Gerard Houllier To Make Premier League Return With Aston Villaby Richard Smith / 06 September 2010, 08:53Tweet
Former Liverpool Manager Gerard Houllier is set to make his return to the Premier League as the New Aston Villa Manager after being offered the job of replacing Martin O'Neill at Villa Park, the Frenchman is vastly experienced but has not been seen in England since leaving Anfield in 2004 but could make his return within 48 hours. Randy Lerner stated that he was looking for a Manager with Premier League experience and that appears to have been the deciding factor in offering the role to Houllier, Kevin MacDonald has been in temporary charge of the team and had stated his desire to stay on in the role but it now appears he will have to settle for a coaching role at the club.
Since leaving Liverpool Houllier has been successful in France with Lyon, he led them to back-to-back titles before moving on and is currently in a technical position with the French Football Federation, he certainly has the right amount of experience3 for Villa but his record at Liverpool was mixed with the ultimate goal of the League title never quite achieved. The last couple of years of his reign at Anfield though went down hill as he failed to take the team to the Premier League title, while some of his transfer dealings (El Hadj Diouf!) at Anfield have to be questioned. He is though still a popular man at Anfield after leading them into the Champions League for the first time during his reign, he also led Liverpool to the Treble in 2001 so is more than used to bringing trophies to a club. That will no doubt have been an attractive stat for Lerner with the Aston Villa in desperate need of some silverware, they have not picked up a trophy for a number of years and that will be a high priority for Houllier should he accept the job.
There has been some suggestion that Houllier will take the role of Director Of Football at Villa Park with MacDonald staying on as First Team Coach, it now seems more likely he will take the Managerial role which will be a relief to the Villa fans with the Director Of Football role used with mixed results in the Premier League in the past. It is going to be a tough job for Houllier should he take the role, Villa have been flirting with the Champions League for some time now but actually breaking into the top four looks to be an impossible task at the moment. Villa like many clubs are unable to match the big spending of Man City and Spurs to a certain extent, nevertheless they can still compete and Houllier will be aiming to improve on the reign of Martin O'Neill.
Liverpool fans will remember that Houllier is a passionate Manager that will give his all to any job he takes on, this should stand him in good stead at Villa Park as he aims to take the club forward once again, he will be under pressure though with the fans expecting the team to perform well week-in-week-out. Kevin MacDonald is likely to stay on at the club in some role and that is important for the fans and chairman, he is sure to help Houllier settle in at Villa Park despite wanting the job himself as the Frenchman takes on perhaps the biggest task of his already long career.