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Houllier and Red Thommo at Villa? surely not!

Check Jonny Gould's Soccermongery and join him in talkSPORT's sports bar this Saturday and Sunday from 9pm.

It's not the appointment I particularly wanted but Gérard Houllier becomes the first Aston Villa manager hired by Randy Lerner.

Our American owner wanted a man with both Premier League experience and an international profile. Houllier ticks both of those boxes - but then again so do many other inappropriate figures in the game. He looks like Inspector Clouseau too.

To make matters more difficult, he'll be joined by Liverpool firebrand, Phil Thompson. A one club man through and through, Thommo will frankly look out of place at Villa Park.

His heart won't be in the Villa job. He'll be one of those journeyman second-in-command sorts that you see at so many clubs these days. Think Ray Wilkins at Chelsea and Pat Rice at Arsenal. The big difference is: Thompson is indelibly Red and nothing but nothing will ever make him Villa.

If the partnership succeeds, Thommo will find his way back to Anfield; if they fail there'd be a resounding 'you can keep him' from the Anfield faithful.

And what does Thompson's appointment do for Kevin MacDonald? Caretaker manager in the wake of Martin O'Neill's shock resignation, MacDonald's fifteen years at Villa gives him a special relationship with so many players and staff in the club.

Thommo and Mac will have to make use of their common ground: they were once both Liverpool players during the glory years at Anfield.

Houllier is a spikey, divisive figure with a history of buying terrible players at Liverpool including Bruno Cheyrou, Titi Camara and Salif Diao.

Then again, he did produce a team which won the FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup and finished fourth in the Premier League - all in one season (so technically qualifying for Europe in four different ways!)

His Anfield progress was disrupted by a heart problem. Nevertheless, he did make a full recovery and led Lyon to two French Ligue Championnats.

I don't want to be too critical - but I just have a bad feeling about this. It smells of a kneejerk appointment of the small pool of available bosses.

If O'Neill's untimely departure was designed to cause Villa damage, then the Ulsterman certainly put the club on the backfoot.

Let's get behind Houllier because we have to - but Randy should keep one eye on the soul of the club as well as our supposed constituency of the watching football world.

I mean, Houllier and Thompson have literally all the trophy winning credentials between them - it's just with Villa Park as the setting, they don't half look like mercenary chancers to me.




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The Journalist

Writer: Jonny Gould Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday September 7 2010

Time: 9:52AM

Your Comments

Happy about the prospect of Houllier. Not happy about the prospect of Thompson. We ALL know he has zero respect for The Mighty Aston Villa Football Club.
Adam Deuce
So is Randy only appointing Houllier? and does houllier hire who likes? or does Randy hire his second also and the third is up to Houllier? or is it Randy's call entirely? can someone fill me in? I mean its strange that Randy would bring in a guy that every single news site i've read is solely a liverpool man. I guess time will tell when we play liverpool. But i'm guessing the thompson dude is part of the deal weather randy likes it or not because he and houllier work well together. At the end of the day i trust randy completely and I will be watching every game we play from afar. supporting and cheering the lads on no matter what happens. UTV all. In Randy I Trust! = )
Zarch
The protest must start now. Houllier is choice that some will go with and some will be disappointed with, but one that will receive the support of all (well hopefully all, Villa supporters). However Phil Thompson must not be allowed anywhere near Villa Park unless it is to lie on his back as we throw horseshoes around his beak. I don't care that he is redscouse through and through. Mon was a mackem. O'deary an Arse, our greatest post war manager (Saunders) wasn't a Villa man initially. Although like Taylor, Little , Atkinson and Gregory, as soon as the Villa is in the blood he couldn't can't let go (he even went to Small Heath and destroyed them for us. What a star). Thompson is a totally different proposition. He has not been critical of the Villa over his years as a bottom feeder on Sky Sports (that we could have accepted). He has been rude, condescending and an absolute disgrace to the great name of Aston Villa every time he has been asked for his views on the club. He has been admirable in his defence of redscouse and for that I respect the bloke. But you do not belittle the great name of Aston villa and talk about it as if it is something that you have just trod in, in the way that he has, and then expect to draw a wage out of the club. As supporters we contribute massively in money and vocal suppport. Thompson doesn't deserve any of it. If he gets a job, the supporters should let him know that he is not welcome. Ever! He should stick to bottom feeding . . . it is what he is best at.
voiceoftheholte
VOTH disgraceful comments about Thommo, he's just passionate. There's no difference him and Dennis Mortimer - who apparently wanted to sign for Liverpool.
tarzan
Coco the Clown was a 'character'. Maybe we should employ him?? On second thoughts we might be employing 'Pinocchio'. He is also a character. If Thompson gets anywhere near Villa Park I will be as disillusioned as I have ever been in supporting our club. Our views must be made clear before the decision is made. No to Pinocchio.
voiceoftheholte
So tarzan, my comments are disgraceful on 'Thommo' Who is this 'Thommo' you refer to? You are on nickname terms with him are you? Mate of his? I have listened and seethed at his anti Villa stance over the last few years. The thought of this man (who let me just clarify as I did earlier, that I respect for his one eyed support of redscouse) being anywhere near VP is repulsive. I dont care that he is redscouse through and through. That is irrelevant. It is his slating of the club and its support that means he should never ever draw a wage from VP.
voiceoftheholte
Please , please , please NO PHIL THOMPSON :(
andy3221
So... is anyone interested in filling me in???
Zarch
I beg your pardon Zarch?????
mike_field
I realised that, just wasn't going to let the opportunity pass lol

We'll find out about Hooooooolier in due course, but yes he would by rights appoint his own choice as second in command but that doesn't mean Kev Mac would necessarily be off.
mike_field
1 step forward, two steps back, the two steps back being Thompson and losing a good servant in Macdonald for good. I tried to warn about this last week. If you are happy with your club treating loyal staff like this then so be it but I am not! Trust me the players are not going to be happy. This is not a bright outlook and some are trying to paint over the cracks
revua
http://www.birminghammail.net/birmingham-sport/aston-villa-fc/aston-villa-news/2010/09/07/aston-villa-mat-kendrick-looks-at-the-kevin-macdonald-situation-97319-27217203/2/
revua
I have no issue with Phil Thompson or Houllier, let's just see how it goes. I'm happy as long as we get no more retro football down at VP and we modernise our approach.
tarzan
mark hughes is a red manc, but that didn't stop him putting all his heart into the blue mancs!
eltoro
I will support gerard houllier but i will NOT be ever supportin Phil Thompson...If he comes to villa it will be my worst nightmare, We have KMac who can do his job he is a great coach, I couldnt care less what anyone else thinks of my comments ill tell them where to go, i will never support that man as long as i live. Yes i will boo him i dont care its a discrace.
P.Avfc
glf. I haven't even started making my point yet. A demonstration doesn't have to be a walk . . . . . . and judging by many of the comments on these and similar boards, I am most certainly not alone in my views on Thompson. I am not sure of how I will do it yet . . . . if Pincchio does turn up at VP??? But I still have fond memories of the 'we're not fickle' banner. That was simple genius. Maybe a Pinnochio banner hanging over the top of the Holte where the nose grows longer each week, would get the point across. What do you think? He has made enough comments on international TV against us, I am sure that democracy would allow me to make my point in public as well?? He is not wanted at VP. Have you heard the comments he has made against us? I am sure you haven't, if you are choosing to defend him. The next thing is that we will be subject to a media 'luv' in as his buddies on SSN tell us how wonderful he is. It is how the game is played, Stelling, McInally, Merson will all be telling us how lucky we are as they share a drink with him and discuss ways of celebrating his twenty fold increase in salary. I have never felt so disallusioned as a fan. Do you expect us to simply except it?
voiceoftheholte
SSN saying Thompson aint coming. ....
mattyh1986
 

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