Poll: Paul Lambert - hero or villain? Our writers have their say

Former Norwich City manager Paul Lambert is taking the Canaries to a tribunal. Former Norwich City manager Paul Lambert is taking the Canaries to a tribunal.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
9:09 AM

As Paul Lambert prepares to face his former club, and with he and Norwich City in a bitter dispute over compensation, we have been asking: what do Norwich City fans think of Paul Lambert?

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Is he a hero, or a villain? And why?

Post your comments below or on Twitter by using the hashtag #lambert

At the end of the week we will print the best responses – and provide the answer to the question. Today, EDP writers give their verdicts.

PADDY DAVITT

Heroic villain. They say timing is everything in this world and Norwich City were fortunate Paul Lambert viewed Norfolk as the perfect stage to launch the next phase of his career after they had sunk to such a low ebb in 2009.

What Lambert, his coaching staff and players achieved was monumental. That legacy has since been soured by the manner of his summer exit. Many City fans felt it was too soon.

Lambert didn’t, but he left the club in a far healthier state than he inherited it and for that reason alone he will always be remembered as one of the club’s finest managers.

CHRIS LAKEY

One of the problems with football is that it does, indeed, become a tribal past-time following one team in particular – and once your team has, in your eyes, been wronged, the natural view is to hit back, to defend yourself.

Standing in a crowd of several thousand people can persuade the most mild-mannered of us to adopt the view of the majority, even if it does conflict with the opinion you might form independently.

Paul Lambert’s departure from Carrow Road divided opinion, but if it wasn’t for the fact that football operates under different rules to everyday life, the impact would have been less divisive: man leaves one place of work for another. That is all that happened. In the real world.

Sit in a dark room, on your own, and contemplate the situation and you discover that Lambert did a terrific job in the three seasons he was manager of Norwich City, but when what he saw as a better opportunity came along, he decided to accept it. The legal issues, with both parties claiming compensation, are almost irrelevant in our argument, because he was never going to come back, was he? He’d gone for good.

Lambert achieved a lot, and while I have always believed it wasn’t the most difficult job in League One at the time he took over, it would not have been accomplished under any Joe Bloggs manager.

We have a lot to thank him for and we should be grateful to him.

But go with the noisy crowd and the conclusion may be different: Lambert didn’t leave for a better club, or a club in a better position. Lambert didn’t leave on the best of terms. Lambert wasn’t loyal etc etc.

Yes, when someone who has done that much for you suddenly ups sticks and leaves, having been coveted by someone less attractive, it hurts.

But without him, think where City could be; not basking in the glory of victory over the mighty Gunners I can guarantee.

Hero or villain? Hero.

MICHAEL BAILEY

Where would we all be without the passions that run through football? Well, this weekend’s trip to Villa Park would be more humdrum for starters.

To some, Paul Lambert’s exit crossed a line they will never forgive him for. For me, it’s irrelevant.

Okay, it wasn’t as classy as others. Indeed, it’s still being played out. But a fiercely driven man left as you would expect. All the qualities that made Lambert a success ultimately led him to leave – that was predictable from the start.

So why remember the fall-out when it means tarnishing League One glory? Tarnishing the Championship ride that kept getting faster and more exciting by the week? Tarnishing the greatest East Anglian double City have ever enjoyed – and a fearless Premier League return that stands among the club’s highest finishes?

It was what he did at the club and saw out that matters. For that, his own legend should endure too.

DAVID FREEZER

Football seems to be getting more and more like an episode of Eastenders, every single issue seems to become such a huge drama.

I fully expect Match of the Day to be far more interested in our match at Villa on Saturday than they would have been in any other season and I’m sure the cameras will be firmly fixed on Lambert throughout.

What we need to remember is that this is football, a game, not a matter of life and death.

To players and managers their football clubs are their employers, not necessarily a club that is close to their heart like it is for supporters.

So for me, Lambert is and will remain a hero.

His three incredible seasons should not be soured by the posturing and battle of egos that have followed his Carrow Road exit.

If he had left under happy circumstances, we would still have wanted to get one over on him, and the players will still want to, just as much as he will want to get one over them.

Let’s just get on with the football and focus on winning a vital three points against a team that looks like it will also be battling against relegation.

‘PINKUN PETE’ RAVEN

The supposed ‘grudge match’ against former manager Paul Lambert at Villa Park on Saturday could throw up the possibility of some sections of the away support taunting their former hero.

They will do well to remember that had it not been for the Scot then we would more than likely be in the stands at the likes of Yeovil rather than competing in the top flight.

As we saw at Colchester in January 2010 Lambert appears to thrive on being the bad guy so I would suggest polite applause before the game in recognition of the amazing time he gave us all before spending the following 90 minutes getting behind Hughton and his boys.

RICHARD WOOD

There can be no questioning the amazing impact Paul Lambert made on Norwich City Football Club. He will go down in history as one of the club’s most successful managers and helped so many people recapture their love for the club.

His loss was a blow, but most fans will acknowledge that the departure did not come as a shock. One, given how he left Colchester, and two, that he left after a season he knew he wouldn’t be able to surpass.

However, that hero status for me has come crashing down with the most recent development.

My opinion had already been dampened by the fact that he left for Aston Villa. Aston Villa! Not a Liverpool, Everton or Spurs, but the lifetime of mid-table mediocrity that is Birmingham’s top club, well most seasons anyway.

But after beginning to come to terms with that, news of the wrangle with the club kissed goodbye to the hero status.

Perhaps he is just trying to minimise his losses in an I’ll sue you, you sue me game, but unfortunately that still makes him a pantomime villain on Saturday, even if it doesn’t take away from his amazing accomplishments for the club.

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19 comments

  • Who holds Noddys, Doc? ;-) C`mon feel the noize......

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

  • Paul Lambert was an employee of Norwich City Football Club. An extremely fine and effective one, yes, but - like all other employees, just that - and employee. Because he was so successful, we NCFC fans imposed on him a requirement of loyalty that we would not impose on players - let alone ourselves. Times have changed, folks, and loyalty - both ways - only exists whilst things are going well. When the road gets a little rocky, or a better offer comes along, there is a parting of the ways. This applies to football, and all the companies that we work for. So - I thank Paul Lambert for everything he did for (himself) NCFC: his contribution to the success of our club was bigger than immense. Now he's gone, and there's a new guy at the helm, who also seems to be doing a pretty good job.I can't be at Villa on Saturday, but if I was, I would applaud Lambert for everything he did for us. Then I would cheer CH for all he is going to do. The King is dead, etc. OTBC

    Report this comment

    Bucks Canary

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Lambert was a superb manager for us. Not only wouldn't we be in the premiere league, we would be probably in administration. If he had stayed one more season and kept us up in the top half or mid-table he would have proved himself as a top flight manager. He left a season to early for us and for him. Now he isn't dealing with players who deperately want to prove themselves. He is dealing with some big names on big money and I think he is having trouble learning to manage and motivate them. This is exactly the same situation Rodgers, Hughes et al have had. I wish him every success in the future except when we step foot on the park against him.

    Report this comment

    Matt Kuala Lumpur

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • I say, twice as good!

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    DocOhNo

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Yes Paul Lambert has done a lot for Norwich, although he has done more for him self, he will walk out on any club if it benefits him. he also said and i quote " I love Norwich and the fans, they are the reason we strive to play a decent game" but all of a sudden he just walks out. Paul Lambert could of achieved much more as the manager of Norwich but we will probably never know the true reasons of why he left the club with no notice.

    Report this comment

    Obi-wan

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

  • I can absolutely confirm that I won't be joining the rousing chorus of "for he's a jolly good fellow" at Villa Park on Saturday.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • I will always be grateful to PL. To be anything else would demonstrate a lack of humanity. My weekends are shped by my teams football results. He has made life a pleasure for me most weeks. Remember where we would likely still be without him. Life goes on. Be grateful and give him respect, he's bloody well earned it guys.

    Report this comment

    SouthCoastFan

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Nobody can deny that he oversaw some great success for our club, but there were times when even he was surprised at some of our 'mad' results - to quote him. But the words of a Colchester fan still haunt me, "He is loyal to nobody but himself and when a better offer comes along, he will dump you as quickly as he has dumped us."

    Report this comment

    Mel Lacey

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Can we really moan about Paul Lambert? He took us from the bottom of League one to the Premier which possibly saved us from insolvency? We are in a far better position thanks to him and after the way we took him from Colchester we can't get upset about the way he left us. Let's thank him for the past but now is the time to move forward with CH. (although i have to admit i will smile if Villa get relegated!)

    Report this comment

    Chilly62

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Paul Lambert was undoubtedly a hero, managing the biggest turnaround in fortunes in City's history. I will not forget those three seasons. It was a great pity that he didn't stay long-term, guide City back into Europe, and become a super-hero along the way. He may have achieved it, but he wanted too much, too fast - all or nothing - which was too risky for City, but was the risk Villa (and Lambert) were prepared to take. Now, I'll settle for gradual improvement, long term stability and success in the Premier League: A task that Chris Hughton is showing signs of being capable of delivering, and would be equally heroic.

    Report this comment

    Robin Hood

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Hero and legend - Thanks for the memories. Should be interesting Saturday - we ill be up for it will Villa?

    Report this comment

    JMH

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • He did very well for us in football terms. What I found despicable was his constant denials of anything in the offing job-wise for him. I also think he panickedtook the huff when his name wasn't even mentioned for Liverpool so he jumped prematurely when Villa discovered that Solskjaer decided that he didn't want his kids to sound like Noddy Holder.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Paul Lambert = History. We give 1p5wich supporters grief for living in the past and we can't even let a manager go who only achieved a couple of promotions. The history books will show he took an under achieving team to arguably where they should be and nothing more

    Report this comment

    ads76

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Does anyone really care any longer about £ambert? Whilst some may find themselves hung-up on him I prefer to focus on our own manager Chris Hughton - a man with more decorum in his little finger than £ambert has shown in his managerial career.

    Report this comment

    Mellow_Yellow

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Pete Raven`s are words of wisdom. Get behind Hughton, not on to Lambert. Don`t feed the monster. Think positive!! OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

  • i am will you mellow yellow.why are we still discussing paul lambert.move on and give the present regime our full support.we dont need lambert distractions.otbc.

    Report this comment

    bluelight

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • Personally, I think PL was very canny taking on Villa. They are at such a low ebb that the only way is up therefore any slight improvement he manages will be looked on as a positive. Going to the likes of Liverpool or Spurs where the expectations are so high would have been more risky and he could well have ended up with egg on his face. Always knew he would be on his way fairly soon so let's put it behind us once and for all and back Chris Hughton who I reckon could be a keeper (no, not a goalie.)

    Report this comment

    Flying Canary

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

  • My gosh, I`m flattered! Paddy plagiarised my "heroic villain". Thanks.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Thursday, October 25, 2012

  • He did very well for us in football terms. What I found despicable was his constant denials of anything in the offing job-wise for him. I also think he panickedtook the huff when his name wasn't even mentioned for Liverpool so he jumped prematurely when Villa discovered that Solskjaer decided that he didn't want his kids to sound like Noddy Holder.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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