History suggests Paul Lambert will move on, again!
COLCHESTER United fans were left with a bitter taste in the mouth, when manager Paul Lambert deserted the U’s for Norwich City nearly three years ago. Now the boot is on the other foot with Lambert perhaps set for another move, this time away from Carrow Road.
HE’S done it before, and he will do it again.
Norwich City can fight tooth and nail to try and keep Paul Lambert on the Carrow Road hot seat, but history suggests that the Scotsman will be on his way.
Lambert is a fiercely ambitious manager who, in my eyes, is a future manager of his beloved Celtic, and even Scotland.
The 42-year-old showed flashes of his potential as a top-class manager, while he was cutting his teeth at the likes of Wycombe Wanderers and Colchester United.
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The Chairboys, and the U’s, were mere stepping stones in Lambert’s rise up the managerial ladder, and he is not going to stop half-way up, at Norwich.
Lambert is the first manager to have achieved back-to-back promotions into the Premier League, and then stay there beyond a first season.
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He has certainly boosted his CV, and now is the perfect time for him to move on to pastures new, whether that be at Aston Villa, Liverpool or elsewhere.
At Wycombe, he guided the League Two club to a League Cup semi-final and also the play-offs, before resigning in May, 2008.
Appointed by Colchester, as a successor to Geraint Williams in October, 2008, he guided the U’s away from the relegation zone and into mid-table in his one and only season.
Having completely revamped the U’s squad, and then masterminded a memorable 7-1 victory at Norwich on the opening day of the 2009-10 campaign, Lambert left the Essex club in controversial fashion, to become the new Canaries boss.
Norwich City’s chief executive, David McNally, was instrumental in prising Lambert away from Colchester, but the boot would appear to be on the other foot now, with McNally trying to fend off interested parties.
U’s fans could afford a wry smile, on hearing McNally insist: “We would not welcome any enquiry for our football manager.”
But he did concede: “If I was at another football club, and I was looking for another manager, he’d be top of my list.”
That has already been proved.
Lambert has worked wonders at Norwich, guiding them to promotion from League One and the Championship into the Premier League, where they have just finished a respectable 12th.
That represents a dramatic rise of 54 places in the three years since Lambert ditched Essex for Norfolk.
When Lambert left the U’s, on August 19, 2009, I wrote in the following day’s East Anglian Daily Times that ‘Lambert’s sudden exit leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.’
I went on to say: ‘The Scotsman has been tempted away by the prize of managing a bigger club, just as George Burley was when he switched allegiance to Ipswich Town, and just as Phil Parkinson was when he opted for Hull City.’
Now the time may well have come for Lambert’s next move to a “bigger club.”
The man himself, as coy as ever, said: “What’s going to happen is going to happen, and I won’t change my ways.”
U’s fans won’t shed a tear, if Lambert heads for the exit again.