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Aston Villa arguably has had the most difficult set of fixtures during the opening stages of the Premier League as the squad of Paul Lambert has already faced off against Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City within these past 2 months between September and October.
Even with all of these tough matches and opponents that Aston Villa has played with, they have still managed to hold their ground and main themselves in the center of the Premier League standings and are fairly safe away from the bottom relegation zone.
This achievement is even more impressive for Aston Villa if you take into consideration the passive transfer window that they enjoyed in summer as the club stayed within a budget of around €7 million after having signed: Joe Cole, Phillipe Senderos, Keiran Richardson, Tom Cleverley, Aly Cissokho and Carlos Sanchez.
Those aren’t bad players at all but do not bring a sense of excitement or thrill to the fans of the club. The transfer window will re-open in January and there are a few coaches that already are talking with the respective chairman’s of the club and have begun to establish a budget for their winter targets.
Lambert said, “I’ve spoken to the Villa chief executive Tom Fox about January. It all depends on personnel and injuries and ultimately the decision will come from the chairman and what he wants to do. But he’s never once said to me ‘you can’t do x, y or z’. You put it to him and if he thinks it’s fine, he will do it. He’s never once had any rejections. If he thinks it’s right and it’s right for the football club he will do it, if not, he will tell me so. That’s what you want someone who is being honest.”
One of the potential winter signings of Paul Lambert is Cagliari’s Albin Ekdal. The Swedish player from Caglari has made an impressive start of the season after scoring a hat-trick a few weeks ago when playing against Inter Milan and Paul Lambert has started to take an interest in the 25 year old midfielder.
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Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert says that despite putting the club up for sale, owner Randy Lerner is still very much in love with Aston Villa. The American businessmen arrived at the club in 2006. At the start of his regime, he was willing to put in a lot of money and this was demonstrated by the signings of players like Darren Bent and James Milner for large sums of money. They were also able to retain star names like Gareth Barry despite interest from the likes of Liverpool. The huge investments made under Martin O’Neill’s managerial leadership, though, did not pay dividends as they were unable to qualify for the Champions League.
Qualifying for the European Champions League will have helped Villa to build on the success due to the substantial revenues provided by this competition, but the failure to do so saw the club enter into a period of recession. Lerner substantially reduced the investments over the last few years to the point where Villa no longer sign top names. They have been keen on producing talent from the youth academy and this has had an effect on the team’s performance on the pitch. Lerner recently put up Villa for sale, but he has been unable to find a buyer. Lambert, though, has reiterated that the American still likes Villa a lot.
“He always has loved the football club. The situation is that the club is for sale and that is the same, but he has been great since the players came back for pre-season. He has always been great with me and, since we came back, the feelgood factor has been due a lot to him. The football club, for all that doom and gloom that was out there before a ball was kicked, is in a really good place at the moment,” said Lambert.
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Manchester United legend Roy Keane is closing on a return to the Premier League with Paul Lambert keen to bring the fiery Irishman as his assistant manager at Aston Villa.
According to reports, Keane is close to making his decision about the move and he is eager for the appointment to happen as soon as possible as well. The former Ireland skipper has had previous stints as manager with Sunderland and Ipswich Town and he is currently working under Martin O’Neill as the assistant boss with the Republic of Ireland national team.
Keane is expected to continue in that role and is expected to be announced as Scottish manager’s number two before the players return for pre-season training on the 7th of July.
The fiery Irishman was scheduled to travel to Brazil as part of an expert panel for ITV Sport but pulled out from the panel on short notice as reports emerged about his impending return to club football. Keane was, at one point, the bookmakers’ favorite to land the managerial job at his beloved Celtic after the departure of Neil Lennon but he pulled out of the race in favor of a return to the Premier League with Aston Villa.
The Villa Park club sacked their previous assistant managers towards the end of last season citing problems with their behavior and placed goalkeeper Shay Given and club legend Gordon Cowans in temporary charge.
It is being believed that the choice of Roy Keane was entirely the decision of Villa manager Paul Lambert who believes the Irishman will help in adding stability to the backroom.
Aston Villa is currently in the process of trying to sell the club and he believes the appointment of Keane will add more value as he tries to make maximum profit from the sale of the club.
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Paul Lambert’s season has been under scrutiny pressure and criticism from the fans of the club which want him out of Aston Villa. During the majority of the campaign, the team of Lambert was trying to get out of the relegation spots and just barely was able of escaping it.
The future of the Scottish coach remains unclear as he has already released statements of his desire of being in charge of the Premier League club for the upcoming seasons but everything will be decided on whether or not Randy Lerner wants to sell Aston Villa during the summer.
When Lambert was asked about the owner, Lambert told Sky Sports: “What he’s going to say in the next six or seven days I really don’t know. This club has got to be stronger. It’s too big a club.”
“I would love to be. It’s a brilliant club with a fabulous fan base. Any club that wins a European Cup creates history and tradition and this club has got it in abundance. This team has got to live up to it and at the minute we haven’t done it. My job is to protect this club and I’ve done that. Getting this club safe and still in the Premier League is the greatest thing I’ve done. I had some good times at Norwich but keeping this club up is the best achievement’’.
Lambert has no intentions of leaving Aston Villa anytime soon but his position in the club will be decided if the billionaire of the Premier League club will sell it as the American entrepreneur announced the possibility of it becoming a reality a few days ago and his final decision is expected to be made in a few weeks.