Paul Lambert

Submitted by on Sep 6, 2015

Aston Villa sack Paul Lambert as manager after 10-match winless run

Paul Lambert has been sacked after Aston Villa slipped into the relegation zone for the first time this season on Tuesday. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA

Paul Lambert has been sacked by Aston Villa after a disastrous run of results that has seen the club slip into the relegation zone. Lambert, who was appointed in June 2012 as a replacement for Alex McLeish, had given no indication that he would consider walking away from his post after Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at Hull made it 10 Premier League matches running without a win.

However, a club statement on Wednesday evening confirmed that the former Scotland international has left the club, with the first-team coach, Scott Marshall, and goalkeeping coach, Andy Marshall, placed in temporary charge.

“Aston Villa Football Club has parted company this evening with manager Paul Lambert ,” it read. “First-team coach Scott Marshall and goalkeeping coach Andy Marshall will continue to prepare the squad for Sunday’s FA Cup tie with Leicester City at Villa Park.

“The club would also like to place on record its thanks to Paul and take this opportunity to wish him every success in the future. The club will announce a new manager in due course. There will be no further comment from the club at this stage.”

The defeat at the KC Stadium – a fifth in a row in the league – meant Villa sank into the bottom three for the first time this season, having briefly topped the table in August after winning three of their opening four matches. Lambert signed a new four-year deal on 17 September but since then their record has been worse than dismal with only two victories from 21 matches.

That included a run of 659 minutes without a goal until Jores Okore scored in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat against Chelsea – the fourth longest in Premier League history. In fact, only one team in top-flight history (Leicester with 11 in 1977-78) have scored fewer goals after 25 games than the 12 Villa have managed this term.

Some supporters made no secret of their desire for change after the Hull match, with a “Lambert Out” banner unfurled by one section of the crowd at the KC Stadium after Hull scored their second goal. The Birmingham Mail also published a “Lambert must go” editorial in Wednesday’s paper which called for the Scotsman’s head. “This great club is now on its knees and the Holte End is hurting,” it read. “We can no longer stand by and watch that happen. Today the Birmingham Mail makes one simple, stark request to the Aston Villa board: sack the manager.”

Yet his departure still comes as a surprise given the support Lambert, who won the Champions League as a player with Borussia Dortmund in 1997, had from owner Randy Lerner. The American indicated at the end of last season that he wanted to sell the club but had never entertained any discussions on Lambert’s future in the manager’s first two seasons at the club, no matter how bleak the results.

Tom Fox, the chief executive, said only a fortnight ago that the Scot was not to blame for Villa’s disastrous run of results since recording back-to-back victories over Leicester and Crystal Palace at the start of December.

However, the 5-0 thrashing at the Emirates on 1 February followed by the dismal performance against Hull did nothing to dissuade the owners that the club was in serious danger of being relegated for the first time since 1987, especially given that could mean missing out on a slice of the new £5bn TV rights deal announced on Tuesday.

Having extended his deal to 2018, Lambert, who left Norwich at the end of the 2011/12 season to move to the Midlands, will now be due some compensation, believed to be in the region of £2m.

Former Arsenal defender Scott Marshall – who worked with Lambert at both Wycombe Wanderers and Norwich – has been asked to prepare the team for Sunday’s FA Cup fifth round tie against Leicester along with his namesake Andy but it remains to be seen whether either will be considered for the role on a permanent basis.

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Paul LambertPaul Lambert
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