Paul Lambert future at Aston Villa in doubt after allies are suspended
The club's assistant manager and head of football operations have been removed pending an internal investigation
Tuesday 15 April 2014
Fresh doubt has been cast on the future of the Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert after the suspension of his two closest allies at the struggling Premier League club.
Ian Culverhouse and Gary Karsa, Lambert's assistant manager and head of football operations respectively, have been suspended pending an internal investigation. However, they are not expected to return to their positions.
Lambert, speaking after Villa's 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace on Saturday, had alluded to "things" going on "behind the scenes" and it is rumoured that Culverhouse and Karsa had fallen out with key players and staff.
Villa's dismal run of form may be a more obvious factor and the club hope that the shake-up will lift a team still needing at least one more victory to secure Premier League survival.
Culverhouse and Karsa, who had worked with Lambert in each of his three previous managerial posts at Wycombe, Colchester and Norwich, have been replaced temporarily by under-21s coach Gordon Cowans and Shay Given – a goalkeeper largely sidelined by Lambert – who took training with the Scot today.
A Villa source insisted that the decision had been made with Lambert's blessing, stressing that "the manager's position here is rock-solid", and the Scot himself said: "I'm delighted to have Gordon and Shay to assist me in preparing the team for Saturday, which is what the whole group is focused on."
However, dissent is growing among Villa's fanbase, who have seen a record 10 home league losses this term and no signs of progress in Lambert's second season. Villa host Southampton on Saturday looking to avoid a fifth successive defeat.
The club's chief executive, Paul Faulkner, had said on Monday: "Now more than ever it's time for us all to pull together – fans, players, the manager, everyone at the club."
Latest in Sport
Petr Cech 'to ask' for Arsenal move to keep his family in London
England 'favourites' to host 2018 World Cup after Sepp Blatter resignation - Qatar and Russia under pressure
Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez saves female fan from police in amazing gesture
Sepp Blatter quits as Fifa president live: Chuck Blazer exposes decades of bribery and back handers in explosive testimony
Brendan Rodgers' job safe for now but Liverpool owners plan for improvement
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 4 Amy Schumer: 'I'm 160lbs and can catch a d**k any time I want'
- 5 Isis executes three gay men by dangling them from top of 100ft building and letting go
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Church of England 'one generation away from extinction' after dramatic loss of followers
Russian 'aggression' sees Poland rearm its military as minister warns: 'We must be ready'