Date: 16th September 2010 at 3:38pm
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Speaking to Canal+ pre taking the Villa Park reigns Gerard Houllier has given a few well placed comments given the recent speculation about his ‘first signings’.

Fitness coach Robert Duverne of French World Cup meltdown fame quit his role with Aries-Avignon earlier this week, leading to thoughts that he would team up with Houllier at B6.

Although it’s hardly a confirmation in the usual sense, Houllier said simply:

‘He is competent, and we are in contact.’

The speculation so far has Duverne tagged as holding more than one role within the club should he join, but no doubt we’ll all know exactly what is going on probably by the middle of next week at the latest.

With regards to Michael Owen Houllier also said to Canal+ that having seen him at the Jamie Carragher testimonial, he thinks Owen is still more than fit enough to compete at the highest level.

‘I like him, he has always been in my thoughts.

‘I saw Michael play a half of football, he still has the legs for it.’

Now speculation was rife about Owen prior to him deciding to sit on the bench at United, and with the obvious pre Liverpool collection it really wasn’t going to take long for ‘Owen to Villa’ links to surface again.

They would’ve done even had Owen been playing regularly at United, and whilst fans seem split because of his age and his injury record, nobody can deny really that if we could keep Owen fit he could be the exact missing link upfront for us and over the last two seasons could’ve easily been the final piece in the Martin O’Neill jigsaw.

Should something happen in January I certainly wouldn’t be sad, and it would give the club a much needed boost and again, IF, he remained fit he would buy us that time to identify a younger replacement or allow us to bring through Delboy and the Weeman a little more.

His off the pitch experience for the younger lads would be a bonus in itself.

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