Former Ipswich Town forward Darren Bent has issued a damning assessment of former Tractor Boys boss Paul Lambert and suggested that he nearly ruined the club during his spell in charge.
Bent played for Lambert during his time in charge of Aston Villa, but it was not a partnership that proved to be successful with Villa struggling for consistent results and the forward having been stripped of the captaincy and also forced to sit on the bench for most of their time together.
Lambert’s last job in football was with Ipswich and he was eventually left the club in March with the Tractor Boys sat in 8th place in the League One table.
That came after the former Norwich City boss had been handed the chance to try and take the club back into the Championship after their relegation in 2018/19. However, they missed out on the top-six in 2019/20 finishing in 11th.
The decision was then made to part company with him and replace him with Paul Cook as they looked likely to miss out on the play-offs again last term.
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Speaking in an interview with FourFourTwo magazine, via East Anglian Daily Times, Bent did not hold back in his assessment of Lambert’s man-management abilities and criticised his handling of him at Aston Villa. While he also then suggested he nearly ruined Ipswich during his spell at Portman Road.
He said: “I don’t know what the issue was there – we didn’t get on, but why, I don’t quite know,” said Bent, reflecting on the pair’s time together at Villa.
“I think he wasn’t a very good man-manager, he couldn’t deal with lads who had egos and big reputations, and we just didn’t see eye-to-eye on anything. It wasn’t a good time at all.
“The worst part was that he had already told Ron Vlaar, his new captain, a week before. It showed what kind of a man he was.
“We didn’t get on and I don’t particularly like him now – he was at Ipswich and nearly ruined my club.”
There seems to be no loved lost here from Bent towards Lambert, and whilst it might be a little over the top to have claimed that he nearly ruined the Tractor Boys during his time in charge it was clear that things did not work out for him at Portman Road. He was handed the chance to take them back into the Championship but largely underperformed in the third tier with a decent squad.
There would have been many supporters who would have wanted Lambert to have left at the end of the 2019/20 season, but he remained in charge for most of last term and as a result, they never really looked like being able to mount a successful promotion bid.
Lambert’s time at Ipswich can not be viewed as anything other than a failure really and Bent’s comments serve as a reminder that the best decision was made for the club when they parted company. The Tractor Boys now have the chance to start heading back in the right direction under Cook next season.