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Should Villa Stick With Houllier?

Yesterday saw Aston Villa slump to another defeat to the hands of mega rich Manchester City. This leaves Villa one point above the relegation zone and with another  four goals conceded it leaves Houllier’s boys with a minus 14 goal difference, joint worst in the league.

What has gone wrong at Villa Park? For the last few seasons Villa have prided themselves on having such a strong defense. Yet again I awoke this morning to see rumours that Villa could be selling Richard Dunne and Curtis Davies. I don’t understand why they are so eager to sell other senior players this January. We need to keep the squad until we are safe and then think about selling the players at the end of the season but then again there are others that believe the ‘out with the old and in with the new’ will get Villa out of this messy situation.

After 30 minutes yesterday Aston Villa were 3 down and it was looking like we were heading for another 6 nil hammering. My first reactions after the game was to sack Houllier before it gets so bad and there’s no turning back. At the minute there are two managers available who I believe would do a better job then Houllier.  Martin Jol and Sam Allardyce are the two that come to my mind. After speaking to a number of Villa fans who went to the game yesterday the first thing they all said were that Villa didn’t have a bad starting eleven on paper but they played like they didn’t have a clue. To me that comes from the manager. Recently we’ve had the transfer request from Stephen Ireland and the changing room bustups. This shows the manager has lost the dressing room and the confidence from the players. West Ham are in a worse position than Villa but Junior Stanislas came out publicly and gave his backing and the rest of the teams backing to Avram Grant after the Blackburn game. No one at Villa have come out to give their backing to the manager.

Going away to Manchester City we should have played our most experienced team. We started with Barry Bannan up against the likes of Yaya Toure and Nigel De Jong. Yes Bannan is one for the future but he hasn’t got the ability to play against these two world class midfielders. Whats wrong with Robert Pires? If he can play why his he on the bench with all his experience and we’re playing youngsters? He’s getting 10 minutes a game and he’s not being able to show if he still has it. I know he started against Arsenal but he wasn’t fit back then.

On Sunday we play away at Stamford Bridge and I am really worried of a Chelsea backlash. I would be a little more optimistic if we were at Villa Park but I can’t see anymore than a Chelsea win.

My Prediction Chelsea Win 3-0.

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  1. Dean

    January 2, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    Houllier should not be at villa from the start he has done nothing 4 us at all he should be sack all ready he says he dont worry about his JOB but he should he a wast of space. Randy Lerner should get him out of villa 4 good & replace him with some one better. I HAVE NEVER LIKE HIM FORM THE START .

  2. Jefferson

    December 30, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Villa fans, I have the right man for you. Roy Hodgson. Manager of the Year, highly rated by most in the English press and has 35 years of experience, most of it in the EPL. If you ask nicely Liverpool fans might even trade Houllier for Hodgson. What do you say?

  3. Smokey Bacon

    December 29, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Seems to be shooting himself in the foot at every opportunity. Falling out with Dunne has clearly upset team morale. He has basically told Friedel to f-off at the end of the season, same thing with Carew. Agbonlahor nowhere to be seen and Young almost out the door. The whole spine of the team is f*cked. And the clueless one’s response to all this. Pires and maybe Robbie Keane. You are having a laugh. Villa are in free fall and with the league as tight as it is this season, a “big” name could get sucked into a relegation dogfight and sent down. And on current form, its Villa. Lerner needs to pick up the phone and get Jol to sort out the mess.

  4. Terry

    December 29, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Villa have lost to the likes of Manchester City which are clubs they were not favored to win against. When Villa start losing consistently at home to the bottom teams is when Villa fans should start calling for the manager’s head. Too many injuries have hampered their progress.

    It’s not like Villa lost at home to the 20th placed team in the league. That title goes to the hapless Liverpool that are now only three points from relegation. So villa fans, take comfort in knowing you’re nowhere near as pathetic as Liverpool.

    Once gain we see the double standards in the English press. Many calling into question Houllier’s tenure at Villa yet none have called into question Roy Hodgson’s failure at Liverpool. Liverpool lost to Northampton, Blackpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers at home this season under Hodgson and have not won an away game yet. Villa don’t have the squad Liverpool has and I think Villa will come good under Houllier as I have seen signs of the team playing well when most of their players are healthy. The Manchester United game comes to mind. Liverpool on the other hand have been poor all season except for one or two good perfromances. Right now Villa are playing better football than Liverpool yet everyone wants Houllier fired.

  5. Jahoki

    December 29, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Don’t see how Houllier’s previous EPL experience did him any favors here. Not saying Bradley would’ve done better here, but could Villa have done worse with him? Probably not. Experience counts, but it isn’t everything.

    And to answer the question, no. Villa should not stick with Houllier.

  6. VillaPark

    December 29, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    During the game on Tuesday, it wasn’t hard to notice that three of the biggest keys to the past few Top 7 finishes were sitting on the bench somewhere, with Ashley Young out injured and Gareth Barry and James Milner warming Manchester City’s bench. It’s hard to maintain your place in the league when Man City comes in and steals your best…so obviously this season was always going to be tough.

    Cue the injuries…Petrov and Reo-Coker are just back from them and aren’t in form just yet. Carew is still out and Heskey was back for a bite before another injury. Luke Young – out. So what does that leave you with?

    A young, talented squad that should be great in the next few years. Lichaj, Bannan, Albrighton, Hogg, Herd, Delfouneso, Delph, and Clark…add them to Ashley Young and Agbonlahor and mix in your experience with Collins, Petrov, Friedel and so on and this is a team that COULD have a strong second half of the season.

    No need to panic yet. This is the same manager that was there to nearly beat and eventually draw with United and kept a 0-0 draw with Chelsea. I predict a 10-12th place finish at the end of the year.

  7. bananabrains

    December 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    How has no one mentioned the fact this year is a rebuilding year for Villa?

    Is everyone is denial, or too dense to acknowledge this?

    • jose

      December 29, 2010 at 4:34 pm


    • George Fowler

      December 29, 2010 at 4:38 pm

      you dont need to rebuild a top 6 club …tweak yes but rebuild no.. but he s trying to play square pegs in round holes you dont go from 3. 6th place finishes straight into a relegation battle surely

  8. George Fowler

    December 29, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    people forget the criteria that Randy asked for was an experienced premier league manager who could bring success and who could WORK WITH THE CURRENT SQUAD i highlight this part as Houllier clearly hasnt been able to do this …i accept injuries have hit badly …but he has fallen out with half the players already ….and i cant see Randy bankrolling him out of trouble …to me it s a no brainer that on the road we should be counter attackin you only look at the away record over the last 3-4 years an look at it now to realise that if its not broken dont try to fix it ! …in my eyes we have a young english vibrant crop of youngsters who need a young vibrant english manager ….step forward MR OWEN COYLE !!!! this guy is enthusiastic inventive plays flexible formations an gets the most out of what he’s got we should be approaching Coyle an soon

  9. jose

    December 29, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    so let me get this straight, villa management thought he would be a better option then bob bradley, riiiight. lol.

  10. Malcolm

    December 29, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I think Gerard Houllier should be given time but if now it is thought we need change and I were Randy Lerner or Paul Faulkner I would keep Gerard Houllier and make him Director of Football and use him for his worldwide contacts in football ti improve Villa and build for the long-term and then have Macdonald or Gordan Cowans as Team Manager. Gary MacAllister is a nice guy and has a lot of knowledge but is too nice a guy to be a manager and that is why he has so far failed as a manager.

  11. englished

    December 29, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    as a Villa supporter for about 65 years I, like many on this site, was more than disappointed by the Man City result. I have seen Villa hit the heights and sink into the then third division so I know that these things happen. However I have to admit watching Birmingham City play Man U later in the day They were outplayed for most of the game and went 1.0 down. The players chased every ball and fought for every tackle, they scored in the 89th minute. This is what I saw as missing in the Villa game. Now if that is a management problem it needs to be addressed, too many times Villa have conceded a simple goal in the last few minutes of games this year instead of doing as Birmingham did and fight back to be rewarded with a goal albiet fortunate.

  12. Graham

    December 29, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    This is the same as all the other rubbish i have been reading today!! Houlier Oout…what the feck good would that do? The bloke has only just got here and already people are calling for his head. The team (thats players and management) need to sort this out between them. getting rid of the manager puts us back to square one and who’s to say a new manager would get any more out of some of the lazy arse players??

  13. thomas

    December 29, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    no, Houllier should have been let go this morning.

    0 points from losing positions this season, the players don’t want him there and will not play for him. As much as I hate firing a manager at this point so soon after he joined and in the middle of the season I think he’s just shot himself in the foot too many times in the press and the players will not play for him.

  14. Bigdave

    December 29, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Some have said players like Dunne have been poor! well how come these players have become poor overnight, why does Ireland look so poor why are the back four so shakey? when they ahve so much exsperience and are exerlent players. There is only one reason so dont make excuses for him, Houllier out ASAP. If he was a good manager he would be getting te best out of these players but he is not so the whole fault lies with him.

    • west coast villan

      December 29, 2010 at 4:58 pm

      Dunne and Warnock have been poor all season, not just since Houllier took over. Let’s calm down a little and give the guy some time to make an impact. He hasn’t had a chance to make his mark yet on the club, through a preseason or through buying players who fit into his system. Houllier seems willing to play youngsters and wants to develop the team. Few would argue that we don’t have the brightest crop of young players seen at Villa in a long time. Martin O’Neil left us with an out of control wage bill for older players that he refused to play. Houllier has the contacts to help us get in some young fresh talent at more reasonable prices.

  15. Cameron

    December 29, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Houllier has been unlucky with all the injuries he has had this season. He has given the youngsters a run out and a couple of them like Bannister and Albrighton have impressed. Give him time and when the injured players come back Villa will move back up the table. He needs reinforcements at the back since Dunne has been awful of late and should be offloaded during the transfer window in January. Patience will pay off.

  16. callum "avfc" gibbons

    December 29, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    get houllier out, before its too late General, he is a shambles, were going to go down if you do not get rid of this fat frog, then give the new man money or watch us plummit down !

  17. James

    December 29, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    I disagree totally with the thread of this article. Its just very knee-jerk. As a Villa fan, I think we need to give Houllier more time to mould his team and we need to recognise the challenge he took on from O’Neill (who, lets not forget, bailed on the club because he thought he could take it no further). Houllier inherited a squad that was starkly divided between the first XI and the rest who never got a chance. He had no time to make any new signings. In fact, we lost our best player in the summer before he even arrived. And we’ve had the worst injury crisis at the club for many years, forcing him to throw very inexperienced youngsters into the first team.

    I honestly think we will see results start to improve in the latter half of the season. Lets not forget we are still only 2 points off the top half of the table. Top eight is still a realistic prospect for us, now that our first XI is returning to fitness. We just need to show a bit of patience.

    Oh, and as for the lack of player support, that is simply not true. Only last week Petrov, Cueller, Albrighton and Bannan all came out in support of the manager.

    To those who say we should sack Houllier thinking that is the answer – I say look at Newcastle and Blackburn. Are they both better off for their managerial changes this season? We shall see, but I doubt it. In fact, my money would be on Houllier’s Villa to finish above both of those clubs come the end of the season.

  18. ryan

    December 29, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    YES basically villa has no more experienced player due to whole selling attitude of club perhaps houllier has to deal with bunch of youngsters who just had academy experience so i feel pity about him
    yes manager is responsible but give him some time he is cropping some good
    very good players and you will see it next season
    problem with youngsters that they cant hold their nerves in crunch situation
    look at manu they send player for loan so that they are exposed to proper combative environment so they adapt premier league easily so they don not need to spend large like city to be champions they have home grown crops yes one or two big buys make team gel well all together
    so KEEP FAITH in him i am sure you will see villa in top 10 at the end of season

  19. west coast villan

    December 29, 2010 at 11:59 am

    I think he deserves a chance to put his own stamp on the club. Houllier came in in the middle of a season, with an Martin O’Neil squad that was ageing in the center of defense and was plagued with injuries this season. We lost our best player from last season, and in return got Ireland, who hasn’t performed well at all. In fact he was lambasted by most Villa fans after his early performances for the club. With up to 12 injuries to players at one point during the season, including our two central mids Petrov and Reo Coker, an ageing strikeforce, and defensive injuries to boot, Houllier has had to make do with the youngsters in the squad the O’Neil refused to play.

    While I’m not saying we are playing well, we certainly, similar to Everton, don’t deserve our current table position. We almost beat Man United, played well against Chelsea. Also similar to Everton, there have been games where we dominated most of the game but just failed to find the winning goal, or simply conceded a late equalizer or winner. None of these things happened against Man City though. We were poor. Yet even in spite of all that, the goals scored against us were two stupid penalties (clear penalties though), a goal that may have been offside and a goal that may or may not have crossed the line that came from a corner when one of our central defenders was off the field getting treatment.

    And, lastly, there has been support from the senior players. Just two days ago Petrov came out and said that Houllier was not to blame. NRC, Downing, and Heskey have all voiced their support for Houllier, not to mention every single youngster who has been asked to perform during the injury crisis we have had. These youngsters have performed admirably considering the circumstances. Lichaj may have played poorly yesterday, but on Sunday he dominated Gareth Bale, who had to move to the right side of the filed to make any impact. Bannan, Hogg, Clark and to a more limited extent, Delfouneseo, and Albighton have all shown that they have birght futures ahead of them. None of these player, with the possible exception of Albrighton would have played anywhere near as large a role as they have under O’Neil.

    I think Houllier deserves a transfer window to bring in players that suit his style of play.

    • nonsuch

      December 29, 2010 at 1:39 pm

      What sense you speak west coast! MoN left us in the mire…I for one DIDNT criticise him overly at the time, but clearly he wasnt as great as he’d have us think. Why did we run out of steam at the end of every game and every season?

      Dunney’s form isnt houlliers problem, he was bought as a stop gap when the Great Dane as injured. He’s given us the most we could reasonably expect till now, but obviously Curtis Davies was intended to be the number one but never made it back. Dunney is now off the pace and houllier cant be blamed for that.

      We’ve been very close and played some attractive football until Ash was unavailable and his loss has taken away our spirit and attacking potential – I wish the whingers would stop attacking Ashley Young and recognise the class he brings. If he is driven out we are truly lost because of the message it sends. UTV

  20. Bishopville Red

    December 29, 2010 at 11:58 am

    The better question is, should Villa have ever signed him up in the first place? But now that they have him they might as well give him a chance to implement the plan that enchanted the directors so.

  21. John

    December 29, 2010 at 11:34 am

    He needs to stay and build his own team.Hopefully in the Jan window he can get the chance to sell some of the players that dont want to play for Aston Villa.

    • Hallerwan

      December 29, 2010 at 5:51 pm

      have you seen the names he has associsted us with!!???

      get him out

  22. chris

    December 29, 2010 at 11:31 am

    no! because he is utter horse sh*t

  23. Anthony

    December 29, 2010 at 11:31 am

    This guy is nothing but trouble for Villa, the players and the fans don’t want him, he critisises players reguarly in public, and he instills no inspiration.

  24. Jay avfc

    December 29, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Yes He should sacked today!!

    • Hallerwan

      December 29, 2010 at 5:50 pm

      it is a no brainer, we just are not performing at all. dire football, dire times. get him out fast

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