Keep Calm .. And Stop Worrying about Lambert

Posted by on May 14, 2012 in General | 4 comments

Reporter: 'Paul, will you still be at Norwich at the start of next season?' Lambert: 'Erm, erm, erm, it's difficult to answer that'
Mat Kendrick

And with one post-match quote, thousands of Norwich hearts began racing. The season is done, a magnificent, unexpected, wonderful season, but there is no rest for some. The Lambert rumour-mill, kicking up every time there’s a transfer window, is in full swing. Let’s look at the quote in full:

It is a hard one to answer that because I have a contract here and everyone is doing great in their respective jobs. I will get this season out of the road and then I will see what happens and think about what is going on and the achievements we have done and then we will see. Aston Villa is not my team. Norwich is and the Norwich fans singing is greatly appreciated. I understand what is happening at Aston Villa and I can see what is happening with the crowd and the manager which is never nice. But that is out of my control – my control is Norwich and the Norwich fans have been brilliant for me

I’ve talked about this before when Burnley came in for him. We shat ourselves then and he was just the same. Non-committal, unwilling to make promises he might not want to back up. And this is the way I see it again.

We all know what we’re getting from Lambert. He’s not a talker. In three years he’s kept his cards close to his chest, he’s never been one to make grand statements or crowd pleasing remarks, he does his job, strengthens his position and gets on with it. Against Burnley he strung it out and strung it out when he could have ended it before, and he got commitment from the board to bring in players for promotion. Last summer West Ham were also keen, and while it never reached the stage of late night board talks like Burnley, Lambert again kept quiet. He always has. Why anyone expects different of him is beyond me.

So we’ve got one of the hottest prospects and clubs are going to want him. This is the depressing reality, and whether it’s this season or next or beyond, one day he’s off. I hope as much as anyone it isn’t yet, but if it is, he’s left a club in an incredible position, a remarkable turnaround in three years. If he judges Villa a step up – and I know most of us don’t – then he’ll go there with something to prove and we’ll have some big shoes to fill. It’s the same if any other club comes in for him.

Ultimately we’ve got to trust the board in doing everything they can to keep him, and remember that this is vintage Lambert – quiet, calculating and intelligent. He’ll know exactly what he’s done by refusing to say what the crowd wants to hear, and he’ll know the pressure the board is now under to ensure he doesn’t walk. He’s got all the cards. And my gut instinct is that on opening day next year he’s in our dugout, with a strengthened team. But until we know, there’s stuff all that three months of public panic, wailing and self inflicted rumour mongering will do to help.


  1. As much as it pains me to say it, Aston Villa a club of that stature should not be anywhere near the bottom half and at least challenging for a Europa League spot/good cup run every season, like when Darren Bent moved there nobody saw it coming, I worry Lambert will see it this as a challenge and a chance to manage one of the Prem’s big boys and established teams so like ir or not, they are a bigger club than us.

    Brace yourself, because we’re not talking about Burnley here this time its one of the biggest clubs in the country that may come sniffing, sadly. :(


  2. I hope he stays at Norwich for as long a time as Fergie has stayed at ManU(re).

    The only other team I could stomach him making a move to would be Chelsea.

  3. Glad you made the point about the state he will leave us in. We’ll be in a position to pick a manager we want, and he’ll be taking on a job going in the right direction. Yes, Lambert has been more than brilliant, but he isn’t the last manager walking the planet.

    I also believe Villa to be a bigger club than us. They weren’t fighting for Europe by fluke. I would also expect Lerner to pump more cash into them, somehow without ending up making O’Neill look like he was right all along. Would we be linked with Benitez? Of course not.

  4. Even after the Colchester game we had no inkling that we would be looking at Lambert as a replacement for Gunn. No-one could have predicted the outcome. McNally happened upon us almost by accident, in Australia when he heard of the vacancy and applied. He knew Lambert’s record and McNally was the force that grappled Lambert from Robbie Cowling’s grasp. What an acquisition and we all know where that has brought us – and what a journey.
    Lambert will go in his own time and it should be with our blessing with thanks for the memories – but does it have to be now?

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