Lambert and Norwich: it was always going to end like this

Former Norwich City manager Paul Lambert

Paul Lambert: he's not the messiah, he's a very ambitious boy

The writing had been on the wall for a number of weeks, but the biggest give away that Paul Lambert was interested in the the Aston Villa job came in the build-up to the game between the two sides at Carrow Road on the last day of the season.

Alex McLeish was under huge pressure after a desperately disappointing season for Villa, almost everyone expected him to leave the club once the season was over, and Lambert had been installed as early favourite.

Lambert could have killed speculation linking him to the Midlands club stone dead when asked about the matter, but instead complained that such talk was disrespectful to McLeish.

A lot of supporters (myself included) put two and two together and decided he would be off in the summer, and when pressed before Adam Drury’s testimonial a couple of weeks ago told BBC Radio Norfolk:

“I never said I’m leaving. I’ve said I never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I absolutely love it here. I’ve loved my time here,”

“Because I don’t say much, people want to go on message boards, fuel things and make up absolute nonsense.”

The slight catch there being that he never said he would stay, either.

Lambert is fiercely ambitious, and it is that ambition and drive that helped take the club from the foot of League One to mid-table respectability in three incredible seasons.

He will know, as supporters should know, that it is not going to get much better for the Canaries than this. As much as people would like to talk about pushing on realistically survival has to be the aim for next season. Lambert’s stock is unlikely to get any higher than it currently is while he remains in Norfolk.

I said before that I feel Paul Lambert is too good for Villa, but that’s by the by now (although I still believe he is). For Lambert standing still is just as bad as going backwards, and once Brendan Rodgers was handed the Liverpool gig Randy Lerner’s lot was his only option – let’s be honest, he was never going to join West Brom at this stage of his career.

So although it was far from inevitable that Lambert would leave Carrow Road this summer we probably shouldn’t be hugely surprised – it is the manner of his exit that is so disappointing.

However, considering how he walked out on Colchester to join us, it was always going to end like this. I just hope that supporters can focus on the unbelievable success he brought to the club – and that the board bring in the right man to replace him. But more on that another time.

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About the Author: A Norwich City fan who still loves Grant Holt, just. When I visit Fortress Carrow Road I can usually be found in the Jarrold Stand with a cornish pasty in one hand and a kit-kat in the other.

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