If Paul Lambert’s Blackburn Rovers exit this summer is purely a coincidence then we can ignore the bookies odds shifting David Moyes off top spot for the Celtic job. Given that it could be too much of a coincidence though, we should perhaps prepare ourselves for what is coming.
Lambert was a fans favourite during his eight years at Celtic as a player. He was certainly one of the best midfielders ever to play at the club in recent years so bookmark that thought for later.
On the management front he has rarely spent much time at any one club. His CV represents a man wishing to progress without sticking around for too long.
In 2005 his first role was at Livingston and of course came with zero managerial experience. Livi were not a big club but they were still playing in the top flight in Scotland.
That tenure was short lasting just nine months and if I am being honest, a job he should never have got. A few months on, he was installed at League Two side Wycombe Wanderers where he would have a decent innings in a spell lasting less than two years.
After a failure to progress in the playoffs with Wycombe, Lambert was off again in 2008. Later that same year, he took up the job at Colchester United in League One.
Whilst not achieving any success in yet another period of less than a year in charge, he did manage to beat his next employers. After defeating Norwich City 7-1 in the beginning of the 2009-2010 season, he was appointed as their manager.
At last, Lambert was looking like sticking around at a club rather than pursuing the fast track management career path. He managed back to back promotions from League one to the Championship and then onto the Premier League.
Having acheived that and surviving in the top flight in his first season, his stock was high. Then Aston Villa came knocking and probably for the first time in his managerial career he made a poor choice.
Lambert was doing a a fine job at Norwich but he decided to jump ship once more. Perhaps he thought he wouldn’t survive a second season with Norwich and had a better chance with Villa?
No matter, he was lured with relative ease. Villa were a bigger club, no doubts there, but they had their faults.
For many this was a poison chalice. Ownership had changed hands in recent years and fans were still concerned about the club’s progress.
In his third season at Villa and with no real progress, he and the club parted ways. In many respects this was an accident waiting to happen.
Up until Norwich City, Lambert had been progressing through the leagues without any real success. Every job had been a stepping stone to the next.
That career arc is not uncommon but when you strike something good as he did with Norwich City he should have held on to it. Aston Villa was never a good move.
Having exited the West Midlands club in early 2015, he was out of the game for several months. Then Blackburn Rovers came calling later that year and Lambert answered the call.
Personally, I felt this might be a good move to get his managerial career back online again. However, having just activated a release clause in his contract after less than a year in charge, Lambert is on the move once more.
With Celtic in the hunt for a new manager, Lambert being a former player and a fans favourite it is hard to ignore the obvious. Is this purely a coincidence though or are we looking at Celtic’s next managerial appointment?
A few years ago I had no problem with Lambert’s credentials but when he moved to Villa I had my doubts. That transpired to be a major error and I would be concerned about his loyalty and application at Celtic given his managerial CV particularly when playing down managing in Scotland in the past.
So if the club are serious about him, is it based upon his playing career and affcetion with the fans more than his managerial one? I’d have a player like Lambert in my team any day of the week but as a manager, I’m not so certain but I would not put it past the club to pull this kind if stunt again.
As of now, my preferred candidates are David Moyes, Michael O’Neill and Brendan Rodgers. In no particular order it has to be said.
These are guys of the stature the club need to be aiming for. Whether we are ambitious enough to procure any of their services we will soon find out.