Change needed now or Lambert should go


Saturday 8th November could have gone down as a detrimental moment in Aston Villa’s season. It was a game that many saw as pivotal and a ‘banker’, although the latter was never the case.

The hosts dominated for large periods, having the better of the chances and over twenty shots, which is quite impressive given the Hammers’ struggles last season. It was also an example of how things can change in the world of football. In May, West Ham fans called for Allardyce to resign. A summer of change has set West Ham up for what will surely be a different season to the 2013-14 one. Although the current campaign did not start well, the Irons are currently on a roll and ticking along efficiently. Changes in tactics and personnel have proven fruitful for ‘Big Sam’.

Sticking by a manager is reaping rewards in Newcastle, where, at the start of October, most Magpies wanted Alan Pardew out. Since then, things have been on the up as Pardew brought Cisse, Obertan and Albeid in from the cold after dropping three powerful players who, truthfully, were out of form.

Given the improving fortunes of his counterparts at Newcastle United and West Ham United, perhaps Paul Lambert can change his luck – and his team’s. Randy Lerner has stated from the start that there is a new, long term vision at Villa. He admitted change happened too quickly. That has obviously affected the side. Paul Lambert has had stringent budgets and a handful of other contentious issues to deal with. Lambert’s new contract was perhaps deserved after a good start to the season, although the length of it was questionable even then. Currently, it is not justified. Looking at Lambert, it is clear that his job is not under any threat, as ‘The Sunday People’ suggested yesterday. Mr Lambert is here for the long haul and how exactly his time at Villa will end remains to be seen. At present, he has the worst record of any manager in recent years. However, he has had a real tough job to do. In terms of securing the Villa fans’ support once more, the key factor may be whether or not Lambert can shake the side up with new formations and ideas or by introducing different players to the team. Gardner should be recalled in January. Grealish should be playing over Agbonlahor, who seems impotent for eighty minutes of the game. Okore should be playing rather than Clark. Change is needed now. Will we see it?

Stuart Young’s article on Friday summed up a lot of what I want to say. Lambert’s statistics are not fictional. It is a fact that he led Aston Villa Football Club to the most defeats over a whole season in our Premier League history and that the Villans conceded the most goals in a season in our Premier League history under Lambert. Some believe a change in management would worsen the Villans’ situation but that is not necessarily true. For example, Gary Monk totally changed the Swans’ fortunes when he took over last season. Tony Pulis’ arrival completely changed Crystal Palace’s season. Fans pay a lot of money to follow Aston Villa. They do not have overly high expectations; they just want value for money. If they are not being entertained, why should they support the management? Why are some fans blaming injuries? Lambert was aware of the situation regarding Benteke and Kozak yet he did nothing about it. Delph is out injured. I could argue that Lambert has done nothing about this.

Lambert is too cosy in his plush seat at the moment. This needs to change. More pressure is needed. If Lambert does not realise that he needs to delve deeper into the squad, he is even more inept than many first believed.

I want to eat humble pie. I wish Paul Lambert every success, even though, at the moment, I have no faith in him. If he changes his terrible tactics and stale team selections, he will get more support. If he chooses not to, he is in for a longer winter than anticipated.


  1. Ah yes those injury problems that Lambert’s critics keep insisting do not exist! The problem is squad size and that it takes money to replace players. Now that might have happened in the summer but the club were told by the medics that Benteke & Kozak would be back shortly after the season started. So does the manager trust the medics and rely on their advice, as after all they are the experts or does he throw the injured players on the scrap heap and bring in replacements?

    Clearly the medics were wrong & now we are in the sh*t coz new players can not be brought in.
    Equally some of our other players are injury prone but that’s a risk that has to be taken when buying experience on a limited budget as frequently the most experienced players are released because of injury issues,sometimes it’s worth the risk & a club get’s a player like Laursen or it struggles because players can’t keep fit as is the present situation at Villa.

    As for those wonderous statistics that seem to mesmerise Lambert’s critics of course they are fact but what exactly is the significance of them?

    What can Gardner do to save the team? Now I used to be a fan of Gaz before he had his injuries, but the last few times I’ve seen anything of him playing he’s been a shadow of his pre- injury self, and currently does not seem to be setting the world alight with his performances but maybe when he finishes his loan spell in January we might see a diferent player, although I hear he’s considering staying out on loan.

    But what is it with Villa fans & the youth players? They hear a player is the next thing to sliced bread and start demanding they be thrown into the team, only to see them fail. But is it the players that have failed or the club and the fans because they have been thrown into a failing team? I suspect that many times it is the latter .
    Of course Lambert needs to make changes, but change for the sake of change is no good and especially if the results do not happen. But looking at the squad I suspect that part of the problem is fitness,but also I do wonder if the other part of the conundrum is that he’s struggling with application of the “Fox & goose” scenario” and to utilise players so that they give maximum benefit to the team.

  2. Look at the league table right now and we are exactly in the same position as the last two seasons. No movement forward whatsoever and in danger of losing our best two players as well. Who would want to stay at Villa right now? They must know its going to be a relegation battle before a ball is kicked. Lambert in 36 months has not moved the team forward at all. He is simply not good enough and so bloody stubborn to boot.

    Arguably our best player this season until his injury has been Hutton and yet Lambert’s stance for the past 20 months could easily have ruined Hutton’s career. 50% of the players he’s bought are nowhere to be seen or have left. Why would Lerner give him any more to spend when 60% of his acquisitions have been a complete waste? I think 3 years is long enough for any manager to get the bulk of it right but he hasn’t nor even shows any sign of doing so. He would have been history long ago with 90% of the Prem’s chairmen as his boss.

    • Rumours of Villa losing players is highly over rated by the press only too eager to wind up the Villa Faithful, but it will be interesting to see what players might be moved on if we are to acquire some new faces in January.

      As for Hutton it seems the memories of Hutton being booed by fans when he had the ball evidentally are long forgotten, but I’d suspect that was part of the reason for Lambert dropping him from the squad.

      • Of course rumours of Villa losing players is highly over rated by the press to wind us up, no way would we sell our best squad members, there’s no chance of us selling, Young, Barry, Milner or Downing…….oh…..wait! Some might blame this on the players and not the lack of ambition of the Villa owner, who has no idea how to run a “soccer” club, the proof of the pudding and all that…….

        You also seem to have inside knowledge of how PL makes his decisions, either that or it’s a part of your fantasy football logic. Whatever it is, you are always right and everyone else wrong.

        • there you go again Kranky talking about fantasy when that’s just the opposite of the world doom & gloom some insist on inflicting on othrs . When reality may be neither .. As for Lambert’s decisions I just use logic and knowedge of how players might react in certain situations to guess how things might happen . But like all guestimates they are not always correct . As for inside knowledge yes I do have contacts who do sometimes get reliable info , but I also take note of what the club is saying rather than just dismiss it as some do

  3. As regarding Delph we have 3 midfielders who are playing together in Delph’s absence and have done well against QPR, Spurs and West Ham. There not the finished article but with some perceived easier games on the horizon I feel they will get better, but even with Delph playing we dont score so is this down to tactics? Ccoupled to this we have Richardson, Cole and Gardner who can all play there so in reality we could sell Delph and get someone who can link up with Benteke better

    I still find myself making excuses for Lambert but the injuries, the fixture list, and lack of form to certain players and sendings off/ban must be taken into account. Being gubbed for 6 games and the manner of the defeat to Spurs would leave many teams a rabble and a push over so despite the key players missing the battling effort for a point is very important as players gain confidence from it.

    Okore is a strange one, as is Bacuna and frustrating but again maybe we will see them in the next few games. Okore may get some international football so we may see how he is progressing

    The whole substitutes thing is again negative and as for Pullis, tactically very good, and gets the best from what he has. Stoke fans will say about the not great football but in his last few seasons he tried to change it but the players were either injured or let him down. Anyone remember Michael Owen?? At Palace he played good football to suit the players he had and they did well. Moyes would be great too

    I dont like Lambert but we are stuck with him, and there is every chance he will turn it around but look at Ryan Bertrand, so much better under a positive manager and it makes you wonder what if

    Despite Lerner’s position i am grateful he has brought in the players he has this season, and Keane and Fox are improvements, and although it hurts, Lambert’s contract sends out stability signals

    The truth is with the new players settling in, the injured returning and getting games, and the better fixtures, the more we play we should get better.

    This squad on paper is easily comfortable mid table and Lambert has the next 8 games to pick up results until the reverse fixtures start.

    We will see ehh.

  4. Will someone please tell PL that if you keep doing the same thing that you’re going to get the same result? (In PL’s case that means no result).

    Thought this might have been RK’s role so pipe up Roy!

    A long term PL supporter knowing that he has the pedigree and the players to at least comfortable hold a mid-place position and yet even I have to admit that it just isn’t working. Bernie for God’s sake pull the plug and give us all a bit of hope!!!



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