Villa 2-0 Swansea blog: Humble Lambert taking no credit
17th Sep 2012
Lambert arrived in B6 to a blaze of publicity and spoke immediately of getting the supporters onside.
He switched the home dugout, hailed the Holte End and called Villa Park a majestic stadium.
Fans clearly recognised Lambert's role in re-energising the place - but he was quick to deflect attention away from himself and on to the players - and their vital bond with supporters.
Speaking at the fans forum, he said: "I have always said that the most important people at any club are the fans and the players. It doesn't matter who the manager is!
"If I can get players and fans bouncing off each other, it will take off. Supporters will raise the roof with the noise."
Fast forward several weeks and Villa were written off as relegation fodder by serial shocker Robbie Savage.
Fellow pundits started predicting a tough old season for Lambert's Lions, following defeats to West Ham and Everton.
But Lambert's demeanour didn't change. He was chilled in press conferences, hailing his young guns as stars of now, not of the future.
He told interested press that he was confident things would turn in the team's favour.
He was proved right as Villa saw off Tranmere, drew impressively with Newcastle and then beat Swansea in the latest game.
The football was sensational at times and Villa Park was back at its very best.
Deadline day signings Christian Benteke and Ashley Westwood received tumultuous cheers when they entered the action with just twenty minutes to go, Villa at that point one-up following a scorcher from fellow newboy Matt Lowton.
Westwood didn't give the ball away while Benteke bagged a goal and seemingly achieved immediate hero status with a classy cameo.
The final whistle brought rapturous applause from all four corners of the ground and Lambert charged on to the hallowed turf, hugging each player like a long-lost family member.
He approached the Holte End and gave them the thumbs-up - but then, interestingly, he turned and pointed at his players in an extremely expressive manner.
That pretty much sums Lambert up.
You'd think, following a playing career which brought multiple domestic titles with Celtic and a Champions League with Borussia Dortmund that there would be an air of conceit about the gaffer, an arrogance born of success.
Not a bit of it! His humility is both obvious and refreshing.
He knows the importance of the fans and their role in geeing up the players. And he's very aware of the need for his players to perform at their optimum to give something back to the supporters.
He's put his faith in youth - and they're starting to pay him back, showing no lack of confidence on the biggest stage.
Talking in his post-match press conference about the gesture to his players, he said: "Yes it is about the lads and not me, you are spot on!
"If the lads can keep the fans on their side, which is really important, they will do really fine.
"The lads want the help of the fans. There is a long way to go but the players and the people who come to watch are the two most important parts of the club.
"The players were excellent and the fans were brilliant. You can't hear yourself shout on that side-line at times when they get going. You need that. The great thing is I'm pretty sure if you ask them they will be more than happy going home from the game."
If Villa continue to produce results like the one against Swansea - and show the same levels of commitment and class - there'll be plenty more great trips back to claret and blue houses and flats in the coming weeks and months ahead.
Fans will be toasting Lambert's influence - not that he'll be raising a glass himself!
paul brown, blogs, swansea city, paul lambert,
Go to full match coverage for 15 September 2012, Aston Villa 2 - 0 Swansea
More from this bloggerAll blogs
Most popular blogs