Monday night signals the start of a new age at Aston Villa with Gerard Houllier taking charge in a tricky away tie with Stoke City. The home side are pointless thus far and will be looking to end any hopes Houllier has of a winning return to management. Stoke were busy on deadline day and could start all three of their new additions in Monday’s game.
Despite now having the likes of Eidur Gudjohnsen, Jermaine Pennant and Marc Wilson at their disposal Stoke boss Tony Pulis and reining player of the year Matthew Etherington are well aware of the impact a new manager can have at a club. Pulis said of the upcoming fixture and the new boss at Villa,
“It’s always tough when a new manager walks in through the door because the players are on their toes and trying to impress the new manager.”
“Gerard is experienced in the Premier League with Liverpool where he did a smashing job.”
The incentive of obtaining their first points of the season however, will be enough to drive the team on and with some new additions of their own, Houllier’s first test will be an extremely tough one.
Steven Gerrard has also been singing the praises of his former manager, maintaining that he still keeps in touch with the Frenchman.
“I’ve still got quite a close relationship with Gerard. He gave me my chance at the top level and I certainly learnt an awful lot from him. Aston Villa have got themselves a very good manager and I’m not surprised Gerard has come back into the Premier League.”
Let’s hope the England skipper is right and who knows maybe when he’s had enough of finishing below the Villa he can rekindle his “quite close relationship” but I doubt that somehow. The official press conference and unveiling of the new boss is scheduled for 2pm tommorrow so don’t forget to check back in for all your Villa news and opinions and join the brand new Aston Villa Blog Facebook group – http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=108636549192864&ref=ts for regular updates, polls and opinions. A full preview of Monday night’s game against Stoke will be published this weekend so look out for that with team and injury news as well as predictions coming your way at Aston Villa Blog!
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