After 101 Premier League matches in charge of Aston Villa, Paul Lambert was finally given the sack yesterday. It was a case of a decision that probably had to be made after the relationship failed to work out. Lambert had given it his best go, working under the financial constraints set by owner Randy Lerner and things never clicked. Nothing personal here, and the search for a new manager begins.
There was one piece of this that I found a bit strange, though. In his statement after being fired, Lambert failed to mention current club CEO Tom Fox. He thanked Randy Lerner, Paul Faulkner, the fans, and the players in a very gracious letter, but the one missing name was perplexing. And now we know the reason. It turns out that Lambert felt slighted by Fox after being sacked not face-to-face, but rather over the phone.
This is obviously a business and feelings shouldn't come too into play here, but given the fact that Lambert spent two-and-a-half years sacrificing for this club, working under strict conditions, and weathering near-constant abuse from fans, I'm inclined to agree with the Scot. Was he good for the club? Probably not. Did he deserve the dignity of being told face-to-face that his time here was done? Absolutely.
Maybe there was some factor mitigating things that made it impossible for Fox to talk to Lambert in person, but given that we haven't heard anything about that, I doubt it. So it's just an instance of doing something in a pretty cruel way. Hardly the biggest offense ever, but it's still a shame to see Lambert treated so roughly after working so hard for the club.