Culverhouse and Karsa suspended; total joke

So I come in from work to find that Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa our assistant manager and director of football operations respectively have been suspended.
To quote a rather superb group (the Rutles), “I’m shocked” “and stunned”. “Very stunned”.

What the hell has gone on here?
This to me, at first glance raises more questions than it answers, with the first being, if Lambert brought these people in, why hasn’t he been suspended as well?

First reports I’ve read are suggesting that they’ve been suspended for lack of performance.
This might actually make sense, as it would seem to be perfectly true.
We’ve all been asking for months what the team are actually being taught in training, after all.

But again, Lambert brought them in, so the responsibility lies ultimately with him. His choices haven’t worked, so Lambert himself has to go.

So then I go on to read that there is talk of bullying and big arguments between the players and staff.
Again, these staff are Lambert’s choices, so again, Lambert has to go.
But he hasn’t, yet at least.

So what might the reasoning be?
Lambert himself dobbed them in? I doubt it. Lambert strikes me as a man who would back his team and walk away.
But then, he did hint that things weren’t right at the Villa, so I guess it’s possible.
A couple of million quid can turn a bloke, I suppose.

And then there’s the appointment of Given as a coach or assistant manager or whatever his role is.
How on earth does that work?
Given was frozen out by either one of the board or Lambert himself.
So if he was frozen out by Lambert, this appointment can only have been made to get Lambert to walk.
Would you be able to work with a bloke you’d told you didn’t want for whatever reason? It’d be at least uncomfortable.

And if he was frozen out by the board, what does this say to Lambert?
“We think a bloke we wanted gone is better than the choice you brought in” ????

I just can’t see the logic behind any of this and don’t believe any good will come of it.
Except maybe Lambert getting the bullet or walking.

Actually no, I don’t think Lambert will walk, as there’s too much money at stake.
Indeed, it would seem that his future is practically assured at the Villa, which quite simply amazes me.

The only two options I can see are that he’s either a total sycophant to the board or a totally treacherous man, willing to backstab anybody, including the very people he brought in, who you would think were allies and probably friends.
I doubt it’s the former.

I see the squad are supposed to have been “buoyant” after the suspensions.
So what does this suggest?
That Culverhouse and Karsa were hated, but Lambert wasn’t?
I can only read into that, that it means that Lambert is also in the firing line.
After all, if you’re being bullied and the gaffer allows it to go on, you’re going to hate him too, for allowing it to go on, aren’t you?

No, my guess is Lambert’s days are even more numbered, regardless of what the reports say about his job being safe.

But in the meantime, what a laughing stock we have become, particularly after Paul Faulkner’s now ridiculous statement just yesterday.

I’m just totally stunned by it all and now my focus has to move to the person in charge of the whole madhouse.


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  1. saddened
    saddened April 15, 2014 at 8:28 pm . Reply

    I have never heard such a farce at a football club we haven’t even got the balls to sack people when they clearly have no clue… This stinks of a Faulkner decision, probably can’t sack them as it would have to come from Randy and no-one knows his phone number…. You just couldn’t make it up !

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath April 15, 2014 at 8:55 pm . Reply

      It’s gets worse: BBC Sport’s Pat Murphy on manager Paul Lambert’s future at Aston Villa following the suspension of assistant Ian Culverhouse and head of football operations Gary Karsa: “Lambert’s judgment has to be questioned now two close colleagues he has worked with at four clubs have been suspended. But I understand he wanted this.
      “It may look as though Lambert is in deeper trouble after this, but I understand he has been fully supported by the owner Randy Lerner and the chief executive Paul Faulkner.
      “A run of 15 points from the last 19 games would be enough ammunition for many owners to sack their manager, especially one who wants a fresh back-up team near the end of the season. But I hear Lerner remains fully behind Lambert.”

      1. You don't know what your doing
        You don't know what your doing April 15, 2014 at 9:31 pm . Reply

        Pat Murphy is stuck in the 1990’s. He still acts like Ellis is the chairman, when he used to actually give you an official quote rather than Murphy simply just putting his own spin on things.
        How can anyone possibly know what Lerner’s thinking when the bloke never speaks. Murphy and Nursey are a pair of moron’s.

  2. banksie
    banksie April 15, 2014 at 8:28 pm . Reply

    If rumours are true then I dont see how lambert can stay. Especially if its true that delph and gabby werent ill or injured but got dropped after sticking up for sid, after him and culverhouse were arguing. This shows that lambert backed him men. I would get rid now as its not like were winning with him in charge is it

  3. Bill Pearson.
    Bill Pearson. April 15, 2014 at 9:13 pm . Reply

    Tell me something, was any of our football team playing with a heart for the club?,to me there’s been trouble at the mill for months and we have had to suffer all them shit games, why has this suddenly come to light being so close to disaster, as Badger123 saying its a pissing joke.

  4. TED
    TED April 15, 2014 at 9:16 pm . Reply

    Oohah /Badger this imminent takeover rumour appears to be gathering momentum on other sites. The site I’ve just visited appears to have known about the Culverhouse Karsa suspensions before it became public knowledge. And appear to know a takeover is pending prem survival? Any ideas?

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath April 15, 2014 at 9:21 pm . Reply

      No idea ted iv seen rumours all over the place today. A lot of facebook posters seem to think a takeover is imminent as king as we stay up and lambert to be sacked on thu. However I think if they were going to sack him they would of done by now. If someone is taking over then surely they wouldn’t want lambert that would send out an awful signal. Iv got a horrid feeling we will start next season with lamberk and Lerner until something is signed in blood I can’t see it happening this year at least.

  5. TED
    TED April 15, 2014 at 9:34 pm . Reply

    Oohah not wanting to direct people to another site but one particular site appears to have known about today’s news before it broke. This is the site that’s been promoting imminent takeover since last week. They appear to have some inside or advance knowledge visit it and look at about 1230hrs today when they highlight something happening

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath April 15, 2014 at 11:10 pm . Reply

      No worries mate just put up the link and il authorise it. Me and badger do t mind given other sites a plug if it’s relevent from time to time. Though can’t imagine them promoting us.

  6. Jay Dee
    Jay Dee April 15, 2014 at 9:50 pm . Reply

    What’s so odd about it Karsa,Culverhouse causing problems had to go nothing to do with Lambert.Lambert did bring them in granted but why walk away from your job because of other people fucking up.My gaffer hired me if I fuck up does my gaffer get the sack?No I do.Lambert had nothing to do with it.Lerner,Faulkner like Lambert so he stays.It isn’t so odd really it’s still a business.People get fired in business and have discipline hearings every day.As for G.Cowans & S.Given can’t see them making much difference to a poor squad will lose again against Southampton.UTV

  7. Morgan Villa
    Morgan Villa April 15, 2014 at 9:56 pm . Reply

    A post on twitter has just made me chuckle ‘The biggest shock to come out of Villa Park today was that we had a head of football operations

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath April 15, 2014 at 11:08 pm . Reply

      Lol another similar joke doing the rounds is it’s a shock we had a coaching staff as well

    2. Hayks
      Hayks April 16, 2014 at 7:33 am . Reply


  8. marvin
    marvin April 15, 2014 at 10:01 pm . Reply

    Today has been pretty crazy. A lot of noise flying around, although to be honest I don’t buy the takeover talk or the sacking of Lambert. Now I’m not saying Lambert has been a success or without fault, but by all accounts this was a man who has met most, if not all, of the boards ridiculous conditions and up until last weekend was in talks for a new contract. I just can’t see the board changing their mind from extending the Lambert’s contract to firing him overnight.

    The most realistic of reasons I think would be Culverhouse’s and Karsa’s suspension is due to their work conduct and/or lack of commitment to the job. We’ve all heard the rumors – leaking of information, hated by the first team, showed up late and left early, spoke poorly to Faulkner (their boss). Now who knows if these are true, we will have to wait to see, but in any other profession it is pretty safe to say any combination of these would be grounds for suspension or termination of employment.

    If it is true Lambert was the one who recommended their suspension then more credit to him, but the whole timing of it all baffles me to no end. It also sounds like he will now be more ‘hands on’ too, which is good. I remember reading last year Lambert rarely even showed up to training the same way MON would do, leaving it his assistant manger to handle. Seriously I have no idea how this will play out, but anything Lambert can do to get this squad to win one game I’m all for it right now. Safety first – questions and ax wielding, later.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath April 15, 2014 at 11:14 pm . Reply

      I’m not sure lambert being more hands in is a good think. Everything he touches turns to shit. He’s like that guy in the skittles ad. Whether Lerner wants him or not is irrelevant the fans do not want him. And many fans will vote with their wallets like they did to get mclown out

  9. BWS
    BWS April 15, 2014 at 10:23 pm . Reply

    Badger I haven’t a clue what you do for a living but on reading your comments it seems a pretty sheltered environment and a little removed from today’s dog eat dog, callous, sneaky under handed world of modern management.
    If the bullying thing is the basis for this they can only suspend the suspected parties but on investigation it leads to an individual at the top creating and actively encouraging this behaviour well looks like he, she, they, it will be for the high jump too.
    Then to remove the staff your have appointed and then force there replacements on you sorta makes your position just a touch untenable don’t you think?

  10. DSVilla
    DSVilla April 16, 2014 at 8:37 am . Reply

    Lambert brought those two with him to Villa. That’s the norm in football. However, the lot of them have not worked with the level of expectation they do now at Villa. Given the rise from Wycombe to Norwich and successive promotions all will have been rosy. Fighting against relegation is an entirely different position so maybe it’s no wonder that this has blown up given what appears to be some pretty aggressive characters.

    Does this mean Lambert should go too? Not for this reason. Personal relationships can lead to blind loyalty. If Lambert has decided to sacrifice his mates for the good of the club isn’t that what we would demand?

    Sacking Lambert for the poor results and playing style is a different matter. That would be perfectly reasonable. However, Lambert has probably achieved most of his remit if we stay up. Given previous statements from the club that we have taken all the financial pain in the last published accounts it would make sense to invest more heavily in new players without going back to where we were. That means a few quality additions. That would be good for the team and the younger players in particular.

    I really don’t know whether Lambert should be given the chance to oversee that. What is likely to happen is that senior players will be asked about the behaviour of Culverhouse and Karsa as part of the club’s investigation. It is likely they will be encouraged to express an opinion about Lambert as well. Whether he stays or goes may come down to that. Certainly, if he is allowed to continue he should only get until Xmas to prove he is up to the job.

    1. BillyWalkerShirt
      BillyWalkerShirt April 16, 2014 at 9:54 am . Reply

      DS I posted yesterday before this broke the whole thing at VP appeared to be descending into anarchy with reports of BMH / dressing / tunnel bust ups it appeared to be in a total shambles down there with Lambert having totally lost it at every level of the club.
      It’s rumoured Lambert was rarely on the training field leaving it to dumb and dumber and as results show were obviously not up to the job but this then begs the question how was Lambert whiling away the hours at VP? A manager sitting in the office detached, not involved is a bit ominous and has a touch of the Billy Mcneill’s about it.

      Lambert for all intents and purposes appears to be a ‘Lame Duck Manager’, to promote one of his ‘Bomb Squad’ to assistant manager – having a bloke you’ve shunned and tried to humiliate sitting next to you in the dugout well it seems a little strange and possibly a statement from the club?

      1. saddened
        saddened April 16, 2014 at 10:35 am . Reply

        Thats what I just don’t understand, One of the so called bomb squad who was treated appallingly as a professional, has now been promoted – is it Lambert being undermined, or maybe the ‘bomb squad’ idea wasn’t Lamberts !!!
        Whatever it is, seems to me the club couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery and while Faulkner has anything to do with it they will never improve.

        1. BillyWalkerShirt
          BillyWalkerShirt April 16, 2014 at 10:48 am . Reply

          Maybe Given was the one that raised the issue with the Villa hierarchy and so they see him as a buffer between the players – manager and possibly their eyes and ears?
          That’s just pure speculation on my part and I’m not saying that is the case but as a senior done it all, seen it all pro it might be something in it, how else did he (Given) come into the reckoning?

        2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath April 16, 2014 at 11:10 am . Reply

          Agree mate as collymore says the club is a shambles. If Lerner isn’t prepared to spend to take us fwd then pls sell to someone who can

      2. DSVilla
        DSVilla April 16, 2014 at 12:38 pm . Reply

        All very odd but at least changes are being made. I don’t know how involved Lambert has ever been in training etc. this seems quite common these days. Managers often leave coaching to coaches. Seems strange but that’s the modern day approach to splitting what was one job into three or four.

        1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
          OohAhPaulMcGrath April 16, 2014 at 3:27 pm . Reply

          Problem is there is still no plan. Im hearing rumours of David Platt taking over from Lamberk. Another cheap option, another yes man who fans will take to because he will have claret and blue blood going thru his veins even though he couldnt wait to fuck of to Arsenal. The only way this club will do well is to get a big name in like benetez who knows what the fuck h is doing and give him £60m to spend. Otherwise forget it

          1. nath
            nath April 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm . Reply

            i bet ole gunnar solskjaer would make a top manager, no piss taken or being serious steve mcClaren or gus poyet, no thanxs to platt or benatez villa need a guy like lambert somebody who can work with thin air. someone to improve players we have

    2. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath April 16, 2014 at 11:19 am . Reply

      Under no circumstances should lamberk be here next season it smacks of no ambition if this clown continues. The quicker he goes the better then hopefully Lerner to follow

  11. Lionheart
    Lionheart April 16, 2014 at 11:08 am . Reply

    Lads it is simple.. sh!t has hit the fan.. PL knows he is a dead man walking.. so what he does is throws his boys to the dogs.. replacing them with a Villa legend and reluctantly Given.. this way taking the flack of himself and also hoping the fans ease off with Cowans in the dug out..

    Lerner ideally doesn’t want to change managers.. he has done it too often recently without being able to find a decent replacement..

    So as a last throw of the dice this is Plan B.. PL RL PF are all praying for a win on Saturday to ease the pressure.. a defeat there and to Swansea then the trigger will have to be pulled and PL… FIRED…!!!

  12. kenny
    kenny April 16, 2014 at 12:52 pm . Reply

    why r u having a go at lambert. he is a brill manager and he will b villas best manager. randy lerner has said he will back him and I do 2, I am with both owner and manager here. I have watched villa a few times this year and have been very happy the way they av played in quite a lot of the games. they need to improve on there defending and creating gd chances more often. but wen u av players comin in and out of the side through injuries they r not gonna b able 2 come straight back from injury str away. vlaar is great defender and hope he stays. baker I think is also a very gd defender and he needs 2 stay. he has been in and out wiv injury and wiv that in mind he has played very well and his gonna b a great player as he is young and doin well now. benteke is a blow but wiv agy wiemen and albrighton the attackin options r extremely gd and fast. if lambert gets them runnin in the right areas a lot more they will start winnin games but again confidence in defence and confidence and gd effort 2 get forward is needed now. all I wanna say 2 randy lerner take interest in villa a lot more reguarding getting the rite and decent 1s too add 2 the squad and lambert will help him reap rewards.

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath April 16, 2014 at 1:01 pm . Reply

      Is that you Paul!!

      1. BillyWalkerShirt
        BillyWalkerShirt April 16, 2014 at 1:20 pm . Reply

        And you did that all on your own Kenny? Bless your cotton socks..

        1. saddened
          saddened April 16, 2014 at 2:01 pm . Reply

          I’m with Oohah, it has to be Faulkner !!

        2. Bill Pearson.
          Bill Pearson. April 16, 2014 at 3:45 pm . Reply

          Bill he’s from High croft hall I’m sure he is. I do believe they have computers now.

          1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
            OohAhPaulMcGrath April 16, 2014 at 3:54 pm . Reply


          2. BillyWalkerShirt
            BillyWalkerShirt April 17, 2014 at 7:41 am . Reply

            Who left the padded cell unlocked???

    #HELENIUS April 16, 2014 at 1:30 pm . Reply


  14. Colonius81
    Colonius81 April 17, 2014 at 11:29 pm . Reply

    Lads I don’t what is going on with Karsa, and culverhouse, if they have done wrong or if the alegations are of a serious nature, then the right thing has been done and they have been suspended and an investigation is underway.

    I would take the opinions more seriously if i didn’t see a suggestion that tony pulis should be made villa manager …. and the blow by blow layer of speculation laid on top of another layer of speculation and so on so forth until the obvious conclusion of Lambert being fired and the new expensive big repuation manager that we could never land before lambert yet we hope or expect? we can land now ..

    It sucks .. to use the vernacular of my canadian friends .. it really does, but i still trust in logic.

    if no big reputation manager would come to Villa when the last 2 managers left .. I fail to see how we could attract one now.
    If lerner hasn’t released the funds with the last 2 managers why would he release them now?
    if Lerner was going to sell the club why hasn’t it been sold? why is it not for sale? if there are no buyers for newcastle or Everton why would there be one for Villa?
    If he was in it for the money .. why does every public account published since he took over say he hasn’t made a penny of clear net profit yet?

    If we want to throw out random stories that we want to be believe, i will have a go!
    I want to speculate that this suspension and investigation into an as yet to be specified type of misconduct by the coaching staff was a major factor in the abject completely polar opposite piss poor performance against Stoke and it had a continueing effect on the subsequent run of shite results. but i would be just speculating ..
    Whatever happens things just got more interesting …

    1. OohAhPaulMcGrath
      OohAhPaulMcGrath April 18, 2014 at 12:15 am . Reply

      So true Colonius and yes things are more entertaining off the pitch than on it which says it all

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