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Understanding McAllister Expectedly Exits Villa

Gerard Houllier’s assistant manager at Aston Villa has followed the Frenchman out the exit door at Villa Park after the club confirmed the appointment of Alex McLeish this week.

The Scot was brought in as Houllier’s right hand man from Middlesbrough having played under the boss at Liverpool and endured a rollercoaster of a first and final season at Villa. After the management regime struggled to get results early on in their tenure pressure was put on Houllier and his coaching staff to leave the club and led to fractious relationships within the club. McAllister clashed with centre back Richard Dunne before the New Year in what looked to be the Irish defender’s demise at the club before repenting for his sins.

McAllister was later forced into taking charge of the side as caretaker manager after Houllier suffered a second heart scare which led to his eventual departure from the club. During his 5 game stint at the helm McAllister failed to win in his first 3 games, losing to rivals West Brom in the process. However, he turned the team’s fortunes around in the final two games of the season to secure mathematical safety for the club with impressive wins against Arsenal and Liverpool to finish the torrid campaign on a high.

McAllister confirmed that he would be leaving the club following fellow countryman McLeish’s arrival but revealed that there were no hard feelings, adding that Villa was a great club in the process;

“This is part of the job (managerial turnarounds) and the coaching side of football. I fully understand the situation. Alex has come along and he’s got the job and I know that he wants people he trusts and knows and that he’s worked with before, so it’s just part of the gig. We move on.

“Gerard and I felt that things were starting to turn. We were getting people onside and the football and the performance levels were getting better. We felt the training and everything in the week was getting better as well and it was only toward the latter end of the season that we were getting the fruition of that.

“There was some good football, some good results, so we’re disappointed but Gerard’s health and the rest of his life is more important than football.”

He added: “Aston Villa is a fantastic club. Everything about the club is top class from the training ground to Villa Park and the way the club is run. As much as I’ve played against them all my life, until you work with a club you don’t realise how impressive it is and Villa is a top class club.”

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