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Houllier Press Conference - We're On The Up

All in all it was the press conference you'd expect, no over the top talk about Chumpions League, in many ways designed to manage our expectations again but what couldn't be hidden was the fact that Gerard Houllier is enthused, interested, excited and determined to succeed here.

Not overnight, he was clear about that, but year on year improvement is the order of the day and given this well may be his last 'big' managerial role of his career, he certainly doesn't want to go out with a whimper.

Press Conference On AVTV

The new manager paid tribute to the ground work laid by the previous manager, Martin O'Neill, and said he was looking to build upon that success and push us on while bring in a new era at the club.

'Martin is a great manager, he brought up a good squad and that's one of the reasons we have a good base to work on. It's difficult to succeed him, but it's always difficult to succeed anybody. Difficult, but exciting.

'Martin was nearly there, so we will do our best to achieve what we want. It will take time, but that's my philosophy - progress, performance and pleasure.'

He went on to describe the squad as having massive potential to achieve and echoing many a pundit and Petrov who have been on record as saying the team needs tweaking and strengthening but not a complete overhaul, Hoooolies seems to agree when saying he has faith and trust in the team to go out and achieve regardless of the limitations of the transfer window and that January is never the greatest time to buy players because generally 'the best aren't available.'

So fitting with a steady improvement, he says:

'The club is steady and has a record of gradual improvement. Our goal for the future is honours, but that will not happen overnight. People mention Champions League and Europe, but let's take it one step at a time. Let's make progress - lets make the best of the squad we have and go forward with an appetite to win and progress together.'

The theme of togetherness, is prevalent throughout his press conference and his words as he points to the family atmosphere within the club as one of the determining factors for why he agreed to come here.

'I'm pleased, I'm proud, I'm hungry, I'm healthy and I can't wait to come. I had several offers, but it looked as if Aston Villa like to do things as a team. I like to work as a team and I can feel that we are going to be in this together.

'That was the click - the chemistry, the visions, the value, the quality of the club, the fanbase - they are passionate, vocal and fantastic - everything is here.'

For those who think the appointment shows a downgrade in the clubs ambitions, Hoooolier probably unwittingly added:

'I take great pride in my appointment, it is a great honour for me. Why am I here? One of the reasons is that I think Randy and Paul have great enthusiasm, dynamism and honesty and they convinced me of their ambitions for the club.

'It's a new era, in terms of training, in terms of habits, in terms of everything. The top four have taken a stride and we are below. What we need is to improve that position, but the aim of course is Europe, places of honours and silverware.

'We know where we want to go, we know it will take time, but I feel it is going to be something gradual and interesting.'

So there you have it, this season may well be a step backwards in terms of league positions, but many thought it would be anyway prior to O'Neill walking and you have to factor in the upheaval at the club and acknowledge that will have some affect. But 6 points thus far from a maximum 9 under MacDonald has given us a good start and there is still plenty to improve upon.

The journey as ever is certainly going to be interesting, but it doesn't sound like Hoooolies is simply here to pick up a pay cheque does it.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday September 10 2010

Time: 5:35PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
What? Didn't he say something along the lines of 'villa are a great club but let's face it-they're not at the same level as Liverpool. I think we can expect to finish between seventh and twelfth this year.'? That's what Mail Online said anyway' not that they're too reputable anyway. But I thought you guys would be more upset.
Report Abuse
10/09/2010 17:50:00

I sort of agree with Houlliers comments about us being a mid table team (I think we are considerably better than 14th though) maybe we all need to realise this before we can progress.
Report Abuse
10/09/2010 18:19:00

I take huge offence to the mid-table team comment. We are one of the top 20 clubs in the world and well in amongst the big 7 of the prem. Why should we have small ambition and constantly have someone tell us we arent good enough. We have the fans , structure, ground, history etc. anyone got a clip of the full interview??
Report Abuse
10/09/2010 21:17:00

Mid table? So Mon was god then working a miracle to finish 6th? Better take off those MON tinted glasses and start looking through a glass of full bodied Beaujolais. I fancy a great season this year, not just for Villa but for vintage Beaujolais. Up the Clairet et Bleu!!!
Report Abuse
10/09/2010 22:27:00

Gotta say that I'd have been a little put off if he jumped up on the podium and started talking about getting a Champions League place and challenging for the title. When/If that doesn't happen he'd look like a fool. I guess I consider 6th more of a mid-table spot than I do an upper echelon spot. 7th-10th is definitely mid-table and I appreciate his realism. The man is a professional, it's not like he's going to go out and lose if the team are too high up on the table!! He's just setting himself up well if the team does finish around tenth. After three really good seasons finishing tenth will feel like we are really struggling and he will take some heat for that. If we hang out around 3-6 like we have been then he looks good. Just saying, other coaches will have seen or read about this press conference. I'm glad he's not saying things to put anyone off.
Report Abuse
10/09/2010 23:41:00

You are right Fear. I gave my liver a good thrashing last night, and now the world of Houllier seems a lot brighter. Let's hope Big Mac keeps the ball rolling at Stoke and doesn't play 4.4.2 again with the midfield combo of Petrov & Ireland - perhaps Houll has already had a few choice words in Big Mac's shell-like. Let's hope so. - Big up the Houll !
Pancho Villan
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11/09/2010 09:24:00

LOL.... love that Pancho. I did meet the early talk with a shrug Pancho, but the longer this has gone on and the more I've read / spoken to Liverpool fans / couple of people in the game. We might just have a gem here. He is the most qualified manager we've ever had, he will be considered and will hopefully build the scouting network AND he will use our youth system + youth players as well, he'd be mad not to as we have a few top top potential stars in there... Albrighton has already shown he is quality and Gary Gardener is meant to be a real star in the making. So I've gone from a shrug to excitement! On the flipside, I'm very easily pleased! LOL
The Fear
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11/09/2010 09:50:00

He said: "I'm pleased, proud, hungry and healthy.

"The club's ambition impressed me, I'm delighted to share that ambition."


Just so much positivity, shame the one line is being focussed on.

To be fair ... nowhere near his/managers/players level ... but done plenty of press, radio, papers and tv (a lot live as well) and it isn't as easy as people think. Especially live, you don't always have the time to think exactly what you are saying and sometimes you just go that one line too far.

I have a few times started saying something and at the back of my mind the alarm bells start ringing (what the feck am I saying this for! LOL)

You get bombarded with questions, especially looking at his press conference, loads of press and stuff going on. You cannot be concentrated and 100% thoughtful on every single thing you say. Now he would have been better saying Villa are a 6-7th level and we want to push on... but as said, so much positive there, it would be great if we didn't all get hung up on one small point!
The Fear
Report Abuse
11/09/2010 09:51:00

FFS lads, he has'nt started yet! lets give him a chance eh! One things for sure, he sounds alot more positive than the muppet that's just walked out on us.
Report Abuse
11/09/2010 11:56:00

JF, I agree he said a lot of good and sounds like a nice guy. Shame he said about the league position thing but I think he is not the best at always saying the right thing from his past history. I was not happy with him saying it but he can say we are going to get relegated for all I care if he gets us champs league football! ;-) I can see him bringing a lot of good to the team and surely it will help all players to work under him for a time to add something different to there game. Really he needs to be out managing and getting results as that will soon change an negativity. Another reason why the timing of leaking to the press he would be our manager was not great as will have weeks of this before he can show us what he can do.
Report Abuse
11/09/2010 12:38:00


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