A manager's job in the world of football is a cutthroat one where results are the only thing that truly defines the performance in the role. Stoke City Football Club did not have the best of seasons in the 2017/18 season and was relegated from the English Premier League, ending their 10-year spell at the top flight.
Unfortunate for Paul Lambert, he was the man at the helm when Stoke were condemned to the English Championship but in truth, the Scot was taking over a sinking ship when he came on board in January of 2018 to replace Mark Hughes.
The former UEFA Champions League was in Kuala Lumpur recently and he opened up to Goal on just what happened in his short spell at The Potters and some of the moments in the season that led to Stoke's relegation.
"The club and the owners were great," Lambert told Goal. "Even the players gave me everything they had. I couldn’t ask for more effort. If we had another striker on board to help, I think we would’ve been fine. There were games we should’ve won."
"Leicester game I thought we should have beaten them. We were one nil up, drew 1-1. West Ham game was the same, at Brighton we missed a penalty to go 2-1 up, little moments like that if we had a little more luck. There were a lot of games that we played really well.
"I hope they do (win promotion). They are a really good club and the fans were great to me. I think the Championship is a really tough league. There’s 46 games to play there and it’s a very long season."
Having been in the management role since 2005 that started out at Livingston in Scotland, the job has taken him subsequently to Wycombe Wanderers, Colchester United, Norwich, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers as well as Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Yet despite two clubs in England offering him a job at the start of the current 2018/19 season, Lambert was adamant that he needed a break away from the sport to reinvigorate himself. At the moment, the former Borussia Dortmund and Celtic player is just enjoying some time off from the stress and pressure of the job.
Lambert has been in football for four decades now and has seen so much changed around the sport. From the time he was appearing for St Mirren in the 80's to donning the famous yellow jersey of Dortmund and being part of their historic Champions League final win over Juventus at Munich's Olympic Stadium in 1997.
He started out at time where many top Europeans managers would scoff at the opportunity to ply their work in Asia. But recent years have seen big name managers like Luis Felipe Scolari, Marcello Lippi, Gustavo Poyet, Felix Magath and even Andre Villas-Boas. The 49-year-old is another opened to the opportunity that may come from this part of the world
"There were one or two in England at the start of this season which I declined. I wanted a break which was important. Now as time goes on, I’ll have a look and go back into it. This is the first time I’ve ever been in Malaysia. I found different but great, a great experience.
"It took me out of my comfort zone because I’ve never traveled this far. But because I used to play abroad, I’m open to anything. Football is the same language everywhere. Just that the level and standard varies."
"There’s pros and cons to that. The big investment ones if you don’t get instant success, within a while you’re no longer there. The one that you build, you’re given time. The important thing is to work with good people. Players who want the same things, drive, fire in the belly and want to do it."
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