It seems a shame that in the two days following a fantastic season in the Premier League, Norwich City discussion appears to be centred around one thing only – the future of manager Paul Lambert.
As soon as it emerged that Alex McLeish was set for the sack at Aston Villa, tongues were wagging and you can see why. Lambert would be the perfect choice for the Midlands club and would do a fantastic job – no arguments about that.
Would Lambert want to go to Villa Park though? Well, it seems nobody knows what he is thinking and this is nothing new. Who can ever pick the starting eleven each week for example?
Put another way, Lambert is his own man and always will be. When he left Colchester United, people said ‘Why would he go to Norwich? They are in a mess.’ The same can be applied to Villa now, but it doesn’t mean anything with regards to what Lambert will do.
We need to stop pretending we know what will happen with Lambert’s future. Nobody other than the man himself knows what he is thinking. Don’t be fooled otherwise by the ‘Isn’t it a backward step?’ or ‘He wants to be closer to Scotland’ brigade.
We should just enjoy the summer – as much as we can – and conclude that whatever happens, happens. The thing is, if we are to lose Lambert, now wouldn’t be the worst time.
Norwich are on the back of a mid-table finish in the Premier League, have a fantastic fan base, will have the debts cleared within a year and have an incredible amount of momentum behind them.
The quality of managers applying would be substantial and we would have to trust David McNally and co on who they would appoint next. Whether that be this summer or in two years time.
Anyway, it is time to reflect on a tremendous season instead. After all, the reason Lambert is being linked with a move away is due to how good we have been. We never had to deal with this unwanted speculation when Bryan Hamilton, Peter Grant or Glenn Roeder were in charge did we?
This season has definitely been the best of the last three. Promotion from League One was expected, but still credible and to win automatic promotion from the Championship was remarkable.
But to stay up comfortably in the top-flight of English football really is something. Excellent football has been played too and although there are too many names to mention, Grant Holt and John Ruddy have been tremendous.
It is the Holt and Wes Hoolahan combination that continues to excite too. Of course they have had their help – from the likes of Anthony Pilkington, Steve Morison and Elliott Bennett – but these two were creating and scoring goals for us in League One and they are now doing the same in the Premier League. What a story.
In terms of most memorable moments from the season, there are an incredible amount. Getting 18 points from QPR, Bolton and Swansea isn’t mentioned enough though and each of these wins epitomised what we have done well under Lambert.
There is no reason why it cannot continue next season either whether Lambert is in charge or not. The trio of Holt, Hoolahan and Howson – bound to be named Triple H by September – is extremely exciting and another couple of players to go alongside what we already have would be fantastic.
Speaking after the final game of the season – which was encouragingly a fresh, vibrant and comfortable win over Aston Villa – John Ruddy said Norwich can target the same again next season and it would be a success.
He is 100% on the money. Another 12th placed finish next year, playing the football we have done, creating the memories that will live forever and us Norwich fans will remain extremely happy with life.