Paul Lambert

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Paul Lambert
Lambert 3.JPG
Paul Lambert at Tallaght Stadium, August 2013
Personal information
Full name Paul Lambert[1]
Date of birth (1969-08-07) 7 August 1969 (age 45)
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)[2]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Aston Villa (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1986–1993 St. Mirren 227 (14)
1993–1996 Motherwell 103 (6)
1996–1997 Borussia Dortmund 44 (1)
1997–2005 Celtic 193 (14)
2005–2006 Livingston 7 (0)
Total 574 (35)
National team
1990 Scottish League XI 1 (0)
1991–1992 Scotland U21[3] 5 (2)
1995–1996 Scotland B[4] 2 (0)
1995–2003 Scotland 40 (1)
Teams managed
2005–2006 Livingston
2006–2008 Wycombe Wanderers
2008–2009 Colchester United
2009–2012 Norwich City
2012– Aston Villa
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Paul Lambert (born 7 August 1969) is a Scottish professional football manager and former player who is the manager of Aston Villa.[5]

Lambert won numerous honours as a player, winning the Scottish Cup with St. Mirren as a 17-year-old, the UEFA Champions League with Borussia Dortmund, all the Scottish domestic honours with Celtic and 40 caps for Scotland.

He achieved success managing in England's lower divisions and guided Norwich City into English football's Premier League with successive promotions in 2009–10 and 2010–11.

Club career[edit]

St Mirren[edit]

Lambert was born in Glasgow, but moved to Linwood, Renfrewshire when he was a child.[6] He played for Linwood Rangers Boys' Club before entering the professional game with St. Mirren in 1985. With St Mirren the 17-year old Lambert won his first senior winner's medal courtesy of the 1987 Scottish Cup Final. Saints beat favourites and that season's UEFA Cup Finalists, Jim McLean's Dundee United, in what turned out to be the last time the Scottish Cup was won by a team composed entirely of Scottish players. Lambert played with St Mirren for eight years.


In September 1993, Lambert was signed by Tommy McLean for Motherwell for a fee of £250,000, in a transfer move, which saw Jimmy Gardner move to St. Mirren.[7] The club finished third placed at the end of the 1993–94 season in the Scottish Premier League.

With Alex McLeish replacing McLean for the 1994–95 season,[8] Lambert and Motherwell went one place better finishing league runners-up, the club's highest finish since 1933–34. The club also had qualified for a place in the 1994–95 UEFA Cup. After eliminating Faroese opponents, HB Tórshavn, Motherwell were drawn against Borussia Dortmund, managed by Ottmar Hitzfeld. Drawn away in the first leg, Motherwell lost to a solitary goal by Andreas Möller in the 58th minute.[9] In the second leg, Motherwell were still in the contest, until Karl-Heinz Riedle scored twice in ten minutes during the second half.[10]

Borussia Dortmund[edit]

In 1996, Lambert was signed by a manager and club he had played against for Motherwell in the UEFA Cup, Ottmar Hitzfeld of German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund. Hitzfeld immediately changed Lambert's role to deploy him as defensive midfielder.

In the 1997 UEFA Champions League Final against Juventus, he played in midfield to quell the influence of Juve's French playmaker Zinedine Zidane.[11][12][13][14] Lambert's cross also set up Karl-Heinz Riedle's opening goal. Dortmund won 3–1. Lambert's contribution has since been suggested as a man of the match performance.[15] He became the first Scottish player to win the European Cup with a non-UK team, and the first British player to win it since its reformation as the Champions League. Lambert had scored in the lead up to the final with a group stage goal, the first in a 2–2 draw at Widzew Łódź. Lambert's performance in the semi final elimination of Manchester United was praised in the autobiography of Roy Keane. Lambert scored one league goal for Dortmund, against Bayer Leverkusen.


In November 1997, after just over a year playing in the Bundesliga he was signed by Wim Jansen for Celtic for a fee in the region of £2 million. Lambert made his debut on 8 November 1997 when he came on as a substitute in a league match at Ibrox against Rangers. Three weeks later on 30 November 1997, Lambert picked up his first winner's medal as a Celtic player when he came on as a late substitute in Celtic's 3–0 win over Dundee Utd in the Scottish League Cup Final. Thereafter, Lambert became a regular in the starting line up and scored from 25 yards in a 2–0 win over Rangers at Parkhead in the New Year game.[16] Lambert went on to help the Scottish giants win the championship that season, their first in ten years and halted Rangers' run of nine consecutive titles which had previously equalled the nine in a row achieved by Celtic in the Jock Stein era.

During his seven seasons with Celtic, he won four Scottish Premier League titles, two Scottish Cups, two Scottish League Cups and was Scottish Football Writer's Player of the Year in 2002. Lambert captained the side that reached the 2003 UEFA Cup Final in Seville. Lambert's team were drawing 2–2 after 90 minutes but after having a man sent off in extra time, conceded a third and decisive goal to Jose Mourinho's F.C. Porto.

International career[edit]

Lambert represented Scotland at every age group level. Perhaps the best known of the contests was against the country who played a significant part in his career, Germany. The young Scots drew 1–1 in Bochum in 1992 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship quarter finals. In the return leg at Pittodrie, Germany were two up after 40 minutes before Duncan Ferguson set up Ray McKinnon to pull one back before half time. Germany scored a third on the hour mark to seemingly put the tie out of reach. However in 68 minutes Gerry Creaney headed past Stefan Klos before Lambert himself equalised 10 minutes later. Alex Rae scored two minutes from time to clinch the game 4–3.[17]

As a full Scotland international, Lambert won 40 caps, scoring one goal and in the latter part of his international career, captaining the side 15 times. His international debut was when at Motherwell and awarded by Craig Brown in the 1995 Kirin Cup against host country, Japan. Lambert played in a second game there three days later, against Ecuador.

It was when at Dortmund and in the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign when Lambert started to appear as a regular. After missing the open game of the campaign away against Austria, Lambert appeared as a 46th minute substitute in the 2–0 win in Latvia in October 1996. He was again a 46th minute substitute in the next qualifier, a 1–0 home win against Sweden. For his next cap he was promoted to the starting line up for a 2–0 home victory in the qualifier against Austria. Lambert's only defeat of the campaign was the 2–1 reversal in Gothenburg against Sweden before two wins against Belarus and a second 2–0 win against Latvia clinched qualification.

He played in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, turning in an impressive performance as the Scots lost 2–1 to Brazil at the Stade de France in the tournament's opening match and also in the 1–1 draw against Norway in Bordeaux.[citation needed]

Lambert was part of the Scotland side to win a challenge game away against Germany in April 1999 with the goal scored by Don Hutchison. Lambert and Scotland qualified for a play-off place in the 2000 UEFA European Football Championship qualifying campaign, but missed the playoffs against England due to suffering an injury in the Old Firm game played the weekend before. Craig Brown cited Lambert's absence as crucial to England's progression at Scotland's expense, since he intended to deploy Lambert directly against Paul Scholes, scorer of both England goals. As Brown said, “The SPL went ahead with an Old Firm game a week before. I was furious because they did not legislate for a play-off, especially not for one against England. Predictably, we get a major injury and my holding midfielder, who performed with such distinction in the Champions League final for Borussia Dortmund, cannot play. Barry Ferguson played brilliantly but he was not a holding midfielder. Scholes scored two goals and that was the guy Paul Lambert was going to pick up …”[18]

His final cap with some irony was in an away game against Germany played in Dortmund (a 2–1 defeat). Lambert had been awarded man of the match in the home encounter three months earlier at Hampden Park (a 1–1 draw).

On 15 November 2009, he was inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame.[19]

Managerial career[edit]


After studying for football coaching qualifications in 2005, Lambert landed his first managerial job with Livingston on 1 June 2005, assisted by Norrie McWhirter.[20] Although he had not intended to play for his new club Lambert registered as a player in late August 2005 to cover for any injury shortages.[21] His tenure ended the following February when he resigned after only winning two league games since starting the job.[22]

Wycombe Wanderers[edit]

Lambert was appointed manager of English team Wycombe Wanderers on 30 June 2006.[23] He led Wycombe to the League Cup semi-finals after defeating Premier League sides Fulham and Charlton Athletic. The semi-final tie, against Premier League champions Chelsea, saw Wycombe hold Chelsea to a 1–1 draw at Adams Park before losing the away leg. This was the first time in over 30 years a fourth tier team had reached that stage of the League Cup.[citation needed] Lambert resigned as Wycombe manager on 20 May 2008 following the club's elimination from the League Two play-offs by Stockport County.[24]

Colchester United[edit]

On 9 October 2008, he was appointed as manager of League One team Colchester United to succeed Geraint Williams,[25] before winning his first game 2–1 at Stockport County. Despite occasionally threatening to flirt with the League One play-offs, the U's eventually finished mid-table in Lambert's first season.

On 18 August 2009, he began the 2009–10 season with an opening day 7–1 win over Norwich City before leaving the Essex club less than a year after taking over.

Norwich City[edit]

Lambert became the new Norwich City manager, replacing Bryan Gunn, who was sacked by the club shortly after the 7–1 defeat to Colchester.[26] He led Norwich to the League 1 title and promotion to the Championship in April 2010.[27]

On 1 June 2010, he signed an improved contract with Norwich City after it was confirmed Colchester United were entitled to £425,000 in compensation, in addition to Norwich City being fined £75,000, with a further £125,000 suspended for two years.[28][29]

Norwich's form from their 2009–10 promotion campaign continued into the 2010–11 season which saw them gain a second successive promotion – becoming the first team to achieve a second successive promotion at this level since Manchester City 11 years earlier. During Lambert's first two seasons in charge, Norwich did not suffer two successive defeats in the league in the same season.[30]

In January 2011, Norwich refused to allow Burnley permission to try to secure Lambert as their new manager, following the dismissal of Brian Laws.[31] The Norwich statement read, in part, "The club will fight tooth and nail to retain the services of Paul Lambert and his team during this critical period of the season and whilst they remain employed under a long-term contract".[31] On 2 May Lambert and Norwich secured promotion to the Premier League after a win over Portsmouth, taking the second automatic spot with one game to spare. Lambert signed a new contract keeping him at the club during the summer. He was inducted into the Norwich City Hall of Fame on 20 March 2012, along with players Wes Hoolahan, Grant Holt and Adam Drury.[citation needed]

Following Norwich's survival in the Premier League in 2011–12, Lambert offered his resignation on 31 May 2012 but the club declined it.[32][33]

Aston Villa[edit]

2012–13 season[edit]

On 2 June 2012, Lambert was confirmed as the new manager of Aston Villa replacing Alex McLeish, who was sacked two weeks earlier.[34] Lambert's first competitive match as Aston Villa manager came on the opening day of the Premier League season on 18 August 2012, a 1–0 defeat to newly promoted West Ham United at Upton Park.[35] His first Premier League win came on 15 September 2012, a 2–0 victory against Swansea City at Villa Park.[36] He was handed a one-match touchline ban on 21 November 2012 for comments relating to a penalty decision in Villa's defeat to Manchester City.[37] On his first return to Carrow Road, Lambert received a mixed reception from the Norwich City fans on 11 December 2012, in a League Cup quarter-final which his Villa team won 4–1.[38]

On 23 December 2012, Villa were defeated 8–0 against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, the club's heaviest ever defeat in top-flight football.[39] This was followed by consecutive home defeats, with Villa losing 4–0 to Tottenham Hotspur and 3–0 to Wigan Athletic, leading to increased pressure on Lambert's position.[40][41] On 22 January 2013, Villa played Bradford City in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final at Villa Park, having lost the first round tie 3–1 at Valley Parade. The final score on the night was a 2–1 win for Villa, leaving an aggregate score of 4–3 to Bradford.[42]

Lambert kept his job despite the poor run as the team flirted with the relegation places continuously over the next few months. Lambert did however manage to get Villa to record back-to-back wins for the first time since May 2011, as they defeated fellow relegation rivals Reading and Queens Park Rangers.[43][44] He then oversaw the club's biggest victory since 2008, as Villa thrashed Sunderland 6–1.[45] Villa finished 15th with the youngest starting eleven in the Premier League, leading to praise from pundits such as Alan Hansen who said Lambert deserved to be "manager of the season".[46][47] Highlights of the season included Lambert's summer acquisition of star striker Christian Benteke, the introduction of Villa's Player of the Season, goalkeeper Brad Guzan, reaching the semi finals of the League Cup and securing Villa's place in the Premier League for the 2013/14 season. Lambert's first season in charge was deemed a success by pundits and fans alike.[47]

2013–14 season[edit]

Paul Lambert's Aston Villa side began the season brightly, with a 3–1 win over Arsenal F.C at The Emirates Stadium on 17 August.[48] This was followed by a string of promising performances which filled the fans with optimism for the upcoming season, after already being lifted by Lambert's ability to keep star striker Christian Benteke at the club despite rumoured heavy interest from top European sides such as Chelsea.

Towards the end of 2013, the performances worsened greatly, especially home form, and Lambert was criticised by many fans and pundits for putting out a counterattacking side with no plan B. Possession stats were biased towards the opposition in many games, including at home to Swansea City; Villa had less than 30% of total possession in a game which ended 1-1. In January 2014, Lambert made headlines by claiming that 'many Premier League clubs could do without the distraction of the FA Cup if they were being honest'. Aston Villa subsequently lost 2-1 at home to Sheffield United, a team two divisions below them, marking the fourth consecutive year that Lambert has been eliminated from the FA Cup by lower league opposition. Lambert subsequently defended his comments, claiming they were 'taken out of context'.[49]

2014–15 season[edit]

Lambert's third season in charge saw a different approach in the transfer market, with Lambert opting to buy players with experience as opposed to the previous seasons, where the club would sign young prospects. Aston Villa's started off brightly, with a 1-0 victory over Stoke. This was then followed by a 0-0 draw against Newcastle, a 2-1 win over Hull City, and a 1-0 victory over Liverpool. During this time, the new look back four of Alan Hutton, Ron Vlaar, Philippe Senderos and Aly Cissokho was praised by Lambert and fans alike, after gaining three clean sheets out of a possible 4, whilst gaining 10 points out of a available 12.

However, after Villa's surprise good start to the season, they then went on to have a 5 game long goal draught, losing to Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Everton and Queens Park Rangers before scoring in a 2-1 loss at Villa Park to Spurs.[50] Villa then went on to gain some valuble points, drawing 0-0 with West Ham, and 1-1 against Southampton. They achived a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park courtesy of a brilliant Christian Benteke goal. This was followed up with a 2-1 victory over Leicester City at Villa Park. Villa have been criticized by pundits and fans alike due to the fact they struggle to score goals. Thus far, Villa have only managed to score 11 in 21 Premier League games.

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 25 January 2015
Team From To Record
G W D L Win%[51]
Livingston 1 June 2005 12 February 2006 32 5 7 20 15.63
Wycombe Wanderers 30 June 2006 20 May 2008 108 44 29 35 40.74
Colchester United 9 October 2008 18 August 2009 43 19 7 17 44.19
Norwich City 18 August 2009 2 June 2012 142 70 35 37 49.30
Aston Villa 2 June 2012 Present 112 34 26 52 30.36
Total 437 172 104 161 39.36



St. Mirren
Borussia Dortmund


Norwich City


  1. ^ The Bell's Scottish Football Review 2005.06. Cre8 Publishing. 2005. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-95485-561-1. 
  2. ^ "Paul Lambert". Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Lambert, Paul (U21)". Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Lambert, Paul (B)". Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Aston Villa appoint Paul Lambert from Norwich City as new boss". BBC Sport. 2 June 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  6. ^ Winter, Henry (27 October 2012). "Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert happiest inside the pressure cooker ahead of former club Norwich's visit". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "No Headline Present". The Herald. 7 September 1993. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "No Headline Present". The Herald. 14 July 1994. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  9. ^ Paul, Ian (14 September 1994). "Motherwell set the stage for a thriller. Moeller strikes for Germans but Fir Park side far from out". The Herald. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Quality by a street ends Motherwell dream". The Herald. 29 September 1994. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Paul Lambert – The Norwich wizard". 4 May 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  12. ^ Gordon, Phil (6 September 2009). "Norwich City manager Paul Lambert on his vision for the future". Sunday Herald. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  13. ^ Calvin, Michael (1 May 2010). "Revealed: The six British Football League managers capable of being the next Roy Hodgson". Mirror Football. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  14. ^ Layton, Peter (9 August 2011). "Mission impossible to keep new boys up". Daily Star. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  15. ^ "The Joy of Six: British and Irish footballers abroad". The Guardian (in German). 25 November 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  16. ^ Traynor, James (10 February 2009). "Premier Division: Celtic 2 Rangers 0, January 2nd, 1998". Daily Record. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  17. ^ Stirling, Kevin (5 September 2010). "Scotland U-21s at Pittodrie". Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  18. ^ Broadfoot, Darryl (14 November 2009). "England 0 Scotland 1: Is it really 10 years since Don Hutchison’s goal at Wembley?". The Herald. Glasgow. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  19. ^ "Eight more Scots greats enter Hall of Fame". The Scotsman. 16 November 2009. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  20. ^ "Lambert set for Livingston post". BBC Sport. 18 May 2005. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  21. ^ "Lambert re-registers as a player". BBC Sport. 16 August 2005. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  22. ^ "Lambert stands down as Livi boss". BBC Sport. 11 February 2006. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  23. ^ "Lambert named new Wycombe manager". BBC Sport. 30 June 2006. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  24. ^ "Lambert resigns as Wycombe boss". BBC Sport. 20 May 2008. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  25. ^ "Exclusive: U's Appoint Lambert". 9 October 2008. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  26. ^ "Norwich appoint Lambert as boss". BBC Sport. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2009. 
  27. ^ "Charlton 0–1 Norwich". BBC Sport. 17 April 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2010. 
  28. ^ "The Regulations of The Football League Limited". The English Football League. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  29. ^ "Lambert signs new Norwich deal". Sky Sports. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  30. ^ "Nelson deals with Norwich 'hype'". BBC News. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  31. ^ a b "Norwich reject Burnley approach for boss Paul Lambert". BBC Sport. 7 January 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2011. 
  32. ^ "Paul Lambert offers his resignation amid interest from Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  33. ^ "Club statement on Paul Lambert". Norwich City Football Club. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  34. ^ "Aston Villa appoint Paul Lambert from Norwich as new manager". BBC Sport. 2 June 2012. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  35. ^ "West Ham 1–0 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 18 August 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  36. ^ "Aston Villa 2–0 Swansea". BBC Sport. 15 September 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  37. ^ "Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert given one-match touchline ban". BBC Sport. 21 November 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  38. ^ "Norwich 1-4 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  39. ^ "Chelsea 8-0 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 23 December 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  40. ^ "Aston Villa 0–4 Tottenham". BBC Sport. 26 December 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  41. ^ "Aston Villa 0–3 Wigan". BBC Sport. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  42. ^ "Aston Villa 2–1 Bradford (3–4)". BBC Sport. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  43. ^ "Reading 1–2 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 9 March 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  44. ^ "Aston Villa 3–2 QPR". BBC Sport. 16 March 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  45. ^ "Aston Villa 6–1 Sunderland". BBC Sport. 29 April 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  46. ^ "Arsenal 4–1 Wigan". BBC Sport. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  47. ^ a b "Lambo puts a spring in Villa's step". Birmingham Mail. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  48. ^ "Arsenal 1–3 Aston Villa". BBC Sport. 
  49. ^ "Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert defends FA Cup stance". BBC Sport. 4 January 2014. 
  50. ^ "Tottenham beat 10-man Aston Villa 2-1 after Christian Benteke sees red". Sky Sports. 2 November 2014. 
  51. ^ Win% is rounded to two decimal places

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tom Boyd
Celtic F.C. captain
Succeeded by
Jackie McNamara