert has budgets set by Lerner so it’s not his fault if he can’t bring the players of quality that you want!!!

  9. If Lambert’s signings were all sold at their current valuation they would raise more than we paid for them. Try doing that calculation with McLeish, Houllier, the prat O’Neil, O’Leary….etc. He has shopped in the bargain basement, and bought around 15 players for the 42 million quid. It’s a work in progress, and been bloody hard work to watch at times, but I have every confidence he will come through.

  10. There are rumours abounding in the US that Randy is going to sell out.

    Should that happen, hand on heart, what sort of future do you think Lambert has.?

    If you were in the posistion of purchasing the club and you had a choice of managers would you employ a guy who does have a worse record than Josef Venglos (thats true durn it).

  11. Lambert has zero tactical nounce and clearly fails to adapt to changing circs in a game. All Villa fans can identify the major areas of concern in the team and Lambert has failed to address them. Lerner has given Lambert the task of staying in the Premier league (for financial reasons) whilst reducing wages (financial reasons) and does not require of him anything more. Thus, Lambert succeeds in the eyes of his boss although failing in the eyes of the supporters. Anyone who thinks Lambert capable of producing an exciting team capable of pushing the better teams is living in their own dream world. Get used to bumping along and the club picking up the cash the league they are in provides

  12. Ah yes those rumours about Lerner selling , but who starts those rumours ?

    Is there any truth in the rumours ? could it be wishfull thinking , or could it be worse & the originators wish ill of the club ? At times it certainly seems that way !
    As for criticism of Lamberts ability to manage I wonder just how well his critics would be if put into the position he has been when injury has meant there has been no players for certain positions , as usually those who criticise the most are usually the 1st to throw up their arms in despair @ an seemingly impossible situation . And yes it’s easy to say the squad is of his building , but ask your selves whether it is the one he would build if he had more dosh ?

  13. Lambert has done some things terribly right, and some wrong. The buys of Benteke and Bacuna were spot on, and there were lows like the buys of Bowery and Tonev.
    David Moyes did the world of good for Everton, and left them with their heads held high. I am not very sure(is that a joke?) if McLeish left Villa on the up. In fact, McLeish was the statistically worst manager in Villa’s time, whereas Moyes did a lot of good at Everton(anybody disputes that?). So for Paul Lambert, the job was not simply consolidating, it was building from scratch. Weeding out players like Bent, Ireland, Hutton, Warnock and the like. That Lambert has managed to do that much is itself good. Besides that, he is brought in Benteke and Bacuna, and also Westwood and Delph are beginning to look good. Bertrand was also a shrewd capture. Yes, I was well and truly bamboozled by Holt’s capture. He is unable to replicate his previous form, and I’m not very sure if he is inspiring to the youngsters.Similarly, the absence of Helenius and academy youngsters like Robinson puts one off.
    Considering the transfer fees, I would not like to put a doubt on the facts, but something that shocks me is that most news websites claimed that Gareth Barry’s fees were too much for Lambert, so he did not rope him in(Come on, if he was coming for free, Lambert would have taken him without blinking an eye).Now if he is playing for Everton without applying any financial constraint on them, surely there is something we’re not able to see in there.
    Wanyama and Osvaldo have been FLOPS. Please do not call them good buys. If Lallana, Rickie,Luke Shaw and Rodriguez had kept the same vein of form as the previous season, then surely Southampton may not have been in a very promising situation.They have stepped up, and so have Southampton.
    And that stepping up is what we have seen in a few of our players since Lambert was roped in. Weimann and Agbonlahor, though not this season, showed flashes of their talent towards the end of last season, and Vlaar has been a real driving force, bringing the best out of even Baker and Clark.
    What we want to see from Lambert is consistency.(Not Fulham kind of consistency, though!)Get those players to perform in unison every match day, and in sync with each other,like an orchestra. It’s not that each person is playing for himself out there.
    Lambert is trying his best. If his best is this(I definitely don’t think so), then we must live a life like Stoke, hanging around lifelessly mid-table.He will do better, and hopefully we will see him in better light in upcoming articles.


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