ACN have exclusively got hold of the secret diaries of Mr Paul Lambert. You remember him, right? Here's part one, focusing on his first few weeks in charge.....
27th October 2018
GOT THE IPSWICH JOB!
Never in doubt. Ultimately, I have a proven track record with this sort of club. Ipswich have a glorious history and a European pedigree; much like Aston Villa. It’s obvious that my tenure at Villa Park grabbed the attention of Marcus Evans, after all, I took them on when they looked doomed for relegation and they were probably only slightly worse off when I left. That kind of sustained mediocrity is hard to find.
I’m taking on Town at ‘rock bottom’. Of the Championship. Things simply can’t get any worse for them so I’m in a win/win scenario; I really need something upwardly mobile on my CV as I’ve been absolute pish since I left Norwich. Come on though!! The last guy only managed one poxy victory – ONE!!!! What a charlatan. If I can’t do better than that then I never threw Cully and Gaz under the bus at Villa.
Anyway; I’ve gone back to basics for this one. Plenty of fight in the talk, nods to the club history, gladhand some old has-beens, terrific team spirit, lads need a hand, pick ourselves up and dust ourselves down and we go again. The fans will lap that shit up. They’ll soon forget about my massive success at Norwich.
The lads will need a hand though. Thankfully, Marcus has promised me a warchest. I just hope it’s full of cash and not some shonky hospitality tickets for the last World Cup.
Watching the game today at the New Den. I’ve had a wee chat with the lads and hopefully they’ll stake a real claim for their places. Millwall have been pretty gash so far; I could match that last fella's win record without turning a hair. On The Ball Town.
28th October 2018
I may have underestimated the task at hand.
Marcus’s phone is straight to voicemail. All day. Got through to my agent though; the contract is binding. The fucking ink isn’t dry but apparently that doesn’t matter. The lads are going to need more than a hand; some of them will need a full body transplant if they’re ever going to look like a footballer.
Still; I’m not counting this one as being my result (always watch the first one from the stand – win and you can claim the credit, lose and you had a watching brief – free fucking hit)
Stealing Matt Gill from Norwich seems to have been a masterstroke; the fans are loving it. Just hope he doesn’t remember that I released him at Carrow Road. Nah, Gilly wouldn’t be one to hold a grudge.
We’ll have them in for some extra training during the week, I’ll leave all that to Gilly though, I’m the gaffer.
3rd November 2018
In charge at Portman Road. I’ve fond memories of this place; Surman, Jackson, Martin, Pacheco and that bloody own goal!! Christ, that was a night and a half. I know how to win here. I know how to win emphatically here. I know and the people of Ipswich know.
Today, we welcome Preston North End, managed by promotion-winner-with-Norwich Alex Neil. Strange that two proud Scotsmen that have taken Norwich City to the Premier League (I didn’t need the Play-Offs by the way) should face off at Portman Road. The Ipswich fans will be desperate to win this one to stick one over on the former enemy. The worst thing that could happen would be for us to play out some sort of borefest of a stalemate; valuable away point for Preston, still no win for me. Mind you, at least Norwich will get stuffed today, Sheffield Wednesday away, they get pasted more often than a roadside billboard up there. Operation Overhaul starts today. I still reckon we can catch them. Probably by Xmas.
4th November 2018
It was all going so well! We played some scintillating stuff and hammered them 1-1. You might laugh, the only place we didn’t win that game is on the pitch. We even beat them 11-10 at players. The lad Sears put us in front with a wonderstrike from 12 yards. It was the kind of goal the fans will still be talking about for years to come, like that one that Jimmy Bullard scored when they got battered 5-1 by the Norwich side I managed.
We deserved our lead at the break and if the game had finished then…but no, miraculously Preston got a goal from a nothing set-piece (Gilly will have to work on that) and then the referee ruined the occasion.
Preston had already made all three substitutions when the ref decided to send off their ‘keeper and thus end the match as a contest. It’s ridiculous that Preston should be reduced to ten men AND be forced to play a striker in goal for the last 20 minutes. Folk might think that would give us some sort of advantage, but everyone knows that teams raise their game when they go down to ten men. Furthermore, nobody wants to win a game like that.
So we didn’t.
The rot has stopped though. Paul Lambert, unbeaten Ipswich manager. The EADT will no doubt be awash with praise and rightly so. If you want to see how good I am, look at my former clubs this weekend. Aston Villa and Blackburn both won, while Norwich thrashed the Owls 4-0 at Hillsborough. Lambert Legacies are alive and well.
10th November 2018
Some fantastic work from Gilly in training this week; real outside of the box thinking. Given that we struggled to turn over a team with fewer players and a non-goalkeeper between the sticks last week, Gilly has had the players playing 11v11 practice matches and then we remove two players and the goalkeeper from the ressies with 20 minutes remaining. The results have been astounding. The strikers seemingly finding it much easier to score and the confidence is sky-high as we go to the Unspellable Arena to play Reading. I cracked a joke on the bus about that. “Spelling, Reading…like being back at school, eh lads?” Nobody laughed.
This pleased me greatly. Focused minds.
I know that we’re away from home, but I have a really good feeling about this one. Reading have been the shite to our pish so far this season. Never Mind The Danger lads, let’s go.
11th November 2018
It might be Remembrance weekend but I’ll be trying bastard hard to forget that shitshow. I just do not understand it. All that work Gilly put in to making us better in the last 20 minutes and we go and concede a late equaliser AGAIN. I mean, the lads were absolutely terrific for me, played some of the best football I’ve seen but it’s clear they need a hand. If they had a hand they might be able to hold onto something. I cracked a joke about that on the way back; “Right, Gilly wants you all in first thing to take turns at walking Rover…one way or another we’ll get you holding onto a lead!” Nobody laughed.
Good. Nothing funny about not winning (I’m still unbeaten btw).
The lad Sears bagged another goal. Marcus phoned after the game and said if he keeps this up he could get his dream move to be an over-aged player in a relegation threatened Premier League club’s under 23 side.
He’s such a card. Imagine if he really sold any player that someone was interested in to the first club that came knocking? Bonkers.
Progress is being made. We’re unbeaten in 2, have a neutral goal difference in that period and have scored 3 times. That record already makes a mockery of the Norwich fans labelling me “Agent Lambert”. Just wait until Marcus opens up that chequebook in January, we’ll catch them. Probably not by Christmas though.
12th November 2018
Got to the Portakabin early today. Looked out the window and there are the first teamers walking fucking dogs around the pitch.
Gilly had only taken me seriously! How funny. I didn’t say anything; the exercise will do them good.
After lunch, Gilly pulled me to one side and said that there was a problem. The players had let the dogs off their leads and now there was shite all over the practice pitch. “No change there, then” I said. Gilly roared his head off.
Seriously though, how bloody stupid are this lot?
I walked into the gym to find Chambo practicing fist-pumps in the mirror. “What the fuck are you doing?” I barked. “Gaffer, I’m sorry, but it’s been so long that I’m out of practice…I’m worried that the next time I do it, I’ll look a tit.” he whined. “THAT’S NEVER BOTHERED YOU BEFORE!!! NOW GET OUT THERE AND POOP-A-SCOOP!!!”
My shouting had caused a few of the lads to poke their heads round the door. I was going to crack a gag about Chambo being used to being surrounded by inanimate pieces of turd on a football pitch. Truth is I only just thought of it. Reckon they might have laughed at that one too. Another missed opportunity. Now I know how Kayden Jackson feels. Another one wasted. Now I know how Jack Lankester feels….stop it Paul, you’re on fire.