Friedel Quashes Bust-Up Reports

Aston Villa keeper Brad Friedel has been quick to deny reports of a bust-up between Richard Dunne and assistant manager, Gary McAllister. The rumours come as one of many stories regarding a lack of harmony at the club since new manager Gerard Houllier’s arrival three months ago. Dunne was dropped from the Villa starting line-up along with fellow countryman Stephen Ireland who was omitted from the squad entirely. Many Villa fans had been calling for the move to replace Dunne with the returning Carlos Cuellar for some time and it had first appeared that Houllier had been heeding this call. However, suggestions were made of a bust-up between the Villa centre back and Houllier’s right hand man which had apparently shocked much of the Villa squad and may have led to his demotion to the bench. Friedel stated that the side were lacking confidence after a dismal run and that meetings had been held with and without members of staff between the players. When asked of the reported fracas between McAllister and Dunne he said:

“I never saw a proper bust-up at all, although I know he was left out of the team on Saturday.”

More rumours circulated today that yet another Villa player had fallen foul in Gerard Houllier’s Christmas card list. According to sources from the Daily Mail, Habib Beye was involved in an angry confrontation with Houllier during a routine training match. It is reported that the defender reacted furiously to being told to curb his tackling and of his lack of opportunities at the club. Beye has already been linked with a move away in Villa Park to cut the club’s wage bill as one of the bench-warmers of the side. If the reports are true then he may well be a step closer to a departure and if factual, then he would join the likes of Dunne, Ireland and Carew who have been rumoured to be on bad terms with the new Villa management. What do you make of all the apparent lack of harmony behind the scenes? Is it all being blown out of proportion or are the mounting stories a concern under Houllier who has appears to be incapable of staying out of the papers of late.

Liverpool vs Aston Villa Match Preview

December 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Match Previews 

Monday 6th December 2010

Opponent: Liverpool

Venue: Anfield

Kick Off: 20:00

Gerard Houllier will make an emotional return to Liverpool in Monday night as he takes his Villa side to Anfield in desperate search of a win. The Frenchman will no doubt have had his eye on this fixture since moving to Villa and his ties with the club are just one of a number of potential reunions. Houllier’s No.2 Gary McAllister was brought to the club by the manager is a playing capacity and in a short stint with the club the Scotsman became a cult hero. Among the playing staff to have plied their trade in Merseyside include Brad Friedel, Stephen Warnock and Emile Heskey, though the striker is unlikely to feature through injury. Extended Match Preview

Villa Injury Update Ahead of Liverpool Trip

December 4, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Injury News 

Barry Bannan is the latest player to join the Villa Park injury list. The young midfielder limped off in the 2-1 defeat to Birmingham in midweek with a groin injury and is unlikely to recover in time for the trip to Anfield on Monday night. Gerard Houllier was erring on the side of caution as he didn’t want to aggravate the problem which would only deplete his squad further. Speaking in a press conference on Friday, Houllier stated:

“I don’t think Barry will be able to play. I’ve got my doubts because it is a groin strain which he picked up against Birmingham.”

Positive News on the Long-Term Injury Front

Villa Rally Behind Houllier, Dunne Injured and Owen No Go

September 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa, Injury News, Villa Manager 

After a pretty poor result against Bolton on Saturday backing up a loss to Stoke the previous Monday, Villa fans are looking forward to seeing the tactics Gerard Houllier employs in his first games in charge. The Frenchman along with his new assistant Gary McAllister took their first training session today and a string of first team player’s have backed the new manager to lead them to glory in the future. Read more

McAllister Reunited With Houllier in Villa Role

September 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa, Villa Manager 

Before today’s game with Bolton it was confirmed that Gary McAllister was to be the new assistant manager under Gerard Houllier. The Scotsman attended the game alongside the new manager, watching the 1-1 from the stands. McAllister will link up with Houllier meaning his breif spell as first team coach at Middlesbrough has come to an end. The former Liverpool player, signed by the Frenchman, has had brief spells in management at two of his previous clubs in Coventry and Leeds United. More club appointments

Old MacDonald Played His Part: Aston Villa vs Bolton Match Report

September 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aston Villa, Match Reports 

Villa could only manage a draw against a weakened Bolton side at Villa Park this afternoon with the game finishing 1-1. Kevin MacDonald would have been hoping to end his 6 week rein at the club on a high but hands over to Gerard Houllier with a distinctly average record. Villa are yet to face any of the top 8 from last season so would have been hoping for a better record than 2 wins, 2 defeats and a draw but it’s not an awful start. Match Report