Former Liverpool and Lyon boss Gerard Houllier was named as Aston Villa manager yesterday. Villa had been without a full time manager for nearly a month following Martin O’Neill’s resignation days before the new season.
Houllier has had a mixed bag of success in his managerial career so far. He’s won the French league three times, once with Paris St Germain and twice with Lyon. With Liverpool he won the UEFA Cup, FA Cup and two League Cup’s. Despite a decent trophy haul with Liverpool he never managed to win the Champions League or turn them into title challengers.
He was also coach of the French national team that failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup despite possessing such stars as Eric Cantona, Laurent Blanc, Didier Deschamps and David Ginola (who Houllier blamed for France’s elimination).
Questions are being raised as to who will be Houllier’s second in command. His number 2 at Anfield, Phil Thompson, has turned down an offer and will continue with his TV punditry. Kevin MacDonald, who has been with Villa for a number of years, will surely be made assistant. The club bigwig’s fear a fan backlash should MacDonald be released, that’s what held up the appointment of Houllier in the first place.
Another question to be asked is whether Houllier is healthy enough for day to day running of a team. Everyone knows he had heart problems while at Liverpool. Other than a couple of seasons with Lyon, where it’s almost a formality winning the league, he’s had more ‘upstairs’ jobs since his time at Anfield.
If he can get his signings right, and let’s face it he bought some real numpties for Liverpool, then he has the experience and knowledge to do a good job for Villa.
What do Villa fans think? Happy with Houllier or did you have someone else in mind?
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