Paul Lambert will always be proud to be associated with Aston Villa, but has revealed the tight restrictions he was forced to work with whilst in charge of the club.
The Scot was installed as Villa Park boss in the summer of 2012 when he replaced the sacked Alex McLeish, and his debut campaign was deemed a success despite a relatively low finish of 15th in the Premier League. Little progress has been made in the following two seasons as they have repeated this finish, whilst the football on the pitch has left their fans utterly dispirited.
A 2-0 defeat at Hull City on Tuesday night leaves the Midlands giants in the relegation zone with 13 matches remaining, having scored just 12 goals all term. Club owner Randy Lerner finally listed to the supporters feeling towards Lambert when he dismissed the former Norwich City boss the following day, but the proud Scot believes his job was always hindered by strict restrictions imposed on him.
“I am extremely proud to have managed Aston Villa, and this sentiment will always remain with me,” read a statement from Lambert which was issued via the League Managers Association. “My initial remit was to conduct a massive overhaul of the playing squad, lower the overall wage structure of the playing staff and achieve this whilst keeping the club in the Barclays Premier League.
“There was also a concerted effort to purchase and develop younger players who would provide a solid footing for the football club to move forward and enhance the value of the playing squad in the future. Randy Lerner, warned me that I was embarking on the toughest challenge of my working life and he was not wrong. But I put my heart and soul into the job from my first day until my last.”
There is little surprise to hear that Tim Sherwood, who has been linked with a host of jobs since being sacked by Tottenham Hotspur at the end of last season, has been installed as the general favourite to succeed Lambert. Former England coach Glenn Hoddle, who is also available, is another potential candidate, whilst Scott Marshall has taken the reins on a caretaker basis.