Paul Lambert knew he was taking a tough assignment when he became Aston Villa manager in 2012 but the task of reviving the fortunes of one of England's big names proved beyond him.
The Scot was sacked on Wednesday with the Midlands club in the relegation zone and in freefall and questions being asked about the club's policy in the transfer market. His departure means there are no Scottish manager in the Premier League fir the first time since it's inception in 1992.
American owner Randy Lerner's reluctance to sanction expensive signings means Villa have promoted through the youth ranks and signed players from lower division - an admirable policy but one which is fraught with danger. "The club's owner, Randy Lerner, warned me that I was embarking on the toughest challenge of my working life and he was not wrong," Lambert said in a statement. "My remit was to conduct a massive overhaul of the playing squad, lower the overall wage structure of the playing staff and achieve this while keeping the club in the Premier League. There was also a concerted effort to purchase and develop younger players who would provide a solid footing for the football club to move forward ."