Manager Watch: Is Lambert really under threat from Keane?

Roy Keane Signing Autographs as Man Utd player

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert's position could reportedly be under threat from new assistant manager Roy Keane.

According to various reports, Lambert may have to fear for his future after the former Manchester United captain was appointed his assistant, with some bookmakers making Keane 13/5 to become Villa's next boss.

Lambert's side endured a disappointing campaign last season, when the Villans finished below the 40-point mark and won just 10 games in the Premier League, despite avoiding relegation.

Keane's arrival has thus prompted speculation that a Jose Mourinho/Avram Grant type situation could develop at Villa Park, where the current manager is monitored by a new colleague before that colleague takes their job later in the season.

Publicly, 44-year-old Lambert says he isn't worried: ''Roy has a great knowledge of football, on the coaching side as well, and he'll be a great asset and a big help to everybody here at Aston Villa Football Club."

'I'm really looking forward to working with him and I'm delighted that he's here."

Keane himself, meanwhile, insists his 'scary image' isn't an accurate reflection of his coaching style:

“Whatever people think about my attitude to working with players, about it being confrontational and all that stuff – I actually don’t think it is true. I hope they will enjoy working with me.”

And though the two are just getting the PR formalities out of the way, Aston Villa surely would be better off sticking with their current setup.

After all, footballing history is littered with examples of no.2s that couldn't quite cut it in the top job. That Mourinho/Grant example speaks for itself.

In truth, Lambert's image seems to be that of a nice guy, not necessarily someone who can inject a struggling group with a sense of urgency. That is where Keane will come in.

But the former Sunderland and Ipswich boss' experience as a manager does not suggest he is the man to take Villa forward by himself. Meanwhile, the Irishman has done just fine working alongside Martin O'Neill for the Republic of Ireland without replacing him.

The infamous incident that saw Aston Villa sack previous assistant boss Ian Culverhouse is probably the real catalyst for hiring Keane to help Lambert. Mystery still surrounds the affair, though the club's internal investigation suggests it was a serious one, with 42-year-old Keane unlikely to follow suit with any kind of training ground bustup.

With Lambert's approach to developing youth and Keane's disciplined ways, the pair could make for a good team. But a move to replace the former with the Irishman would simply be counterproductive.

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