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Villa's glory years will drive me on to succeed (Lambert)


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Winspirational: Aston Villa's glory years will drive me on to succeed, says Paul Lambert

LAMBERT is well aware of Villa’s history and the legends they’ve created along the way. And as he prepares for his first season in charge, he insists those ghosts inspire rather than haunt him.

IT'S been 30 years since Aston Villa’s greatest achievement – but Paul Lambert insists the spirits of 1982 won’t scare him.

The Scot is well aware of Villa’s history and the legends they’ve created along the way.

And as he prepares for his first season in charge, he insists those ghosts inspire rather than haunt him.

Lambert watched on TV back in May 1982 when Villa clinched the European Cup, Peter Withe’s goal

giving them a 1-0 victory over a star-studded Bayern Munich team.

That triumph at Feyenoord’s De Kuip Stadium still resonates – and Lambert is surrounded by its history at Villa Park.

But he isn’t intimidated by the achievement by Tony Barton and his players.

In fact, Lambo has returned to De Kuip twice in recent weeks to snap up Ron Vlaar and Karim el Ahmadi for £6million from the Rotterdam side.

He hopes his new signings can help bring back the glory days to a club that has been in the doldrums for the past two years under his predecessors Alex McLeish and Gerard Houllier.

His other summer captures include Brett Holman from AZ Alkmaar and Matt Lowton from Sheffield United, both for modest fees.

They’re not household names – but that’s the way Lambert likes it.

He told MailSport: “Aston Villa are a big club with a massive support.

“They expect to be successful and to be winning – and they are quite right to think like that. It’s up to me to make that a reality and I will give it my best.

“But I have always said the game is about the players – and I’ll never change my opinion. Ultimately, they win or lose games. It’s as simple as that.

“I take great care about the kind of player I sign. They have to have the right characteristics, be confident and must be able to fit in.

“I have inherited some good players and have added quality. The names of my new signings might not roll of the tongue but I believe in them.

“They know what we are trying to do here and think they’ll be able to help.

“I am aware of the standards of Aston Villa and I’m aware of the history.

“The memory of winning the Cup in 1982 is something we should embrace and respect. Players such as Withe, Allan Evans, Dennis Mortimer, Gordon Cowans and Gary Shaw are legends.

“I’m not scared of memories. It gives us something to aim for, although we must be realistic.

“I watched that final on TV and it was an incredible result. Bayern had Paul Breitner, Klaus Augenthaler and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

“ Villa lost Jimmy Rimmer early on and had to put a young Nigel Spink in goals. It was a brilliant feat. Phenomenal.

“We still have the 1982 Lounge at the stadium – and rightly so.”

Lambert won the Champions League in 1997 with Borussia Dortmund and captained Celtic, who lifted the trophy 30 years earlier. He fully understands what is required.

Villa were close to relegation last season under McLeish and Lambert will not make foolish predictions about what he’ll achieve this campaign. He will also not set the players a target of a top-10 finish.

What he has done, though, is tell the players exactly what is expected of them on and off the park.

He wants good professionalism and 100 per cent commitment. They know the consequences if they don’t.

That’s all Lambert asked of his players at Norwich and in three years they turned the club around from being League One strugglers to a respected Premier League team. Lambert wants Villa to be looked on in the same manner – the way they were under his mentor Martin O’Neill for four years from 2006.

Lambert said: “This club had a fantastic period under O’Neill. They were consistently in the top six and qualified for Europe.

“Unfortunately, the past two years have been a barren spell. I’m here to try and change that. I did it at Norwich.”

Villa owner Randy Lerner allowed O’Neill to spend on Ashley Young, James Milner and Stewart Downing.

They were excellent signings and went on to make the club a profit of more than £20m on a £30m outlay.

Lambert won’t be given such piles of cash but doesn’t mind that because he loves a challenge.

He said: “This is a great club to work for and a big opportunity for me.

“In terms of finance, I know exactly what the club can do. Listen, it’s not all about cash. That’s never my outlook.”

Of course, the more you have to spend on players the greater the chance of winning the title – and that’s why Lambert sees Man City, Man United and Chelsea scrapping it out.

He said: “They will all be there at the end, no doubt. Liverpool and Arsenal should also never be dismissed.

“What I do know is it will be an exciting season and I’m pleased to be a part of it all. Last season was my first in the Premier League. This one can’t come quickly enough.”

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'Slowly, slowly catchee monkey.'

I like this though:

What he has done, though, is tell the players exactly what is expected of them on and off the park.

He wants good professionalism and 100 per cent commitment. They know the consequences if they don’t.

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The difference between MON and Lambert though is that if the players mess up, on or off the pitch, they will be dropped/disciplined/sold accordingly. MON was quite fond of a set starting 11, subs, and sub change timings if I remember correctly.

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What's that quote? "Don't tell me, show me"

Why would that quote be appropriate? He's obviously been asked some questions about what he aims to achieve at Villa, and he's answered them.

Should he just have said "no comment"?

He can say whatever he likes, new managers and players all say the same things when they first join a club anyway. We all know the only thing that matters is the preformances on the pitch.

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I like what he says and I think he is an honest man.He has already said who the top 3 teams will be ( we all know that ) but I think he will give it his best shot to get us some silverware and into the europa cup, given time.

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  • VT Supporter
Wow, only 5 posts before MON's name cropped up in this thread, which in theory is about Lambert!

"This is a fantastic challenge. I am willing and ready to go.

"I am well aware of the history of this football club. Trying to restore it to its days of former glory seems a long way away - but why not try?

"It is nearly 25 years since they won the European Cup but that is the dream."

"There are some funds available to strengthen the squad and I am going to use them".

"I am aware of the standards of Aston Villa and I’m aware of the history.

"The memory of winning the Cup in 1982 is something we should embrace and respect. Players such as Withe, Allan Evans, Dennis Mortimer, Gordon Cowans and Gary Shaw are legends.

"I’m not scared of memories. It gives us something to aim for, although we must be realistic".

Just saying, like.

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