I'm usually the first or last to join the manager out campaign. Sometimes, in the case of Houllier, I never even joined the gang. I was convinced he was the right man and still am today. There is no question for many today that he was a man of culture and vision. Sadly, at the time, not many were willing to recognise this.
And I don't think many are willing to recognise that it would be silly to get rid of Paul Lambert at the moment. And it doesn't matter what I write, they wont be convinced or accept that justification I'm sure to write below.
However, we need change and sadly until this change happens, things are not going to get better. But it's not the manager or Ian Culverhouse (although that should have happened), it's the CEO. And ironically, many now accept this has to happen, but nobody will do anything.
But Faulkner doesn't need to be sacked. Make Paul Faulkner the HR Director, because that is what he's good at and get a CEO in that not only knows a little about football but will have us believing that it's possible.
Lambert has to stay
And the reason why we shouldn't sack Paul Lambert right now and the reason why it is silly; we're two seasons in. And in those two seasons, he has done a lot. Sure, you could argue we've gone backwards, but there is also a strong argument for sometimes having to go backwards.
And you could argue that we're not better off. But, then it could also be argued that his CEO was a muppet and let him bring in as many players as he wanted to last summer. Repeating myself now.
But it comes down to the manager and the changes he has made and that the entire squad is pretty much is now. And while you could argue we've gone backwards or players haven't developed. You could just as easily argue that we're missing just one or two players.
It's about the football
And that player or two is a central midfielder or playmaker or number ten, whatever you want to call him, who can make something happen. We don't need a striker because if you create chances for Benteke or Weimann, they'll take them.
I'm not sure we need any defenders, we've got 18 full backs and if we're attacking more and our central defenders have less to do, less mistakes will be made and less goals will be scored. But if we sit back because there is little confidence in going forward, it's fair that the opposition will have more of the ball and more chances.
So all we're missing is the quality and I'm absolutely convinced of that. We've got the squad and hopefully the new CEO will tell Lambert that he doesn't need to add to that. And you know what, this shouldn't be a surprise for Lambert. He should have this list.
He should know who these players are. But above everything else and above a new CEO or a new player or a huge transfer kitty, if the football doesn't change, then I'll be the first to say Lambert has to go. And I'll stand at the front of the line if by October next season we're still hitting long or having to watch Marc Albrighton drop his head and run looking at his feet and crossing into no mans land hoping to find an Aston Villa player.
And if by October we're the team that has played the most long balls, I'll say sack him. If in October we haven't had the majority of possession in most of our games, I'll say sack him. If in October we're still getting served the same old tripe as we're getting served at the moment, I'll say sack him.
Just a little more time
But with a new CEO, the clarity of only needing one or two players and the opportunity to get them playing football the right way (which is clearly something the manager has to change with is thinking or coaching staff), then I say he has to have until October. If not, the new CEO should have a plan and someone lined up.
And between now and the end of October there is plenty of time to draw up that list and not act surprised if in October we're still playing long ball football, giving it away too easily and not winning matches that we should be.
We're Aston Villa Football Club and yes, we give our managers time and everything they need to be the best they can, but there comes a time when change is needed. It isn't now, but unless things change, it will in October and I can tell you now, there will be no 'it looks like it's getting better', it has to be clearly better by then because by October, he would have had long enough.