Gérard Houllier to become Aston Villa manager

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Gérard Houllier to become Aston Villa manager
Former Liverpool boss Gérard Houllier is poised to return to the Premier League at the ripe old age of 63 to take over as Aston Villa manager.
The Villains have been searching for a replacement for Martin O’Neill since the Irishman left the club days before the start of the new season, and interviewed the Frenchman last week along with former Charlton and West Ham boss Alan Curbishley and the club’s current caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald.
Initially, it was believed that Aston Villa’s owner, Randy Lerner, was keen to offer the position to MacDonald on a full-time basis. However, it seems Houllier’s application was too good for the wealthy American to dismiss, and it’s he who will now take over at Villa Park.
News of his pending appointment has been met with mixed reaction in the West Midlands. For all those who believe that Houllier has the credentials to maintain Villa’s status as a top-six club, there are just as many – if not more - who feel this move represents a step in the wrong direction.
Equipped with six invaluable years experience of managing in the English top-flight, though, there’s little doubt that Houllier understands what it’ll take to keep Villa inside the European places.
But the jury is still out despite his lengthy tenure at Anfield – particularly with regards to his dealings in the transfer market.

The Frenchman, who is famed in his native country for his dedication to youth football and technical development, made more than his fair share of dubious signings while at Liverpool. The likes of El Hadji Diouf, Salif Diao and Bruno Cheyrou were all brought to the club by Houllier for sizeable sums of money, but all failed to make an impression under his management.
Some Villa supporters are naturally wary that a similar influx of players will arrive at Villa Park over the forthcoming months and years.
Although they should have fewer concerns about to his ability to deliver silverware. During his spell in charge at Anfield, Houllier won an FA Cup, two League Cups, a Uefa Cup and a Uefa Super Cup. At Paris Saint-Germain, he led the club to league success in the mid-1980s; while with Lyon, he secured two more Ligue 1 titles.
The famous 2000/01 campaign remains a golden year in Liverpool’s recent history, though, as the club secured a trio of trophies under the French manager’s stewardship.
His assistant during that triumphant season was Phil Thompson, who has spent the last six years working on Sky Sports’ popular weekend show ‘Soccer Saturday’.
It’s expected that Houllier will re-appoint Thompson as his number two when he’s announced as Aston Villa’s new manager before the end of this week.
Where this leaves MacDonald remains to be seen. Having had a taste of Premier League management, there’s every chance that the 49-year-old will leave Villa Park in search of pastures new.
And as for Villa, Houllier’s appointment also represents the start of a new era. The post O’Neill era.
It’s certainly a gamble by Lerner, but despite the concerns, it’s a timely risk which could pay dividends.




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