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Villa suspend Lambert's lieutenants after alleged row

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Shay Given and Gordon Cowans will take the place of suspended assistants Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa

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Ian Walton

It's not exactly Lambert Out, but Aston Villa have given a major shake-up to their back-room staff today by suspending assistant manager Ian Culverhouse and Head of Football operations Gary Karsa. The two, who came on when Paul Lambert took over the club, have been replaced -- at least temporarily -- by Shay Given and Gordon Cowans. Given, of course, is Villa's erstwhile starting keeper who hasn't had a job since his loan spell at Middlesborough ended last month, and Cowans is Villa's development coach.

The news comes after an alleged row between Culverhouse and Cowans on the training ground in the past few weeks, but it's equally likely to be due to poor performance. What makes the move a little surprising is that just yesterday the club released a statement from Paul Faulkner asking fans, players, and staff to pull together to see Villa to safety in their remaining five matches.

Suspending two of your main assistants is an odd way of pulling together, and it gives credence to the idea that Villa are a club in turmoil as much away from the pitch as they are on it. It's strange seeing such an organization so totally in shambles. We'll have more on this later, but what are your instant thoughts? Does this have much impact on the rest of the season?