Thoughts and issues regarding the past and present of a great football club by "The Chronicler".

Saturday, 9 June 2012

PL to equal Profit or Loss?

Yes, I feel seduced enough by the character of Lambert that I'd like to see him given a fair head of steam just to get on with the job without any more fretting of the kind that's been a-bothering us for the last two years.

But he is, in any case, the fans choice by-and-large. He is the one that I and many others referred to as a better manager halfway through last season when a good many were chafing at the performances under McLeish's cosh. And what did the board eventually do? They obliged. The fans by then knew full well that there was no chance of an AVB or better arriving. Reality had set in.

Now I'm not of course going to suggest that they've made the wrong decision, but it's a decision that's clearly not going to put the board under stress. The fans have said "yes", so there should be no complaints, right? The board have not stuck their necks out in any shape or form. No risks today, thank you.

But I have this (almost sad) underlying feeling that the board have got to this point through deliberate tactics over the last 2 years. Money was then suddenly a problem, so they clearly looked for a manager that could guide them through the interregnum; if the process involved a stumble or two then it was worth it in their view. But perhaps they hadn't reckoned on the serious possibility of relegation and also season ticket sales being hit so hard. It was nearly a bridge too far.

Now that everyone is breathing a sigh of relief that perhaps there's a good manager installed, let's examine the reality of what his task is going to be. Trillions of cash is not on the agenda - obvious. But he will be given just enough to fill in with 2 or 3 players in the slots where there's the most need. The newcomers will not be individualists nor trailblazers but they'll fit into the Lambert philosophy of play.

But to my mind the board have the view that far more use should be made of the players coming through the academy and the reserves, rather than buying talent. The business side says: "we have invested in youth development so let's make it pay". Well, if that is the board's real view, then it will be very interesting as to whether PL has the talent of SAF to mould youngsters to hit the headlines over the next couple of years.

In players who have already gained a lot of experience and performed well in their natural roles (like Clark and Herd) then there's a real opportunity i.m.o. If he can get players like Albrighton and Bannan to strut their stuff, then there's something great to look forward to. So long, that is, that we don't simply end up as a perpetual nursery feeder to the likes of Man C, Man U etc. If that is the board's real objective then again I'll feel let down.

But what to do about Gabby, I wonder.


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Phew! ... I Feel Such a Sense of Relief.

In a nutshell ... a warm welcome to Paul Lambert!! His appointment comes as a huge relief after two seasons of (I don't like to say it) messing around.and putting supporters' hearts into their mouths. This appointment straight away feels that there is every chance of the all-too recent experience being expunged from our memory. We live to fight another day.

I don't expect miracles to occur ... that the club will sign the likes of Wayne Rooney or soon be challenging for a top-four position. Neither is a realistic possibility. But what I do feel is that Lambert will produce a team that the fans will be happy to go and watch playing ... and competing.

I expect that some of the old guard will have to go, but equally that some of the existing squad will be revived by Lambert's techniques. Perhaps in particular one Barry Bannan, who shares a Scottish origin with Mr. Lambert, and also plays in the same area of the park that used to be occupied by the new manager.And I do really hope that Gabby comes alive and gets back to the level he attained a couple of years ago, and better, perhaps. I would not like him to be another failed Villa youth player.

Mr. Lambert has some challenges to face. Nothing great is likely to take place in his first year. It make take two years to get anywhere near what he, himself, would be happy with.

He comes as the fourth incumbant of the managerial hot seat in two years (plus two stand-ins), and the sixth appointment this Millennium - in just over ten years.

But I feel a sense of hope again. Thankfully.