Rise and shine
Dwight Yorke and Paul Merson give their take on Paul Lambert's appointment as Aston Villa manager.
Last Updated: 06/06/12 10:54am
Paul Lambert is the right man to galvanise Aston Villa.
That's the view of former striker Dwight Yorke after the club confirmed on Saturday that ex-Norwich chief Lambert had penned a three-year deal to succeed Alex McLeish as manager.
Villa recorded only seven Premier League victories last term en route to finishing 16th and Yorke hopes Lambert, who guided Norwich to a safe mid-table position during the 2011/12 campaign, can have a positive impact.
"Aston Villa had an extremely poor season and in the last couple of years they haven't done particularly great for such a big club," Yorke, who represented Villa from 1989 to 1998 and netted 73 top-flight goals, told Sky Sports News.
"I want to see them up there among the big five, knocking on the door for the top four. Whether that can happen under Paul Lambert I'm not sure, but I think he is a very good appointment."
Sky Sports pundit and one-time Villa playmaker Paul Merson believes that Lambert, who took Norwich from the doldrums of League One to the glitz of the Premier League in two seasons, can guide Villa into the top half of the table next season.
But he has encouraged the Scot to try and attract "flair" players to the club in an effort to win over some of the Villa supporters that were disgruntled during McLeish's one-year tenure.
"Paul Lambert reminds me of Martin O'Neill," said the Soccer Saturday man. "All his mannerisms are the same and I think he'll be a top-drawer manager.
"He did great at Norwich but this is a different kind of pressure now; Norwich were aiming to achieve 40 points and stay up, whereas Villa will be looking to finish in the top half next season and go on from there.
"But they need to buy a lot of players in my opinion - not one or two, but five or six if they're going to be a threat or even a top-half threat. But he's a very good manager, very enthusiastic and what he's done at Norwich is not far off a miracle."
Merse added: "They've got to get the fans back into the ground. Aston Villa is a big football club and to see the place with a lot of empty seats is not right. They've got to bring that back by playing some attacking football.
"People will ask why Alex McLeish didn't do that but he didn't have the players to play attacking football. That's the first thing Paul Lambert will look at - he's got to bring in attacking, flair footballers."