Writer: Mike Field
Date:Tuesday June 5 2012
John Deehan, a man well known at both Carrow Road and Villa Park, has said Villa's ambitions to be challenging for Europe could have been key in Lambert's decision to move clubs.
Speaking to EveningNews24 Deehan said Lambert's achievements will mean he has left Carrow Road both in their history books but also in their hearts but the lure of knowing where Villa aspire to be in the league, and the delights of European football would have been a huge pull:
'The Norwich fans will have a huge amount of respect for him. There's not much more they could have done. Possibly the lure of what Aston Villa can bring is the reason why Paul is coming. The possibility of getting back into Europe and challenging in the top eight places on a regular basis. That's what Aston Villa should be doing and I'm sure that's the challenge which Paul has set himself.'
It won't only be the challenge Paul Lambert sets himself, Paul Faulkner last season also stated our aim - rightly - should be to complete for a European place which puts our torment under Alex McLeish into an even greater perspective.
Again that should be our ambition for next season, but it shouldn't be our expectation until Lambert has had time to build his squad and get them playing to his desire.
Deehan continues to add that Villa now have to move quick, target players that will get the fans excited but more importantly that can instantly improve on our first team so next season we look for a comfortable midtable finish to build on in the coming years:
'Villa now need to move forward as quickly as possible and buy a couple of quality players that will at least get them to mid table security very quickly and then challenge for one of the cups or a European place, as we have done in previous seasons.'
I love old boys still maintaining 'we' when they talk about the club!
Joyfully, even Deehan doesn't follow the Alan Shearer school of commentary, as he says Lambert's desire for attacking football will win over any doubters and will get Villa Park rocking again:
'He managed to build a side at Norwich that was entertaining at home and that is, more than anything, what the majority of Villa supporters want. Their grievance last year was that they were too cautious at Villa Park. Paul will take the leash off and we'll see teams being under pressure again and the home side winning high scoring encounters.'
Amen to that, where's RevPete when you need him!
Oh and Deehan also has some wise words for Randy, and they are words I think every fan agrees with:
'As a supporter myself it's been hard, Paul is a very good manager, and his record proves that, but as for taking this club forward, a lot will depend on what Mr Lerner decides to do. He needs to back him in the transfer market, there's no doubt about that because this squad needs improving.'
I don't follow the line we need to instantly spend £25-50m to improve on what we have, the squad motivated and playing like they care is top ten, but there does need to be a decent spend this summer to plug the gaps and to replace those that Houllier was right about. Using the transfer kitty that is available, and let's face it the £20/30m speculation isn't far off when you consider what Houllier spent and what McLeish spent, but using that on 2-3 players who can instantly come into the first team as marque signings and then looking for potential in lower leagues and using the Bosman system to it's fullest would be a good way to instantly improve our first XI, whilst also proving squad cover.
What we have to make sure we do this time as well is not block the path of the youngsters. Under an attacking manager they should all thrive and show they promise we have seen from them. Next season is a big year for our 22 odd year old youngsters, it's time to sink or swim but without the pressure that Eck's appointment and style heaped on them.
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Date:Tuesday June 5 2012
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