Last weekend, two Premier League managers were sacked, Steve Clarke of West Brom and Andre Villas-boas of Tottenham. Many Aston Villa fans are slowly beginning to get fed up with Lambert’s tactics and may have already assessed Aston Villa in the hands of a new manager. Obviously if Randy Lerner has had enough, he would sack Lambert before January. However, historically, Lerner is yet to sack a manager mid-season. But based on results and current standings, we are 11th place, which isn’t too bad. In-fact we are in range of our expectation of mid-table.
But lets say that Lambert does get sacked today, who would Lerner replace him with? Would Lerner go with an international manager? Or one with Premier League experience? I say the second option seems the more viable, so who are our candidates: Roberto Di Matteo, Steve Clarke, Andre Villas-boas, Gareth Southgate, and Steve Holloway. What about some of our former players: Dwight Yorke and Martin Laursen.
The list I’ve just put together has some decent candidates, I personally rate Di Matteo, he can organise the team well, however the style of football may be similar to Lambert’s and could become uninteresting very quickly. I don’t think Lerner would make the same mistake by hiring a rival clubs manager, so Clarke is off the list. Villas-boas is over-rated and will cost a fortune and Holloway is a mad man, both of the list as well. The only manager who remains on the list, and the manager that I believe has a similar philosophy as Lambert in terms of youth policy is Gareth Southgate. Boy, would I love to have Southgate manage Aston Villa. He is a former player, he now has lots of experience, he is young and I reckon he’d do a terrific job for Aston Villa.
But before I get carried away I do want to step back for a second, I don’t think Lambert deserves to get sacked, yet! I’d seriously give him January to buy an attacking midfielder and I seriously believe it’ll make the difference. Maybe even sign an experienced defender on loan as well? I still believe that to build and maintain success at a football club, there needs to be continuity. Believe it or not, Lambert lies 6th place in the Premier League manager tenure table. The top 3 are Wenger, Pardew and Allardyce. Lambert’s first season was tough, and this season he is fill in the spots. Injuries have hampered his success especially in defence with both Okore and Vlaar out injured, arguably our two best defenders.
Lambert will get it right, if he doesn’t he won’t be given a new contract and we’ll move on a different manager. But right now, I’m not pressing the panic button. January is just around the corner and it’s an opportunity for Lambert to get that much needed attacking midfielder. I reckon that’ll save his job in the future.