The news coming out of Villa Park today is that former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier is to become the new man in charge of Aston Villa. Houllier, who has been out of the managerial game since 2007, was interviewed by the board earlier this week and has now come out as the strong favourite to succeed Martin O’Neill. It is still not known what role the current Director of the French Football Federation has been offered among rumours of a similar position being made for him at the club.
The 63 year old was thought to have favoured a similar role to the one that he holds at the FFF as a director but reports today suggest that the Frenchman has been offered the official manager’s post at the Midlands club. This will come as a blow to fellow candidates such as current caretaker Kevin MacDonald who may have benefited from a new role being created for Houllier at the club.
Strong suggestions were made that the Scotsman would be hired as a head coach under the Directorship of Houllier and it was thought that MacDonald would have seen this situation as ideal. After publicly stating that the stresses on the private lives of manager’s nowadays was not something that he would take kindly to, MacDonald may well have been buoyed by the proposal of a head coach role. Speculation over the weekend linked former Villan Steve Staunton with a role alongside the current boss under the French tactician. It has also been touted that Houllier may look to revive a partnership with his right hand man at Liverpool and “Stevie G” loving scouser Phil Thompson.
A move for Houllier in any role is being well received by the majority at Villa Park although back page gossip yesterday stated that certain player’s at the club may not take well to any impending appointment. Brad Friedel and Stephen Warnock both played (or not so much being the issue), under Houllier at Anfield with the former being made surplus to requirements and shipped off to Blackburn.
Despite any gripes anyone may have at the club, it is now looking probable that Houllier will be under the employment of Aston Villa in some role pending a decision from the ex-Lyon manager later today.
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