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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

#newera to #taketwo – Forget Paul Lambert’s Norwich past because he’s the best man for this job right now

PUBLISHED: 11:12 26 October 2018

Paul Lambert's last job was in charge of Stoke City. Photo: PA

Paul Lambert's last job was in charge of Stoke City. Photo: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Ipswich Town are closing in on the appointment of Paul Lambert as their new manager after sacking Paul Hurst yesterday. STUART WATSON gives his thoughts.

Paul Lambert was unable to save Stoke from relegation last season. Photo: PAPaul Lambert was unable to save Stoke from relegation last season. Photo: PA

From #newera to #taketwo.

Paul Lambert is the man Ipswich Town have turned to get them out of this mess.

Would he have been my choice in the summer? No way. Is he, out of all the realistic candidates out there now, the best man for the job at this juncture? You bet.

MORE: Paul Hurst sacked as Ipswich Town manager - with Lambert set to take over

Forget his Norwich City past and those two East Anglian derby thrashings in 2010/11. That’s a long time ago now and, quite frankly, the Blues can’t afford to be picky.

Talk of long-term plans have, sadly, got to be put on hold. This is a relegation fight and, just like in 2012, a proven firefighter is needed.

Paul Lambert celebrates with Wolves staff and players during a FA Cup tie against Liverpool. Photo: PAPaul Lambert celebrates with Wolves staff and players during a FA Cup tie against Liverpool. Photo: PA

Lambert is certainly that.

MORE: Why sacking Paul Hurst is a sad day for Ipswich Town

It was him who, against the odds, kept Aston Villa treading water in the Premier League during a turbulent time. Their relegation followed his departure.

He stabilised a Blackburn side at a time of peak supporter unrest and off-field issues.

Then he got Wolves going in the right direction again following a succession of poor appointments and may well have stayed on had it not been for the mega money takeover and desire to bring in Nuno Espírito Santo.

MORE: ‘If the fire still burns within, there is a lot of hope for Town’ - Lambert backed to be a success

Paul Lambert, pictured during his time at Blackburn Rovers, is the new boss of Ipswich Town. Photo: PAPaul Lambert, pictured during his time at Blackburn Rovers, is the new boss of Ipswich Town. Photo: PA

It was a CV that persuaded Premier League side Stoke to come calling back in January. Lambert couldn’t prevent them going down, but that was always going to be a mammoth task.

Mission one: Keep Town up. Mission two: Build something for the longer-term, just like he did north of the border with those back-to-back promotions.

MORE: Hurst’s 149 days in charge of Ipswich Town – how the shortest reign in Blues history played out

Paul Lambert appointed Roy Keane as his assistant boss at Aston Villa. Photo: PAPaul Lambert appointed Roy Keane as his assistant boss at Aston Villa. Photo: PA

Just imagine if it turns out to be him who finally ends Town’s near decade-long wait for victory in the derby when the Blues visit Carrow Road on February 10.

They may have Jordan Rhodes’ heart now, but Lambert is soon to be a blue.

• As an added aside, I also like the idea of Town having a former top-class midfield maestro in charge given that the club has lacked one of those for such a long time. Lambert won the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund, every domestic honour going at Celtic and was capped 40 times by Scotland (yes, I know, it didn’t work with Roy Keane).

Talking of Scotland, Town do have a strong connection with that nation. Sir Alf Ramsey’s top-flight winners had a strong Scottish flavour, then followed the likes of John Wark, George Burley and Alan Brazil. Some Braveheart spirit would do nicely.

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