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Wolves 1-2 Aston Villa, A Winning Start For Houllier

Gerard Houllier Manager gets his first win in charge of new Club Aston Villa Aston Villa 2010/11 Aston Villa V Blackburn Rovers (3-1) 22/09/10 The Carling Cup 3rd Round Photo Robin Parker Fotosports International Photo via Newscom
Gerard Houllier has Emile Heskey to thank for making his first Premier League game in charge of Aston Villa a memorable one. In a match which was very much a game of two half’s, Houllier’s side showed that they do still have plenty of quality with the powerful striker netting a late winner. But what should we be expecting from Houllier’s tenure at Villa Park?

In truth it was Wolves who had edged the second half, Villa had been on top for long periods before the break. They took the lead through Stewart Downing after excellent work from young Marc Albrighton.

The young winger is certainly making a name for himself this season, and his performance will have certainly given Houllier hope that he could have a rising star amongst his squad. Albrighton is determined and intelligent and while he has burst on to the scene out of nowhere, he has certainly made an impression.

Albrighton is very much a part of a good Villa squad, and to be honest I think it is the strength in the squad that saw Houllier leave the comfort of a job with the French Football Federation for a role at Villa Park.

The job at Villa was very much continuing somebody else’s good work. It’s not as if Martin O’Neill had left the Frenchmen with a squad that needed a lot of work. Yes they had lost James Milner to Manchester City, but with players like Gabby Agbonlahor and Ashley Young there was still plenty of quality for Houllier to work with.

The reason why O’Neill left was because he felt he had taken the club as far as he could, but Houllier obviously feels he can take the club to the next level. While I can’t see Villa charging in to the Champions League places, I can’t see them tumbling down the league either.

I think to maintain Villa’s recent success would be an acceptable achievement for Houllier, although Villa fans might not see it that way. The fact of the matter is that while they have a good squad, to get in to the next level of clubs would take a massive investment, something that looks highly unlikely with the steady approach of club owner Randy Lerner.

Heskey did net a winner late on for Villa, but in truth a draw would have been the fair result. The two sides drew 1-1 last year at Molineux, and should have probably drawn again today. That result would have set the tone for Houllier’s tenure, which I expect to be very similar to O’Neill’s with the Villa Park pushing for a finish in the higher reaches of the league, but just coming up short.

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  1. Tom Hingley

    September 27, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Just an update. Sidwell broke Guedioura’s leg and the Algerian will now be out for 6 months.

    Lets see how much coverage this gets. I won’t hold my breath.

  2. Thomas J.

    September 26, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Under Houllier Aston Villa will be the team that overachieves this season. They don’t have the depth in their squad to compete for a place in the Champions league but I do think they might fiish in the top 6 which will be a terrific achievement given their resources. I think Villa have made a terrific choice in making Houllier their manager.

  3. Villain-from-Texas

    September 26, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Villa we indeed fortunate to leave with all 3 points, though both of our goals were quality. Jarvis and Henry played rather well for Wolves. As for Albrighton, he has been rising through the ranks for a few seasons now; so he hasn’t exactly come out of nowhere. Nice to see him finally getting a run.

  4. Cricketlover

    September 26, 2010 at 11:27 am

    I agree that a draw would have been a fair result. However, I’m happy for Houllier whom I think has been very unfairly treated by some Liverpool supporters for the decline of the club especially in his last couple of years there. I believe his medical problem had more to do with him not being at his best during that time. He has won titles in France recently and has shown that he is still a very good manager. Heskey has now scored in two successive matches and if Houllier can motivate the other Villa players as he has Heskey I think Villa will steadily improve. I believe the Europa League is an achievable target for Villa this season.

  5. Tom Hingley

    September 26, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Absolute sickener for a Wolves fan such as myself. I agree draw was a fair result, but hey, its a cruel league.

    One thing though, any thoughts on Sidwell’s challenge on Guedioura at the end? Absolutely disgusting I thought. Had it been a Wolves player committing the foul, I’m sure the media, and many people on this site would have been up in arms.

    • VillaPark

      September 26, 2010 at 11:23 am

      Since Villa don’t have that reputation, one would think more along the lines that Sidwell was just clumsy having only been on the pitch for a total of five minutes this season (at the end of the game today).

      • Tom Hingley

        September 26, 2010 at 11:54 am

        Villa Park, I agree. I have long said these things happen. What annoys me is this reputation Wolves unfairly gained pretty much out of a battle with Joey Barton.

        As I’m sure you saw today, there really is no evidence that Wolves deserve a dirty tag.

        • West Coast Villan

          September 27, 2010 at 12:31 am

          Agreed. Wolves played well today and were nothing but classy in their play and how they composed themselves. You certainly didn’t play like a side that lost the last 3 games. I think you’ll do well this season.

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