Lambert Was a Great Pupil - Teacher Erich ; VILLA ON TOUR

By Kendrick, Mat | Birmingham Evening Mail (England), July 12, 2013 | Go to article overview

Lambert Was a Great Pupil - Teacher Erich ; VILLA ON TOUR


Kendrick, Mat, Birmingham Evening Mail (England)


WHEN Paul Lambert was presented with his Pro-Licence in the Senate Hall of the German Sports University in Cologne on December 8, 2004 he was greeted with the message "you are a fantastic person".

Now the highly respected German coach who uttered those words is enjoying watching his Scottish student of the game rise from the classroom to the dugout as he strives to become a managerial master.

Erich Rutemoller is a big player when it comes to training trainers through the Deutscher Fussball-Bund (DFB) 'Football Teacher' course that is the German FA's version of UEFA's top coaching qualification.

Rutemoller identified almost a decade ago that Lambert potentially possessed star quality as a coach even though the former Borussia Dortmund Champions League winner did not behave like a superstar. Lambert is the only British coach Rutemoller taught in more than ten years assisting on, and then running of, a coaching system which dates back to Germany's 1954 World Cup win under visionary Sepp Herberger.

The Villa boss' presence among 27 students in the class of 2004 came about because Rutemoller's friend, then-Scotland manager Berti Vogts, was priming the Celtic midfielder for a role with the SFA's youth teams.

"When I was asked if he could do the pro licence course in Germany I was really ready to work with him," recalls Rutemoller.

"He was really a fantastic guy. As a player he was fantastic because everybody in Dortmund liked him and when he said goodbye thousands of people cheered him, I remember.

"He showed the same attitude he had as a player as a coach. He was very disciplined, always on time, very interested in learning."

Herr Lambert had no airs and graces and contributed to the course by sharing his knowledge with the rest of the group. But Rutemoller reckons the former midfielder's personality is just as crucial as his playing experience when it comes to absorbing techniques and explaining them to his players.

"He knows a lot about football for sure as a professional player, but that's not the most important thing in being a good coach," he said.

"A good coach has to know how to transfer his own knowledge to players.

He has to know how to teach.

"You can know a lot about football but maybe you're a bad coach because you are not able to bring it to the players. He is good at making the transfer from theory to practice, especially since he knows a lot about European football and he played in a different country. …

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