Lambert appointed new Watford boss
It has been revealed today that Watford have appointed former Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert as their new manager. He has signed a contract at the club, keeping him at Vicarage Road until 2018.
Former Hornets manager Slavisa Jokanovic was sacked last Friday
following a shocking scandal concerning a bottle of shampoo, two stolen pigs and a Mary Berry cookbook. Read more about the horrifying ordeal here.
Lambert, 45, was appointed as manager of Aston Villa back in 2012, replacing Alex McLeish. However, on the 11th February this year, he was sacked by the Villains after a 2-0 defeat against Hull and a disastrous winless streak of ten league games.
In an exclusive interview with BBC Sport, Lambert said, ”It is an honour to be managing Watford - a club with an excellent future ahead of them. I can’t wait to get started with this challenge.”
Lambert is taking over the Hornets at a promising time - the connection between Udinese and Granada due to the Pozzo family, as well as some excellent squad members makes them one of the favourites to be promoted to the Premier League this season.
They should be helped by loan stars Matej Vydra (from Udinese) and Daniel Toszer (from Parma), and the strike forces of Troy Deeney, Odion Ighalo and Fernando Forestieri, to name a few, will be hard to beat in the Championship.
However, Lambert may struggle to keep hold of some of these players, such as Italian centre back Gabriele Angella, who is reportedly facing interest from Southampton, Swiss central midfielder Almen Abdi, who is linked with a move to newly promoted Burnley, and Scottish wing back Ikechi Anya, who has interest from Swansea City. Should Lambert be able to keep these players, or replace them well, Watford should stand a very good chance of promotion this season.
This appointment comes just a day after Javier Pereira was appointed as temporary manager following Jokanovic’s shameful dismissal.
Since leaving the Villains, 45 year-old Lambert has been facing interest from a wide variety of clubs, including Queens Park Rangers, who have been left managerless after Harry Redknapp resigned in February.
Watford owner Gino Pozzo issued this statement regarding Lambert’s appointment, ”Paul was excellent with the young players he brought into the Aston Villa side. We look forward to him exerting his power over the Watford team.”
“We all strongly believe that Paul can be the man to lead us towards the Premier League and beyond. The future looks bright for us, and with Paul’s talent, we can go the extra mile.”
Chairman of the Hornets, Raffaele Riva, also said a few words, ”A new season has come and perhaps a fresh start is necessary. We are now looking at a clean slate at Vicarage Road.”
In his footballing career, Lambert made 40 international appearances for Scotland, and scored one goal for his home nation. He joined St Mirren at the age of 17, and played with them for 8 years, until he joined fellow Scottish side Motherwell.
At Fir Park, Lambert participated in the UEFA Cup after a 2nd place finish in the Scottish League, before moving to Borussia Dortmund after three years. He assisted Heinz Riedle in the UEFA Champions League Final victory against Juventus, with the performance being hailed as a man of the match one. With this, he became the first British player to win the UEFA Champions League since its renaming.
However, after just one year with the German side, Lambert moved to Scottish side Celtic, and spent the rest of his career there. He won four Scottish Premier League titles, two Scottish Cups, two Scottish League Cups and captained the side that reached the UEFA Cup final in 2003.
After he retired from playing football, Lambert moved to management, and took over Livingston. He played 7 matches, despite being manager, but resigned just months after taking over. The club had won just two matches under his reign.
In 2006, Lambert was appointed as manager of Wycombe Wanderers. He lead the English side to the League Cup semi finals, after defeating Fulham and Charlton Athletic amongst others. In the semi finals, they held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw at Adams Park, before losing the away leg. In 2008, Lambert resigned as Wycombe manager following a League Two play-off defeat against Stockport County.
That year, he was appointed as Colchester United boss. He won his first game in charge 2-1 against Stockport County, and finished mid table with the Us. In 2009, Lambert’s side started the League One campaign with an astonishing 7-1 victory against newly relegated Norwich City, before leaving the Us to join said Canaries.
In his time with Norwich, he got them promoted back to the Championship straight away in 2010, which was followed by a promotion to the Barclays Premier League the next year, meaning he had achieved back-to-back promotions with Norwich. He was inducted into the Norwich Hall of Fame in 2012, but resigned after keeping them in the Premier League that season.
After this, he joined Aston Villa. After a bad start, which included an 8-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea, Villa finished 15th with the Premier League’s youngest squad, which got Lambert praise as a manager for developing the youngsters he had. In the following season, things started brightly, with a 3-1 victory over Arsenal, but the performances worsened greatly. However, the Villains stayed in the Premier League that season, and Lambert focused on bringing more experienced players to Villa Park. This wasn’t enough for Lambert to keep his job, unfortunately, and was sacked in February this year.
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