Aston Villa appointed Paul
Lambert as manager on Saturday, following hot on the heels of
Liverpool in looking to smaller Premier League rivals for the
man to revive their faded fortunes.
Lambert joins from Norwich City, having offered his
resignation earlier in the week, after leading the Canaries to a
very respectable 12th place on their return to the top flight
The 42-year-old Scot was reported to have signed a
three-year deal with the 1982 European champions, who were
founder members of the Football League in 1888 and last won a
league title in 1981.
Liverpool, five times winners of Europe's top club trophy
but without a league title since 1990, named Swansea City boss
Brendan Rodgers as their new manager on Friday.
Swansea and Norwich, one the most westerly Premier League
club and the other the furthest to the east, were promoted
together in 2011 and impressed last season with their young
Both clubs have small grounds, Swansea's capacity is only
20,000, but their attractive style of play caught the eye of
American owners at the two former European Cup winners.
Both managers replace departed Scots, with Villa dismissing
Alex McLeish the day after the season ended last month while
Rodgers takes over from Anfield great Kenny Dalglish.
McLeish, never popular with the fans after arriving from
arch-rivals Birmingham City, left with Villa in 16th place and
just two points off the relegation zone. They won only seven of
their 38 league games.
Villa announced the news on their website with a simple statement.
"The Board of Aston Villa are delighted to confirm that Paul
Lambert has been appointed Villa manager," it said.
There was no immediate comment from Norwich, whose leading
scorer Grant Holt has indicated he also wants to move on and
could follow Lambert to Villa.
"Just to stop the rumour mill again. I have expressed to the
board and the CEO that I want to leave the football club. Due to
disagreements," Holt said on social media site Twitter on
Lambert received a ringing endorsement from former Borussia
Dortmund manager Ottmar Hitzfeld, who won the 1997 Champions
League with the Scot playing in midfield. Lambert set up the
opening goal in the 3-1 final win against Juventus.
"As a player, he always thought like a coach. He was a
leader. He didn't cost a fortune when I bought him, and no one
expected him to become a key player but he did," said Hitzfeld.
"So it is no surprise that he has become a successful manager."
Villa's American chairman Randy Lerner said last month that
the Birmingham-based club lacked the sort of "compelling play"
the fans expected.
Lambert, a player under former Villa manager Martin O'Neill
at Celtic, will be expected to deliver as he becomes the fourth
man in charge at Villa in less than two years.
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