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Aston Villa FC have confirmed the appointment of Paul Lambert as their new manager after the Scot completed his long drawn out departure from Norwich City. Lambert had submitted his resignation at Carrow Road on Thursday, which the club promptly declined. However, Villa persisted with their target and are reported to have paid Norwich a Â£1m compensation to land Lambert, who will now succeed another Scot, Alex McLeish, at the helm at Villa Park.
A statement on the club website reported, â€œThe board of Aston Villa are delighted to confirm that Paul Lambert has been appointed Villa manager.â€
Paul Lambert has been phenomenal in his spell with the Canaries, securing two back-to-back promotions to take Norwich from the third tier of English football to the Premier League where they ended their first season in 12th place. The former Borussia Dortmund midfielder, whose impressive resume includes a Champions League medal with the German club, has been admired for his ability to put together a successful team on a shoestring budget, something Villa owner Randy Lerner is desperate to do.
Lambert will be Aston Villaâ€™s fourth manager in two years after the resignation of Martin Oâ€™Neill in 2010. He was followed by Gerard Houllier, who quit early on health grounds. The wage bill had spiralled out of control under Oâ€™Neill and the subsequent departures of players like Ashley Young and Stewart Downing has only pushed the club further down the English ladder.
McLeish was always a controversial choice owing to his Birmingham City connections and he watched over one of their worst seasons in the Premier League as they battled relegation, finishing a lowly 16th. Lambertâ€™s job will be to revitalize a squad filled with talented youngsters and more than its share of quality pros. He managed to turn around Norwichâ€™s fortunes after they had entered a slumber and Villa fans will hope he can do the same with their stumbling team.
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