Paul Lambert admitted yesterday he expects some Norwich City fans will never forgive him for walking out on the Canaries to join Premier League rivals Aston Villa.

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The former darling of the Barclay was officially unveiled at Villa Park just under a week after resigning from his Carrow Road post after City reportedly denied him permission to speak to the Midlands club.

The EDP now understands the protracted issue of compensation for Lambert’s departure may well end up being settled by an independent tribunal in an echo of the Scot’s acrimonious move from Colchester to Norfolk in 2009.

Lambert avoided fanning the flames yesterday when he deflected the inevitable questions over a potential reunion with wantaway skipper Grant Holt and key allies Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa. The City Hall of Famer insists the manner of his exit should not detract from his achievements in guiding the club from the depths of League One to mid-table Premier League respectability.

“I had three brilliant years there, but I am now probably the worst manager in the club’s history because I have left,” he said. “I’m sure the fans are a little hurt that I have gone, but that is all I will say on the matter.

“I had my reasons to leave but I gave Norwich City everything I had. You are asking me, ‘Is there anything the club could’ve done to keep me?’

“I think the best way to say it is I had my reasons and they were good reasons. When you have had success at any football club there is always a time to leave. That is football. I have never looked back in my time and felt I had any regrets. I’d like to think I wouldn’t get a bad reception when I go back – that would be a very sad thing, but I can’t help that. The Norwich crowd were brilliant, really brilliant for me.”

Lambert did dismiss any notion tensions over finance played a part in his departure, with City’s spending power in the transfer market dwarfed by many of their other top flight rivals.

“Whatever money you have that should not deflect from having the hunger and the desire,” he said. “The finance is something that never bothered me. I am not that kind of person. I knew what the situation was with the budget and I was happy to work within it. We made it work by bringing in lads, some of whom had not even played in the Championship, and they did not look out of place at this level. Finance has never been an issue at any of my clubs. I loved my time at Wycombe, lovely people there as well but we had just been beaten by Stockport in the play-offs and I felt we had taken it as far as it could go.

“I made my mind up it was the right thing to do. I took some time out and ended up going to Colchester and then on to Norwich and I have worked with whatever I have been given at all of those clubs.”

Lambert acknowledged he will have more leverage in the transfer market at Villa, where he has already given a list of potential targets to chairman Randy Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner. The Scot, however, was non committal whether Holt or any of his former City stars are in his sights – although with no agreement yet concluded on compensation he is free to approach his old club.

“Listen, I haven’t even thought about that at all. I think people see me going to Villa and assume Grant will come as well,” he said. “Honestly I have never thought about it. I swear to God. I am really delighted to be here. There are lads Paul and the chairman and I have spoken about and we’ll see if we can progress that down the line. I’ve asked for (Lionel) Messi, then Xavi and (Andres) Iniesta and if we sign them three then I think we’ll do all right.

“Grant was brilliant for me. For the three years I was there he was a huge part of what happened. I really have a lot of time for him. He was brilliant for me as a footballer, brilliant for me as a captain and things move on –but I want Aston Villa to win now. I have not said that I want to sign Grant. I’ve just said he had been brilliant for me. I’ll look at what I have here already and Paul and the chairman know the players that I want.”

Lambert repeated that mantra when pushed on his desire to link up with trusted lieutenants Culverhouse and Karsa, who he has worked with since their Wycombe days. Villa’s former European Cup winner and current first team coach Gordon Cowans looks set to play some role in Lambert’s backroom staff.

“I haven’t thought about that (Ian and Gary), not one iota,” he said. “My priority today was meeting the media and anything else is for another day. I have spoken to one or two of the backroom team here. Gordon Cowans, as everybody knows, is a legend. He was part of an incredible football team that won the European Cup. He deserves respect. I have spoken to Gordon, only briefly, and will chat again later on. He is a really nice guy but I want to speak to everyone.”

Lambert revealed he consulted his former Celtic mentor and ex-Villa boss Martin O’Neill before deciding to emulate the Sunderland chief and move to the Midlands.

“He was really complimentary. He said it was a great opportunity for me and I am quite sure if I get even a touch of the success he had here then I will have done okay,” he said. “I have my own ideas on the expectancy and what I want to achieve, but I will never come out and put those on the players. We’ll just try to win more games than we lose and we are going to need the fans. It is an incredible opportunity. You look at the managers who have been here and the history it has got and the size of the football club. It is vast, absolutely vast, but it is not something I am going to shy away from. I will embrace it and give it everything I have got to make it successful.”

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30 comments

  • Keith, OhNo, bluelight, you all make a very valid point, specially the Roeder one. If Roeder had not been such a grump and not treated Hucks the way he did, he would not now be vilified by the Carra faithful. I think Lambo`s Litote-Speak is the intrinsic characteristic of a very secretive personality; solely focused on personal achievement. Very strong medicine, only to be taken for a short period. It brought Norwich back from the brink, so we have to accept the side-effects now, like losing a few players & staff, maybe?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • That coda "for me" is also a key part of the Lambert Lexicon. Con.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • I agree with you Doc.

    Report this comment

    cutty

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • It's a shame, I will always remember him for that pretend anger when asked about his future at Norwich. It taints the successes a bit. In the same way I don't remember Roeder as the man who dug us out of the relegation hole in his first season but rather the man who dumped on Huckerby in a very shabby way. I suppose it all comes down to integrity and loyalty.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Mad Brewer: Man Utd is surely PL's ultimate ambition. However, I think he has seriously reduced his chances of realising this by jumping ship to Villa. I just have a feeling that his non-existent experience in dealing with heavily paid ego's will provide too stern a test for him so early in his managerial career. This couple with a whimsical fan base that will lose confidence at the drop of a hat if results are not instant and frequent.

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Lamberts interviews are always full of contradictions. If the report is correct in that he has given a target list to Randy Lerner why does he then say "Listen, I havent even thought about that at all" when asked if any of Citys players are in his sights? He surely would have thought about all of our better players when he was compiling his list wouldnt he? Expect offers for Holt and one or two others such as Pilkington, Tierney et al. Lambert released Whitbread so that he can pick him up cheaply for Villa. Its a shame how this has all turned out - not so much for City but for Lambert. His ambition will eventually get the better of him, as he continues to desert one club for another.

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Agree, Mellow_Yellow, a different set of skills needed. I`m sure PL has all the required attributes and will switch seamlessly into ego-management mode. Be good experience for when Fergie retires from MUFC........ 2 years?

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • I emphasise I am grateful for what Paul Lambert AND IAN & GARY have done for us. Interesting though that Lambert only came to Norwich providing Ian and Gary came as well. Now he seems only interested in what is on offer for himself and appears not to have given the fab two a second thought. Selfish perhaps? BIG amount of credit to McNally for telling Ian and Gary they are still very welcome to stay here!

    Report this comment

    Mel Lacey

    Saturday, June 9, 2012

  • Wycombe have bounced between L2 and L1 a couple of times. Colchester got promoted to the Champ where they were top6 for much of that season, finishing 10th ang getting relegated back to L1 the following season. Neither club has a ground or the fan base to do much more than that, so I suspect it`d be hard to prove statistically a post-Lambo slump.

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Help me out here. Yet again Martin O'Neill has been touted as some great guru. He won the League Cup twice with Leicester (twice as many as McLeish!) and some pots when at Celtic (it's hard NOT to win when managing Celtic). Look at the teams he left in a strop, Norwich, Villa etc. He has the attitude "spend lots of money and I'll win", apart from at Celtic he hasn't won much for a very long time.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Wise words, PK. But you never know. Liverpool certainly preferred somebody with a smile over the glowering Glaswegian. Man U may be due for a change, too, when Fergie retires. Cometh the man, cometh the hour...Paul Jewell! ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Not making any rude comments merely stating a factual opinion but still being ethered

    Report this comment

    blackdog2

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • I empathise with Doc and blackdog. Specially wrt "ethering". You`ll see it all in print one day. See it as a charitable donation to the Illiterati-local journalists. Mellow_Y, only time will tell if PL has messed up here. I think he probably has, sadly. Future fans will be more fickle than whimsical, I fear. PL is at risk of becoming a Football take on Lynn Truss`s book about punctuation; "Eats shoots and leaves". Like MO`N was before him.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Sorry, I see now that Colchester`s Champ season was pre Lambo. Anyway, still can draw no conclusion! OTBC

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Do you have stats of what happened to clubs post-Lambert? Did Wycombe get promoted? Did Colchester go downhill?

    Report this comment

    theluggage

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Not making any rude comments merely stating a factual opinion but still being ethered

    Report this comment

    blackdog2

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Brendan Rodgers, is probably the only British manager to stand any chance of success in the Champions league, If it were to happen , would he stand any chance of succeeding Fergie , given the "friendship" between the two clubs ? It was interesting to note that of the three "flavour of the month managers", Lambert was not considered for the Liverpool job, maybe having just parted with a grumpy Scot they did not fancy another one ?. Perhaps he needs to brush up on his media skills?

    Report this comment

    Paul Kersey

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • A lot of earlier quotes on here about sum the situation up, why on earth he does not stop bleating without saying why or what it was about the deeper the hole becomes. He achieved a lot here but sadly has lost a lot of support by the way he has lied or misquoted so many times, just shut up before all adulation evaporates!

    Report this comment

    blackdog2

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • the only thing i have got to say about it is,he dosnt seem to stay anywhere very long.livingstone,wycomb,colchester,norwichand now villa already.he certainly gets around.

    Report this comment

    bluelight

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Yes, PK, as much as I am a tad Journophobic, Lambert`s behaviour toward Jarrold was simply bullying. Not nice.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • The club tie quite suits him. Its a shame that Lambert has developed a habit of walking out on clubs without much in the way of a decent explanation. Will be interesting to see how he copes with the big egos in the Villa changing room - will he be able to get them to give their all in the same way as has done to date with young hungry players from the lower leagues? Thats surely the biggest challenge for him now.

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • I would imagine that every British manager has aspirations to take over from Fergie when the day comes. However football has changed now in this country and I doubt that any British manager would get the chance, it is more likely that someone like Mourinho or Guardiola will get the job as they have demonstrated that they can "Cut-it" at the highest level. Unless Paul Lambert can get Villa into the Champions league and win it, he will be out of luck like all the others.

    Report this comment

    Paul Kersey

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • So, judging by his interview after Drury's testimonial when he said he was happy at city and his actions a few days later when he left, should we be expecting to hear news that he has put a bid in for Holt? Hoolahan? Howson? Ruddy?

    Report this comment

    CovCanary

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • He must be happy, he is even trying to crack jokes, or what passes for a joke Lambo-style. He has not thought "one iota" about Ian and Gary. If that's true then they should be worried. I take it that they have not resigned as yet?

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Mad Brewer: Man Utd is surely PL's ultimate ambition. However, I think he has seriously reduced his chances of realising this by jumping ship to Villa. I just have a feeling that his non-existent experience in dealing with heavily paid ego's will provide too stern a test for him so early in his managerial career. This couple with a whimsical fan base that will lose confidence at the drop of a hat if results are not instant and frequent.

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Had his reasons. Probably felt he had taken City as far as he could, and wants a crack at Europe which would only be achieved with a 'bigger' club. We must thank him for the positives, and not slate him for wanting to progress his own career. We would all have bitten our rights arms off to have him drag us up from the depths of Div 3, 3 years ago, to where we are now. He is a Man Utd manager in the making. The King is dead. Long live the King.

    Report this comment

    Soglio Star

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • The rubber stamp and ether man is here again!

    Report this comment

    blackdog2

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Lambo-speak has distinctive patterns, eg not emphasising what he has said, but what he hasn`t said. "I never said I want to leave" doesn`t mean the same as "I said I want to stay"....."I`ve not said that I want to sign Grant" etc. That`s his way. He probably hasn`t thought "one iota" about Cully & Karsa. He`s thought LOADS of iotas! Lord of the Litotes. Soon be time to move on to a new era. It`s not been an unspectacular three years, has it? OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • Ethered. Agree, Mellow. I`m sure he can switch seamlessly into ego-management mode. Couple of solid years experience of that, then Fergie`s retirement party at MUFC?.....

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    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

  • When you are in a hole, stop digging. You were worshipped here and yet had no hesitation in leaving . Have you said sorry to Stuart Jarrold yet? for making him look small, somehow I doubt it.

    Report this comment

    Paul Kersey

    Thursday, June 7, 2012

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