After the sacking of Mark Hughes, Stoke City were in need of a new manager to propel them out of a relegation dogfight.
The Potters were sitting third bottom of the Premier League on 20 points from their first 23 matches when a new man was finally appointed.
Five wins, five draws and 13 defeats had been recorded when on January 15, 2018, the club’s hierarchy decided on the appointment of a new boss.
That man was Paul Lambert, who was given the job on a two-and-a-half year deal.
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) January 15, 2018
The remit was for Lambert to keep Stoke in the Premier League, but the initial reaction to the appointment was not overly positive from the club’s supporters.
It was a negative response to a somewhat uninspiring selection.
— Edward Sumner (@EdwardSumner96) January 15, 2018
Honestly mate though this day was bad enough already then open Twitter to this ????
— Matt Marsden (@AylesburyPotter) January 15, 2018
I wouldn’t be delighted with that
— Ben Alcroft (@ben_alcroft) January 15, 2018
Lambert’s first match in charge was a 2-0 win at home against Huddersfield Town.
That would be the first and only win under the former Norwich and Wolves boss until the final day of the season.
That would be a run of 14 matches without a win and, despite only losing six of those, eight were draws – which would not be enough to see the club survive.
Only one defeat in the opening six matches, form looked to be on the up, but wins were hard to come by and that elusive win or two to keep the Potters up was not forthcoming.
Stoke were already relegated before the final day of the season win over one of the sides accompanying them to the Championship, Swansea City.
Lambert had an uphill task to change the fortunes of a club in six months, but having had a transfer window and plenty of time to improve the results for Stoke, he ultimately failed.
The manager did his best with what he had but it was not enough to keep the Potters in the Premier League, and after a ten-year stay in the elite league of English football, they dropped back down to the second-tier.
Once the season had concluded, it was announced that Lambert had departed the club by mutual consent.
— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) May 18, 2018
The fans, to their credit, could not fault their now former boss for despite their relegation, but their reaction to his departure was of understanding.
Good bloke and wish him the best but some strange subs and poor win return meant he had to go.
— Hey You Guys (@PapaFratelli) May 18, 2018
Cant fault him for lack of trying. Good luck in the future Paul ????⚪️
— ollie (@olliewalton33) May 18, 2018
Great guy but the right decision has been made
— Andrew Owen (@owena1971) May 18, 2018
All the best Paul thanks for giving it your best shot .But for the lack of a decent striker I think you may have kept us up.
— Gray K (@GrayK67) May 18, 2018
The initial reaction was not favourable to the appointment of Lambert but he had changed the fans minds after trying his best to keep them up, before ultimately failing.
The supporters felt it was the right move to let Lambert go but he had the fans on his side despite their relegation.