As reported by The Telegraph, former Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has spoken out regarding his somewhat disastrous tenure at Villa Park and subsequent exit from the club.
Lambert was expected to do big things at the Midlands club following three extremely successful years at Carrow Road with Norwich City, but the jump up to a club like Villa wound up being a step too far.
By the time he left in 2015 after nearly three years with Villa, they had gone from being Premier League regulars to being on the verge of relegation to the Championship for the first time ever.
Of course, it was not all Lambert’s fault, but as you would expect from disgruntled fans, the finger of blame was pointed towards the Scot as the Villans slipped closer towards the trap door.
Now, another three years on from his departure, the Champions League winner has given his thoughts on his feelings about being given the sack.
“I look back at some of the photos of me from my time there and I don’t recognise myself," he said.
"I don’t look healthy and had put on a lot of weight. The actual pressure of it was incredible, so, in the end, it was a big relief [to leave]. I met Walter Smith at a League Managers’ Association thing shortly after I left, he asked me how I felt getting the sack. Absolutely delighted.
“I loved Villa, but in hindsight did I over-protect them? Yeah, I probably did. I offered to resign [in the summer of 2014] but they talked me out of it. The club was up for sale and the money was going. Maybe if I’d left then and not got sacked my reputation could have been better.”
Things did not exactly improve as time went on, either, with Lambert also experiencing tough times as the manager of Blackburn Rovers and Wolverhampton Wanderers. He did not necessarily have much of a chance in terms of the amount of time he was given with either club but, after a while, you have to question where the excuses begin and end.
In the present day, however, he seems to have finally gotten himself a project he can sink his teeth into at Stoke City. While the club is still facing the threat of relegation to the Championship, Lambert has been able to somewhat steady the ship ahead of what is bound to be a stressful few months.
Lambert has always been seen as a manager who is misunderstood, but now that he is able to get his head down and push towards something at the Britannia Stadium, we will see whether or not that is really the case.