revua: My Welcome To Gerard Houllier
I’m sure you will get a big welcome from all Villa fans, even ones like me that would have preferred someone younger to be in charge. You have said the right things so far, it was nice to hear ‘Aston Villa is one of England’s Biggest clubs and has an amazing set of fans’. This is defiantly going to help your cause but then you will know this. I also take confidence it that you must still have the desire to take on this job at your age and maybe you feel you have a point to prove. You have undoubtedly had success at previous clubs but these were clubs where success was expected by the size of the clubs and the amount of money spent. Despite this success I believe if you’re honest you slightly failed at both Lyon and Liverpool at the job you were bought in to do. Being successful in Europe with Lyon and winning the League with Liverpool. You still deserve credit where credit is due and you still did a very good job at both clubs.
I must admit I was really down when I first knew you were going to be appointed. This was mainly due to that I believe we have an excellent future manager in Kevin Macdonald and feel he has been unfairly encouraged to go for the job he was never going to get. I wanted someone that could be around for years and take the club forward season after season. I wanted our own Alex Ferguson! As I look forward to your welcoming press conference I hope so see that Kevin is given a major role at the club that he can evolve in and build on his past success. I’m hoping he can learn and take experience from you that leads to him taking the manager`s job in a few years. I, along with many more will be bitterly disappointed if he is pushed out the door after the service he has given.
Upon reflection I’m gaining my usual possessiveness back and I may even get out my Claret and Blue specs by the end of Monday night. I’ve even booked my Blackburn tickets today, I had been considering not going after feeling let down by the club. I felt like I’m not spending my hard earned money as a matter of principle but I pulled myself around . I can see why the club have chosen you at this stage, not that I agree but I see their reasons. Personally I would have given Kevin until January to show us what he can do as I’m sure you would have still been available then. Maybe we will never know how good or bad Kevin Macdonald could be but what’s done is done and I with many others will move on and give you our backing.
There is only one way you can prove the doubters wrong and that’s with results. I personally expect nothing less than 6th this season and if you do have something special then 4th can be achieved. Anything outside of Europe is a major failure in my eyes. Some will say that’s unrealistic but we have a good base to our team here. If the club is right to choose your experience and history of winning over other managers then there should be no reason why you can’t take us further than we have been in recent times. There is no time for building from the bottom here! The foundations have been set and you have the base to build a great team. We are paying for the finished article with yourself so I expect the finished article. That may seem harsh but we are not taking on someone that should need to learn their game here. It`s also no harsher than the miracles the inexperienced Macdonald was expected to achieve when thrust in without any preparation. Based on MacDonald’s record of narrowly going out of the cup and two out of three premiership wins we should expect to win our next four games with you in charge. We will see how it goes but I will give you 100% backing in those games. I’m hoping for four wins and maybe some will reflect on how harshly they judged Macdonald after these first games in charge in difficult circumstances.
So there you have it, it`s out of my system and I am now going to shut up about Macdonald, give you my backing and judge you on your performance. I’m hoping everyone else does the same. Hopefully in your time out of management you have been studying transfers and potential targets. I expect these to be addressed in the first week of the transfer window and not the last day like we have had to put up with in the past. We have wasted vast amounts of money on transfer over the years so we can’t afford to do that now. Overall I think your transfer record is poor but hopefully from your gained experience you will pick us up a new Hyypia, Hamann and an Anelka on loan. I won’t list all the poor signing here as there are many but please none of them.
After all this uncertainty I feel we finally have a bright outlook. A good solid team, yes we have lost Milner but we have gained Ireland and Albrighton. We are sitting fourth with no Europe to worry about. We have a run of four games where we could win them all. A good January transfer windows and you can show everyone you can take a club that isn’t expected to challenge back up with the big boys. If you setup a process of grooming Macdonald into the management role I know he can do then we also have a long term outlook and these years won’t go to waste. You have the chance for this to be your biggest achievement to date and probably your last chance so let`s hope you make the most of it. I say Ooh R Houllier, I said Ooh R Houllier!
(Blind faith I know but if you can’t beat them 😉