After yesterday’s shambles in Eastlands, unsurprisingly rumours mounted over the security of Gerard Houllier’s job at Villa Park. According to some sources the manager has now had a major argument with both Marc Albrighton, who apparently left for the team coach 15 minutes before his team-mates, and Eric Lichaj. The youngsters both made clumsy challenges to give away penalties in yesterday’s game and Houllier was far from happy with the pair. What one would urge the floundering Frenhcman to remember is that this is the first season for both players who are 21 and 22 respectively. Perhaps if he would grow up himself and start playing some of the more senior players rather than he wouldn’t need to play some many young heads in the same team as they are bound to make mistakes and can’t be blamed for doing so. I’m all for blooding your youngsters but they need a gradual involvement rather than being thrown in at the deep end. I don’t think it helps that the manager makes public statements such as “Lichaj had a nightmare”, as he did live on Radio WM. The American did have a game to forget but it’s his third competitive league start. The player needed replacing but Houllier refused to put the likes of Dunne or Beye on the bench even in the absence of Luke Young. Ridiculous.
It was also reported that Houllier did not travel back with the team and was ordered to stay behind for an emergency meeting with Randy Lerner and Paul Faulkner. A source reported that Houllier was spotted in the Lowry Hotel in Manchester for clear the air talks with the Villa duo over the future of the club and the possible departure of the manager. On purely gossip talk, it has been suggested that Houllier has been asked to step down by the owner and has been given the option of doing so before or after the Chelsea game on Sunday.
Despite this Villa have reportedly closed in on French hot prospect and Under-19 captain, Gueida Fofana. The 19-year-old has been tipped as the next Patrick Vieira but who hasn’t these days although it’s nice to see us make approaches for foreign youngsters. Fofana has been monitored by some of Europe’s top clubs including members of the top four in England but seems to be nearing a move to Villa Park with Gerard Houllier being a strong influence on his decision. A fee of around £800,000 has been touted as Villa fans may have to get used to bargain buys, despite the board saying that Houllier would receive financial backing. If he is coming to link up with Houllier than who knows whether the manager’s unstable position would effect a move or whether talks of the Frenchman leaving the club are redundant. I reported the link to the French teenager last week but it appears the move has taken a step closer to completion. To read the original article, click here.
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