OK, I often boast about having friends and no one believes me because I live in my own little online world… well, I’ve now got proof! I asked my Liverpool supporting friend for his opinion on Gerard Houllier and here are his answers.
With thanks to redDJ
1) So… Gerard Houllier to Villa. What do you make of that?
Not sure it’s a great move, he’s been out of the Premier league for 6 years and spent a lot of that time with the French side (Little hands on football)
2) What did you think of his time at Liverpool?
Initially he was great fans loved him he won us the treble, bought a fair few bad players (Diouf, Salif Diau,Biscan didn’t he buy Cheyrou too?) but he also found Sami for £3m and Gary Mac was an inspirational signing. After the heart problems he seemed (understandably to loose a little passion) Liverpool played well under Thompson during GH sick leave so was it PT or GH who bought the best out of the team?
3) Some argue it was his squad that won the Champions League. Fair?
Erm yes and no RB didn’t change the squad that much but he did re-motivate the players that GH had left behind and I think it was his style of European strategy that won us the CL plus a fabulous second half performance by Didi. Old cliché but I think GH had taken us as far as he could
4) What do you think he’ll bring to Villa?
Difficult one to be honest I’m not sure, too late to bring players in (Did MON do that intentionally??), your squad keeps getting smaller and smaller. He sets out teams quite defensively so not sure about exciting football, but Villa will be hard to break down. Not sure what it means for Warnock and Heskey he didn’t rate them at the pool.
5) Phil Thompson is also being linked. Any opinions?
Thomo passion through and through …..for the reds….can he transfer that to the Villa ….is it / was it his passion for the reds that got him his results. Not a great man manger by all accounts fell out with God (Robbie Fowler) has possibly a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
At the end of the day GH and PT gave us some great times at Liverpool, but that treble was nearly 10 years ago, football has moved on are either the right choice? They will both give 100% to the job (if both offered one), will it bring top four place to the Villa, I don’t think so. Were there better options out there, Hughes (maybe, too late due to MON) Moyes (Couldn’t see him leaving Everton until Sir Knob down the East Lancs goes), Kev Mac heart said yes Head says has he been there to long and not been top boss yet for a reason.
I also asked on Vital Liverpool and some of their fans took the time to answer:
richard24 said ‘he will win you trophies given time. he is a very good manager and should become a fan favourite’
manchingwah said: ‘Gerard Houllier had very hard acts to follow when he took up the role at LFC, where he is remembered as a successful manager for us. There’s every reason why Villa fans should be optimistic, although one thing I would say is that one or two of his signings were not up to scratch. But Villa come across as being (relatively) loyal to their [new] managers, so given time, he will do very well for you I’m sure, which is a worry for LFC seeing as we are competing for European places with you! Don’t let the fact that he is currently Director of Football for the farcical French national side put you off, as it’s probably the farcical situation itself which is the reason for prompting him to leave that job. Good luck with the manager hunt!’
KB1 added, ‘O’Neill was like an Irish Houllier. Identical systems employed with like minded players (speed at wide areas with a target man and speedier player, playing off him). They are very very similar. Houllier is a good manager, he improved us year on year until his heart op. He installed a great deal of discipline into the squad and made some very astute signings (Hyppia). After leaving us, Ged took over at Lyon and improved an already title winning squad by winning the league and taking them further in Europe. He would be a good manager for Villa. One thing I will say though is that credit given to him for winning the Champs lge is well off the mark. We won in 2005 despite some of the Houllier signings (Traore etc) and players like Garcia/Alonso made a significant difference to our side as did the manager who set us up tactically brilliantly in Juve/Chels etc. That was Benitez’s achievement and I hate history being re-written to suggest otherwise.’
Finally, WestDerbyRed: ‘Ged knows his stuff and should be successful at Villa if given the time and backing which all managers needs. I just hope the Holte End faithful give them a chance and not use their former LFC links as a reason to get at them at the first sign of trouble. Ged is certainly a better option for Villa than Sven, Curbishley or any of the other names linked with the club.’