Lambert’s still got it! Town’s Champions League winning boss impressing in training
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Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert has been impressing the players with his skills on the training pitch. STUART WATSON looks back on his playing career.
Paul Lambert, a midfield general, won the Champions League at Borussia Dortmund. He marked France star Zinedine Zidane out the game in a victory over Juventus at the 1997 final in Munich.
He earned 40 caps for Scotland, played at the 1998 World Cup and claimed eight winners’ medals in eight years at Celtic.
You forget just how good the now 49-year-old was.
“If he could he would probably like to still be playing,” joked Blues midfielder Skuse, who has admired Lambert’s ability during demonstrations at Playford Road.
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“He wasn’t a bad player in his time, was he? I won’t be putting my League One promotion winner’s medal on the table alongside his Champions League medal – I think there’s only one winner there!
“As a manager he has plenty of experience and success too.
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“He has been there, done it and he has four or five t-shirts. I had a chat with him the other day about his qualifications, his coaching badges, and he was saying he did his in Germany.
“So a lot of his stuff is built around the way that other people do it in other countries. It’s very good and the details are spot-on.”
When Lambert was informed that Skuse had been impressed by his skills, he quipped: “It wouldn’t be hard to do that with Skuse!
“No, I don’t do it much. I played for Dortmund Legends against Liverpool at the start of the season over in Dortmund, which was great, and I played in the Liam Miller tribute in Ireland. But I don’t normally play a lot of games.
“I only did that (practical demonstration) because they were there and plus I wanted to show Skuse that you’ve got to pass to your own team-mate! No, Skuse has been brilliant, it was only a bit of fun.”
With training ground banter between Lambert and players evidently already in full swing, he added: “I think I said when I came in you’ve got to have fun with your work. You’ve got to have that release, you can’t always be 24/7 where you’re serious, it’s not good for anybody, it’s not healthy, it’s not the way I work to do that.
“You’ve got to come and have fun but also when you train, you train properly. When you’re in the building then you can have a laugh with everybody, it’s not a problem, but when you do your work you make sure it’s full-on.”
LAMBERT’S PLAYING CAREER
1969: Born in Glasgow, he starts out playing football for Linwood Rangers Boys’ Club.
1987: At the age of 17, helps a St Mirren side made up entirely of Scots to a Cup Final win against heavy favourites Dundee United (that season’s UEFA Cup finalists). Makes 227 appearances for the Paisley club over eight years.
1993: Joins Motherwell for £250k.
1995: Makes his Scotland debut. Helps Motherwell to a finish of second (club record high) and run to the first round of the UEFA Cup where they are defeated by Borussia Dortmund.
1996: After his contract expires, he signs for Dortmund after a trial.
1997: Plays a key role as Dortmund win the Champions League, beating Manchester United in the semis and Juventus in the final. Overshadows Zinedine Zidane in the final.
1997: Leaves Dortmund a hero just a few months later to join Celtic for a £2m fee. In seven seasons he wins four league titles, four domestic cups and captained the side that lost to Jose Mourinho’s Porto in the 2003 UEFA Cup Final.
1998: Played all three of Scotland’s games at the 1998 World Cup.
2003: Last of his 40 caps (15 of which were as captain) comes against Germany (in Dortmund).
2009: Included in Scottish Football Hall of Fame.
Jun 2005: After studying for his coaching badges in Germany, becomes player-manager of Livingston. Resigns in the February, despite a plea by the chairman to stay, with the team six points adrift at the foot of the SPL table.
Jun 2006: Appointed manager of League Two side Wycombe Wanderers. Defeats Premier League sides Fulham and Charlton in the League Cup before losing to Chelsea in the semis. First time in more than 30 years a fourth-tier side had gone that far in the competition.
May 2008: Resigns following Wycombe’s defeat to Stockport in the League Two play-offs.
Oct 2008: Appointed manager of League One club Colchester United. Finish mid-table in first season.
Aug 2009: Controversially switches to newly-relegated Norwich days after masterminding an opening day 7-1 win at Carrow Road. The U’s eventually receive £425k in compensation.
2010: Norwich are champions of League One.
2011: Burnley refused permission to talk to Lambert. Norwich secure promotion to the Premier League with a second-place finish.
2012: Norwich finish 12th in the Premier League. Club refuse Lambert’s offer to resign, but he subsequently joins Aston Villa.
2013: Villa finish 15th and reach semis of League Cup with one of the youngest sides in Premier League history. Finish 15th the next season too.
Feb 2015: Sacked by Villa after a 2-0 loss at Hull left the club 18th in the table.
Nov 2015: Appointed manager of Blackburn (16th in the Championship). Oversees a 15th place finish before activating a release clause in his contract.
Nov 2016: Appointed head coach of Wolves (19th in the Championship). Beat Liverpool in fourth round of FA Cup. Finish 15th. Leaves after a ‘football review’, Subsequently replaced by Nuno Espirito Santo.
Jan 2018: Appointed manager of Stoke City (18th in Premier League). Unable to save them from relegation and leaves the club by ‘mutual agreement’.
Oct 2018: Appointed Ipswich Town manager (bottom of the Championship).