Aston Villa: Paul Lambert sacked as manager
Aston Villa have sacked manager Paul Lambert after dropping into the Premier League relegation zone.
Tuesday's 2-0 loss to fellow strugglers Hull City was the West Midlands club's 10th league game without a win.
They have also managed just 12 league goals from 25 games - the lowest in Premier League history.
First-team coach Scott Marshall and goalkeeping coach Andy Marshall have taken temporary charge with 13 league matches remaining.
Football pundit Pat Nevin said the sacking had been coming given Villa's precarious league position, the lack of goals and the lack of entertaining football for Villa fans at home.
"Paul's a friend of mine, but that one is an absolute stick on," Nevin told Radio 5 live. "It was going to happen."
Disgruntled Villa fans had called for the 45-year-old Lambert, who was appointed in 2012, to go during the game against Hull.
After the match, the Scot said he had been aware of the discontent "months ago" but was determined to battle on:, insisting "I've told the players they've got 13 cup finals."
Only two weeks ago, Villa chief executive Tom Fox had told BBC Sport said Lambert would remain in charge, adding that to sack him would be like "flipping a coin".
Fox added: "When things aren't going well, fans bay for that type of blood. That's not the way that I or the owner are going to make a decision. It's a false narrative."
Villa's decision to sack Lambert came just hours after the Birmingham Mail started a campaign to oust the former Norwich boss.
Their front and back pages were covered with the message: "Birmingham Mail says: Lambert Must Go!"
It was accompanied by the hashtag #lambertout.
Birmingham Mail editor Marc Reeves told BBC Midlands Today that his newspaper wanted to give "hundreds and thousands" of Villa fans the opportunity to have their say on Lambert.
"It's a voice that needs to be listened to and the Mail wanted to play its part in amplifying that voice to the Aston Villa board," he said.
BBC Radio 5 live's Pat Murphy:
"Villa owner Randy Lerner was determined to ride out the storm and, with Paul Lambert, had the best relationship he'd had with any Villa manager.
"I still believe Lerner will sell up during the summer. To a certain extent he's protecting his investment here.
"He'll be terrified about Villa going down - they have not been relegated since 1986-87 - and they look as if they could.
"I don't believe they will. They have a very good squad of players. They just need some sophisticated, modern coaching."
"There's always an insult around the corner": Revisit Lambert's run-ins with BBC Radio 5 Live's football reporter Pat Murphy.
Lambert arrived at Villa with a strong reputation, having managed Livingston, Wycombe, Colchester and Norwich.
He had taken the Canaries from League One to the Premier League, but he struggled to make an impact at Villa.
They have finished 15th in the last two seasons.
During Lambert's time in charge, they scored just 98 goals in 101 league games and collected 102 points. And this season's goals-per-game ratio of 0.48 is the lowest in English league history.
Bolton manager Neil Lennon, working on BBC Radio 5 live as a pundit, said he felt "very sad" for his "good friend" and former Celtic team-mate.
"Villa had been on a horrendous run and he'd had his hands tied for a long time in terms of finances," added Lennon.
"But ultimately you're judged on results. It's significant that they've just dropped into the bottom three and the very next day Paul's gone."
|Aston Villa's recent managers|
|Manager||In charge||Played||Won||Goals for/against||Win %|
|Paul Lambert||Jun 12 - Feb 15||101||25||98 / 164||24.75%|
|Alex McLeish||Jun 11 - May 12||38||7||37 / 53||18.42%|
|Gerard Houllier||Sep 10 - Jun 11||33||10||42 / 50||30.3%|
|Martin O'Neill||Aug 06 - Aug 10||152||61||220 / 179||40.13%|
|David O'Leary||Aug 03 - Jul 06||114||37||135 / 151||32.46%|