Uncertain future for Lambert & Mel








9 May 2014
Last updated at
21:01













Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert and West Brom boss Pepe Mel both face uncertain futures heading into Sunday’s final round of Premier League fixtures.

Both struggled to avoid relegation and now face talks with their respective boards once the season is completed.

Villa owner Randy Lerner is rumoured to be considering selling the club, while Mel has been linked with a return to Spanish club Malaga.

“In four or five days we’ll know where we are going to end up,” said Mel.

Lambert, 44, only secured Villa’s Premier League status with last weekend’s victory over Hull and awaits a promised

statement from Lerner about the American’s future

as soon as the season finishes.

“I’ll say it once and once only – I don’t know what the statement from the chairman is going to say,” said Lambert.

“I don’t know when it’s coming out. I know as much as you [the media] do at the minute, but I’ll respect whatever Randy’s got to say. I don’t have one problem.


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I’ve really had to do more than being a head coach – there were too many issues that aren’t related to football.



Pepe Mel
West Brom head coach


“My job is to keep this club up and protect everybody else and that’s what I’ve done. I’ll just see what happens.”

Mel, who was only

appointed West Brom head coach in January,

may need assurances from chairman Jeremy Peace if he is to be persuaded to stay on at the Hawthorns.

“I’ll meet with the chairman and we will see if the vision he has for the club is the same as mine,” explained Mel, 51.

“If it is we will continue on to next season, and if it is not, we will not.”

Mel claimed the uncertainty about his future and numerous off-field incidents this season – including a dressing room clash between Saido Berahino and James Morrison and the

controversial departure of Nicolas Anelka

following his ‘quenelle’ gesture – had affected the club.

“I think this has been really damaging for everyone,” he added. “I’ve really had to do more than being a head coach – there were too many issues that aren’t related to football.”

Lambert,

appointed Villa manager two years ago,

has been involved in a relegation battle in both of his seasons at the club, but he regards his success in keeping Villa in the Premier League this term as the “greatest thing” he has achieved in his managerial career.

“It’s been the hardest season ever, but it’s never plain sailing in football management and that’s why I say it’s the greatest thing I’ve achieved,” said Lambert.

“I won promotions at Norwich from League One to the Premier League, but I still class this as the best thing I’ve done.”







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Theo Walcott: Arsenal boss Wenger uncertain over injury

22 September 2013 Last updated at 18:36 GMT

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hopes an injury to Theo Walcott, suffered before the win over Stoke, is not serious.

The Gunners completed a 3-1 victory with three set-piece goals to earn their seventh consecutive win.

But Walcott, 24, did not take part in the game despite initially being named on the team sheet.

“We hope we haven’t lost Walcott for a long time. He has a muscular abdominal problem but I don’t know how serious it is,” Wenger told BBC Sport.

“Is it a question of days? I hope so. He had a little problem before the Marseille game and it became a bit worse.

“It is a bit mysterious because we don’t really know what it is.”

Walcott, who scored his first goal of the season in the 2-1 win over Marseille in the Champions League on Wednesday, was replaced by 18-year-old German Serge Gnabry against Stoke.

But Walcott has suffered from a similar injury before, having withdrawn from the England team earlier in 2013 and on that occasion was out for three weeks.

One of the Gunners’ injured players, Mikel Arteta, returned to action on Sunday, coming on for the last 10 minutes against the Potters.

And Wenger said other absentees would return after the next international break with players back at their clubs on 16 October.

Arsenal face West Brom in the League Cup on Wednesday and Wenger said he would rest some of his key players after a busy opening schedule. That could mean a start for Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner, who made the bench on Sunday for the first time this season.

“I have to rotate [for the West Brom game] because we have many players on the fringe and I have to make some decisions,” the manager said. “We have a game on Saturday and a game against Napoli [in the Champions League] after that so we will have to rotate.”

Of his team’s victory against Stoke, he admitted it was “unusual” to score from three set-pieces.

He added: “We have established a good run and overall, after a Champions League game, to win is very important. We did it with two different halves. The first was fluent, the second was down to desire and will. “

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