While at Norwich City I absolutely was full of praise for what Paul Lambert did for the club. He took the hot seat at the Canaries after managing his Colchester side to a 7-1 win against them while both clubs were in League One.
Back-to-back promotions led Lambert and City to the Premier League, a buzz in the City and instant legend status for Lambert. Then in 2012 he tended his resignation and eventually moved over to Aston Villa, who he said was a bigger challenge.
Nineteen months on and Paul Lambert and Aston Villa are, at times, a bore to watch. They are struggling for the second time at the wrong end of the Premier League, and I think the frustrations are showing for the 44-year-old man from Glasgow.
Talk from Lambert in a pre-match press conference recently has suggested that the FA Cup is an unwanted distraction with him saying most managers would do without the FA Cup ‘if they were being honest’.
Well I think there were a bunch of dishonest managers out there, and Roberto Martinez, Jose Mourinho and Tim Sherwood have all stated their appreciation of the cup.
Personally I am not sure how it is a distraction, though. I understand it is an extra game in the schedule, but everyone in the Premier League has to play that extra game. They all have their own storylines in the Premiership whether it is fighting relegation or going for Europe or the title.
Last season he played his reserves and got to the fourth round before getting knocked out. There is no reason he cannot do that again, and if he was a glass half full guy then he may look at it as a no risk, competitive trial game for some fringe players.
I do not get the impression that Lambert is a glass half full guy, though, and seems to be reflecting in Villa’s play over these past two seasons. If I was Randy Lerner, the Villa owner, I would question the suitability of the guy to take my club further. After all, with more success comes more distractions.
Jason is a soccer writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @PACityboy and Facebook.