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Is Houllier The Right Man For Aston Villa?

Gerard HOULLIER - 11.02.2009 - Argentine / France - Match amical - Marseille..Photo : Nicolas Guyonnet Photo via Newscom

Former Liverpool boss Gérard Houllier is reportedly the man earmarked to take over at Aston Villa. The commanding Frenchmen has been out of work since 2007 after leaving Lyon but rumours have it that he is currently considering  an offer from Randy Lerner to return to work with the Midlands side. But would Houllier be the right man to step in for Martin O’Neill?

To be frank the answer is no. The right man for Aston Villa was Martin O’Neill. It is an unfortunate saga for football that has seen one of the most charismatic but gifted managers leave the game.  Whoever replaces O’Neill will have an almost impossible task.

But Houllier is somebody with vast experience and may be able to slowly make Villa fans forget about O’Neill era. Villa need a manager who can build a new dynasty and maybe somebody who can do something different to O’Neill.

Houllier is the sort of manager who will build a side that focuses on results rather than flair and this will be a big change for Villa fans that will have been used to different things under O’Neill.

But what Houllier can do is get the results. Liverpool fans will look back fondly to the days of success in cup competitions that the Frenchman had at Anfield.  In one off games Houllier was very successful at picking up positive results.

However in the league results were not so succesful and Houllier eventually lost his job due to his inability to secure Champions League football. This would be the making of any spell at Villa should he take over and going on history Houllier may suffer for his lack of ability to make his side grind out results.

But the main reason why I can’t see Houllier being a success at Villa Park is Houllier’s transfer policy.  Looking on his past at Liverpool this is where he drastically underperformed signing a huge amount of average players. O’Neill reportedly left because a lack of money for transfers meaning that Houllier would have to be immaculate with his budget and how he spent it.

I think Villa will find it very hard on to replace a manager of O’Neill’s stature and I feel the only way they can have any long term to success his to take a short term appointment on to fill the gap and help make fans forget about O’Neill. Because whoever replaces him is unfortunately destined to fail.

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  1. TJ

    September 9, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Zat Knight, Wayne Routledge, Steve Sidwell, Emile Heskey, Habib Beye, Moustapha Salifou, Marlon Harewood, Didier Agathe….all martin O’Neill signings. Every manager makes a few bad ones. Houllier will undoubtedly bring in a couple of shockers but amongst them i’m sure there will be some great bargains. I’m glad he’s villa manager and we should all get behind him and obviously give him time given the situation the club is in and the inability to make transfers til January.

  2. Matt

    September 8, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Again, I think Houllier would fit well with our team if the squad and supporters allow it. Yes, he transfer record had it’s low points (El-Hadji Diouf, Salif Diao and Bruno Cheyrou) while at Liverpool. But, what about Sami Hyypia, Stephane Henchoz, Didi Hamman, Jerzy Dudek and Gary McAllister?

    I think he did well.

  3. Mick

    September 6, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    I said it then and i say it now
    Theres only 1 Tony Barton…

  4. jose

    September 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    like my uncle vinny told me once, i heard things.

  5. Chris Bradshaw

    September 6, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Houllier is the perfect man for Villa right now.

    I am a Liverpool fan and grew up during the Evans era, when we were a solidly 4th-7th team, as Villa are now. Houllier took us that step further and consolidated our position in the top 4 in the days when it was a lot more fluid than it has been until this year. We were up against a dominant pairing of Man United and Arsenal, a big-spending Leeds and Newcastle and a strong Chelsea side . People forget that, far from missing out on Champions League football, Houllier guided us to the qualifying rounds for most of the seasons that he was in charge. His ‘lack’ of European success is only apparent when compared to Rafa’s incredible reign, but if you look at Souness and Evans before him, Houllier did a hell of a job with a Liverpool which, even then, did not have the cash available to its rivals.

    Houllier can do the same with Villa. If he has ironed out his ‘idiosyncracies’ (let’s say) in the transfer market, he could well get Villa challenging with Spurs, Liverpool and (should they continue to flatter to deceive) Man City for the major European places.

  6. mike

    September 6, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    I think this piece is well off beam, for one thing MON was failing in the Villa job, I know 6th,6th,6th but he wasted a fortune on some awful players, imagine what David Moyes would have done with that money. MON was a romantic throwback to another era with little or no tactical know how and a complete lack of any appreciation of European football. also MON had lost the dressing room towards the end of last season (fact)

    Good riddiance to this self centred little egotist and the two clowns he always had in tow, cone and bib the players called them on the training ground due to thier level of involvement in training sessions.

    I will give my full support to anyone who now manages the club.


  7. Bigvilla

    September 6, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Nope he is not the man for me, average at best and he is past his best at 63. Where is the future going for a 63 year old? Macdonald should be given a crack before going for managers that have a proven record of wasting vast amounts of money on poor transfer. Macdonald has a good record of the reserves finishing in the top two the last seven seasons with poor players. Don’t judge him on a few games before he has had chance to mould the team. And anyway we sit fourth at the moment and I don’t think many managers would have had us doing that coming in, in the circumstances and being in temporary charge. We will lose Macdonald imo and it will be a great waste. There was not hurting to give him a few months to prove himself.

    There are a lot of fans not over joyed with Houllier so I think its a bad choice.

    • Sir Guy

      September 6, 2010 at 10:03 pm

      “…he is past his best at 63. Where is the future going for a 63 year old?”

      When you are my age, if you get that far, you won’t ask this question. 😉

  8. Chip

    September 6, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    O’Neill was only missed for a few days. He left us FIVE days before the start of the season and took 5 key people with him. His and their loyalty was to O’Neill and not to Aston Villa. Good riddance to him. He may have taken us to Wembley twice last year, but he failed to get us into The Champions League even though we had every opportunity. The points we dropped at home against poorer sides would have taken us into 4th or above. His tactical ability was pathetic most of the time. Heskey for Carew was about the extent of his use of substitutes.
    I would like to see a Director of Football with a team of dedicated coaches headed up by Kevin MacDonald. They have to be loyal to Aston Villa so the rumours that Phil Thompson will come in as No.2 to Gerard Houllier are a little disconcerting. We don’t want to see another walkout.

  9. Matt

    September 6, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    As a Villain, I will definitely miss MON, but it’s time to move on. Personally, I think Houllier seems like the perfect fit. He won five trophies as manager of Liverpool (six if you include the Charity Shield) … that’s enough for me.

    MacDonald just doesn’t do it for me. We’re a top team, we deserve a real manager. Houllier will have his work cut out for him, and with his health conditions, let’s hope he is prepared on all fronts for this position.

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