Paul Lambert has had a rough season, managing only 3 wins in 12 attempts at Villa Park, watching his side crash out of both cups early (including a loss to a League One team), and dealing with the constant fear of relegation. Nevertheless, the Aston Villa board seem ready to give the manager a reward for his work, and it is being reported that the two sides are in discussions to extend Lambert's contract and give him a raise.
The current contract that Lambert is on is set to expire at the end of next season, and the move to extend early is clearly a push to secure the manager's services for the long term and add a degree of stability to a club that has been sorely lacking it since the sudden departure of Martin O'Neill in 2010. Given the problems outlined above, this is a move that will surely anger many Aston Villa fans, but it is one that shouldn't have that effect.
Lambert has admittedly had some troubles in his first two seasons with the club, but they have come largely as a result of the moves he is making that will make the club secure for years to come. He consistently throws out young teams who perhaps have less experience than would be desired from a Premier League club, and the results are about what you would expect. Nevertheless, it is those players who are building the foundation of a club that doesn't have an absurd wage-bill and will be able to more intelligently make big signings in the future.
And what's more is that the players that Lambert has signed often have oodles of raw talent and potential. There are rough results, but there are also matches like the trip to Anfield, in which we saw a Villa team that could hang with any other club in the Premiership. Lambert is building the club in an intelligent way: low-wage players with lots of upside who won't leave the team in the Championship. It's not been comfortable lately, and it may not be for a year or two, but this is the sort of path that could lead to long, sustainable success for the club we all love.
There may be other, better, managers out there. But anyone the club hires will have some problems, and keeping Lambert means stability. The issues we have with the manager strike me as a small price to pay for the chance at lasting change at Aston Villa.