Date: 8th September 2010 at 11:09pm
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Stan Collymore is the latest to voice his dissent following the official announcement that Gerard Houllier is to be our new manager.

Earlier on SSN there was a mini interview with Paul Merson and he seemed less than enamoured that Villa had gone for a ‘foreign coach’ as opposed to an up and coming English manager – a thought that has entered many a fans mind since O’Neill quit, especially mine as I’d have been overjoyed to see somebody like Mental Holloway or Nigel of Clough and see us go for a real long term plan for achievement and dominance….anyhoo – Collymore is concerned that Hoooooolies doesn’t have enough Premier League experience since leaving Liverpool all those years ago, and Lyon back in 2007.

Speaking to Talksport the former Villa striker stuck doggedly to his point.

‘If it was a manager that was looking to build the club and take it on from three 6th placed finished with O’Neill surely you’d give him longer than two years.

‘An interim manager is what Randy and Paul are viewing it as. It’s almost a kind of trial. If he needs a trial then it doesn’t send to me, as an Aston Villa supporter, a very positive sign.’

All valid points, and for these purposes I’ll ignore the fact nobody so far agrees on whether it’s a one year, two year or three year deal.

Unfortunately it misses:

1 – it could be short term stability for a host of reasons; simply to provide stability, and improve our non existent scouting. If so, a known name, with a track record ‘could’ you would think provide more stability than Kevin MacDonald who is still learning the ropes as a ‘manager’.

2 – it could be a short term appointment to allow Kev Mac a touch longer to take the reigns…..grooming if you will. Equally, if our first choice was not available for whatever reason, and Hooooolies is taking on the role with the full knowledge that he will be asked later to head up scouting, or a DOF role when our choice becomes available, then again the contract length makes sense.

3 – it could be a trial period of sorts, wherein the end game is a long term view BUT given Hooolies has been out of the hotseat for a few years, and many fans have not only reservations about his appointment but also his health, the 2 year contract is to simply see if he can handle the rigours of the Premiership again, and can meet the aims stated by the board for the next two years – let alone winning over those fans who have concerns.

If it doesn’t work out, surely it’s better for the club to not have him tied to a 5 year contract?

I don’t see the length of the contract ‘if two years’ as being indicative of the aims behind the appointment, which Colly obviously does.

The most valid point in Collies interview for me is the following:

‘The worry for me is that Aston Villa have a really good British based first team and Academy.’

Ok, Collymore frames it as two sides of Houllier, pre and post heart troubles given how it ended at Liverpool and the high profile French signings that flopped but again that can be reasonably countered by ‘presuming’ that part of his role will be to improve scouting, and I just can’t see how or why Randy would not have made our Academy a big part of that remit.

Collymore is intimating that Hooooolies will destroy it in short by bringing in a host of French players meaning our youngsters will not get through into the team.

I just don’t see the board not having covered this and laid down certain ground rules, given how important they realise we value homegrown players and the financial advantages of having a youngster make it.

Hoooolies scouting improvements can only benefit the Academy in my mind, but they exist pretty much independently of first team activities anyway so I don’t see the clash, and I think it’s unlikely we’ll regret the appointment for that reason….even though it is a valid concern.

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