Lambert To The Slaughter – The Replacement Shortlist

Despite their 1-1 draw with high-flying Southampton last night, there’s a large section of the Aston Villa support still for Paul Lambert’s head.

The Scot is leading the Premier League Sack Race, in a season where there’s uncharacteristically been no managerial casualties a third of the way through the campaign.

We have a look at the possible replacements should Lambert fall on his sword.

Roy Keane

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Aston Villa v Arsenal - Villa Park

There was a feeling when Keane was appointed as Lambert’s assistant that it was just a matter of time that the Irishman usurped Lambert in the managerial hotseat.

Keane’s record in management is chequered, to say the least, with a successful start at Sunderland ending acrimoniously and a forgettable spell at Ipswich Town tarnishing his managerial profile.

His introduction as second-in-command hasn’t exactly transformed Villa, so there’d be mixed emotions amongst Villa fans should he succeed the current boss.

Tony Pulis

Soccer - Pre-Season Friendly - Brentford v Crystal Palace - Griffin Park

Your club is flirting with relegation from the Premier League? Who ya gonna call? Tony Pulis, of course.

Pulis’ achievements at Stoke City were somewhat underrated when he finally parted company with the Potters, having brought them from bottom of the Championship to an established top flight club.

His miracle work at keeping Crystal Palace up last year further enhanced his reputation and he’ll be amongst the favourites to take over the reins at over at least a dozen Premier League clubs should they dispense with their current boss.

He parted company with Palace after clashing with chairman Steve Parish over transfer policy, so frugal Villa owner Randy Lerner could prove to be the main stumbling block to a potential move to Villa Park.

Jurgen Klinsmann

Soccer - International Friendly - Republic of Ireland v USA - Aviva Stadium

The German seems content as manager of USA, but is constantly linked with a move back to the Premier League – particularly at former club Tottenham.

Klinsmann has little experience in club management, sacked by Bayern Munich during his first season in charge at the club. Again, this was due to differences of opinions with the club’s board of directors, so a working relationship with Lerner could prove difficult.

However, he’s garnered a respected reputation from his time managing the States and Germany, and would bring much-needed glamour to the ailing Midlands club.

David Moyes

Spain Soccer Real Sociedad Moyes

Moyes would surely be a top contender to manage a club of Villa’s stature, had he not recently taken over the reins at Real Sociedad.

However, it is clear the Scot sees the Spanish club as a stepping stone to rebuilding his reputation in the English game and his work with Everton would surely be appealing to Lerner when he is searching for is next manager.

Moyes worked on tight budgets at Goodison Park, and will again at Sociedad, so would have no problem with Villa’s financial constraints.

Michael Laudrup

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Swansea City - Old Trafford

Just twelve months ago the Dane was flavor of the month in the Premier League, building on the work of his Swansea City predecessors and developing a stylish team who won the League Cup – the club’s first major trophy.

He was linked to a number of top clubs during his reign in Wales, but after his acrimonious departure he’s ended up in the backwater of Qatari football, managing Lekhwiya.

He is only on a one-year deal with the Qatar Star League side and will be hopeful of a chance again at an established European side, having also managed Bronby, Spartak Moscow, Getafe and Mallorca.