I've seen comments from fans already criticising Paul Lambert as "MoN II", another one system man who will over achieve with average players... I have to say people are wrong... that only thing that links the two men are Celtic and an inner belief that he wants to compete for the top honours in club management.
Now whilst MON's chances of that have been all but blown, Lambert still has the chance in the future, still wants the platform and if he improves us and gives us an identity back the he'll deserve to leave with our blessing if a bigger club comes calling.
The only concern i have is Lambert's alarming tendency to resign and walk.
Lets take a look at the man...
A solid attacking midfielder during his early playing days, Lambert's life was transformed in August 1996 when Ottmar Hitzfeld took him to Borussia Dortmund and converted him into a defensive midfielder. A year after his arrival, he was charged with shutting down Zinedine Zidane in the Champions League final as Dortmund secured a 3-1 victory over Juventus.
He would return to Scotland with Celtic in November 1997 and, though he would never reach the same heights again, he became the club's captain and won numerous domestic trophies as well as reaching the UEFA Cup final in 2003.
A quietly determined, thoughtful individual, Lambert took the unusual step of gaining his UEFA coaching badges with the German Football Association in 2004, though he was still a Celtic player. Desperate to put his new skills into practice, he accepted the Livingston job in 2005, despite indications it may require a more experienced manager.
Richard Gough had steered Livingston clear of relegation on the final day of the 2004-05 season, but things took a turn for the worse under Lambert. After a dismal eight months as player-manager, the club managed just two league victories, and he resigned his position in February with the club six points adrift at the foot of the table.
Undeterred, he headed to England for the first time in his career in the summer of 2006 to take charge at League Two side Wycombe. In many respects, it was another disappointing campaign, with the club finishing mid-table after failing to win any of their final 11 league games, but he attracted attention by reaching the League Cup semi-finals, securing a 1-1 home draw against Chelsea before losing the second leg 4-0.
He resigned at the end of the following season after a play-off semi-final defeat to Stockport, but found himself in League One in October 2008 when he was given the chance to lead Colchester. It was to be another solid but unspectacular season, culminating in a 12th-place finish.
There were signs that he may become a manager to watch on the opening day of the 2009-10 season as Colchester thrashed Norwich City 7-1 at Carrow Road. Canaries boss Bryan Gunn, who had been confronted by furious fans during the game, was sacked days later and it became clear that Lambert's victory had also been his audition: he was appointed Gunn's replacement.
At Norwich, Lambert was to find the ideal venue for his abilities. Norwich were able to adopt a passing game while retaining a steely determination, as evidenced by their persistent ability to score late goals.
Skilfully playing the market to pick up bargains through talented loanees and lower-league signings, Lambert secured back-to-back promotions from League One and the Championship - the first manager to do so since Joe Royle at Manchester City in 2000 - and arrives in the Premier League as one of Britain's most highly-rated young managers.
Strengths: A keen student of the game with a talent for making game-changing substitutions, Lambert has established a strong bond with his players and a great team spirit as well as proving a canny operator in the transfer market. It is also evident that he is far more tactically adept than he is given credit for, successfully changing formations and tactics on numerous occasion this season to change the course of games.
Weaknesses: He failed in his first job at Livingston when trying to battle relegation and the drop, plus he does not yet have any experience of the English top-flight either as a player or a manager.
Career high: Lambert said that two promotions in two years with Norwich is up there with his greatest achievements as a player, describing it as "a miracle".
Career low: Livingston lost 7-0 at Hibs in Lambert's penultimate game in charge and afterwards he hit out at his players, saying he was "embarrassed" and that it could have been 19-0 but for goalkeeper Roddy McKenzie.
Tactics: Lambert favours passing football played at a high-tempo, and has made good use of the diamond formation, but it would be no surprise to see him take an ad hoc approach when designing his tactics for the Premier League.
Quotes: "I am not surprised by his success in the slightest. He was a very accomplished player but his game appreciation really improved when he moved to Borussia Dortmund. Playing under Ottmar Hitzfeld made him. The tactical side, the sense of discipline, he learned so much." - former Scotland manager Craig Brown
... only better in the transfer market, with a penchant for making substitutions at the right time and playing the right people in the right positions.
oh stop, you are getting me all excited Ruud.
To be fair that would be one hell of a manager.
ah no .. lets put that to bed early .. they were both involved with celtic and Mon has strengths as well as weaknesses. Lambert seems to have learned from his man management ability and coaxing performances out of teams. why not ? but when i seen them play us on the last day, I seen long diagonal balls i seen ball retention i seen quick one touch football, and lots of crosses as well as runs into the middle. I said it in an article at the time.
This whole Mon thing is total non starter in my eyes. jesus christ ..we love a good moan don't we
WC how is not having an experience as manager in the top flight of english football a weakness? was he not the manager of norwich?
oh your just copy and pasting. you should really say you are! that is called plagarism mate.
Getting a bit ahead of myself but I like the idea of the diamond formation he favours.
I think it could work for us and would be nice to see some attacking football again.
4 x Defenders
Gabby and Bent?
Holt and Bent ? Maybe...
Bent and Weimann? or are they too similar?
Bent and N'Zogbia? Now i like the idea of that....
Maybe along the lines...
Herd NewCB Clark NewLB
Make Midfield more solid, and give the extra flair up front with Bents poaching talents and Irelands ability to find a player....
Yeah I'd definitely incorporate Clark. I get a sneaky feeling he'll hold onto Warnock too.
Still have a soft spot for Gabby I suppose. Hope he doesn't end up on the bench. At least we have a few attacking options and the choice to rotate. Holman can (or usually does according to wikipedia) play 2nd striker too apparently.
too wide for me ... what about ?
I keep thinking back to the last game of the season and i thought there was plenty of wide play, mainly on the break but still.
I agree, and it actually makes me warm and fuzzy inside when i see and hear or think about the different styles/tactics/line-ups that Lambert is supposed to have fielded.
Is this not the mark of a good manager. no Style per se, think ancelotti, SAF Mancini, you could all say they have played attacking football, defensive football, counter direct, mixed, etc and literally dozens of shapes and formations.
I always had great respect for Ancellotti, simply because he seemed to doctor his line-ups and tactics according to the players he had, who the opposition was or the league he was managing in.
I think Lambert is another pragmatic but tactically aware manager. he will deliver the points or the performance first, He is not chained to a style regardless of whether he has the players for it or not. (I worry about rodgers and liverpool, I am not sure they will buy into his high energy defend as a unit and pass the team to death approach)
add skilled man manager( performance of norwich squad last two seasons) and ambitious to that list too - ( supposedly on the brink of joining the most heavily followed club on sports witness)
Although the ambition is probably going to come back and bite us in the ass eventually
changed my mind, we should blitz them down the Left