Paul Lambert Feeling the Pressure?
Monday, 11th Apr 2011 11:05
Norwich City manager, Paul Lambert, might just be showing a bit of the pressure of trying to keep hold of the second automatic promotion spot.
Saturday saw Norwich City lose by three goals to nil against Swansea City, now one point behind Norwich but in fourth place on goal difference to Cardiff.
The defeat put an end to a nine-game run without defeat, the last being to Burnley at Turf Moor by two goals to one.
The encouraging news for Norwich City supporters, or worrying for Watford supporters, the next contenders on Tuesday evening (7:45pm), is that Paul Lambert's men have yet to lose two games in a row.
For the past two seasons Paul Lambert has been calm, cool and collected in his post match interviews, seldom letting slip his own feelings. It is a trait that is much admired among the football pundits and Norwich City supporters, somewhat irritating to journalists who want something more that just the everyday, nitty gritty of football to write about.
His post match interview, with the Swansea defeat still very fresh in his mind, Paul Lambert might possibly have shown a crack or two in his otherwise, icy cool exterior.
“The game was lost in the first half but I felt we should have scored before they got the free kick,” he said. “The free kick you just have to hold your hand up - it was a brilliant free kick. The second goal was a bit disappointing because we could’ve shut the ball down a bit quicker."
The goalmouth melee where Dorus De Vries kept Dani Pacheco and Grant Holt out was excellent defensive play by Swansea, but other opportunities went wide of the mark, sadly.
Zak Whitbread's foul just outside the area was questionable with the benefit of hindsight. He definitely played the ball, but he didn't get to it and it resulted in bringing his man down.
The resulting free kick has been replayed over and over on Sky television as being almost move to move a perfect replica of Didier Drogba by Fabio Borini.
Swansea's second goal came after a poor clearance by Andrew Surman that set the ball up nicely for Gower whose shot whistled past Ruddy's outstretched arm.
Lambert said: " The pleasing thing was we never wilted.
“I’m disappointed to lose but we’re sitting second still. They are a very good side but so are my own group. It was a hard game for us but I am sure Brendan (Rodgers) would say the same."
That is a bit of a riddle, ask the other manager. The other manager, Brendan Rogers had spent all week telling the world and his brother that his (Rogers') team were going to show Norwich the door. His post match huff'n'puff was all about his victory and how the march to the Premier League was back on track.
Would Brendan Rogers doff his cap to the standard of the Norwich City play? Probably not. He had this to say in his post match interview: "Tactically we were outstanding and we showed great control. We had our hands full but we coped well after the first 10 minutes and the first goal settled us down."
Sounding more like his usual self, Paul Lambert went on to say:“I’m confident they’ll give me everything again on Tuesday." So are several thousand Norwich supporters, a couple thousand of which will again travel with the team.
There is absolutely no doubts whatsoever about Paul Lambert's ability. His is a manager on his way to the top and the hope is that he continues to take Norwich City along for the ride.
The pressure in his closing statement might be the result of the questions put to him by some interveiwers who, it must be said, have the finesse of a pig at a banquet.
The first time possibly, that Paul Lambert has said: " I can’t dictate results. We’ll get them ready for another tough game but once they cross that white line its up to them.”
Photo: Action Images
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