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Houllier Not Happy With What He Saw - The Verdict

Gerard Houllier has admitted that whilst he was pleased with the effort and commitment today, he was not happy with how we played against Blues.

Speaking on the Official Site following our home draw against the great unwashed, Houllier admitted that we appeared jaded and fatigued given our Extra Time fun against Burnley earlier in the week, and it had a disappointing impact on our style and quality.

'I think there are two things to take into account, we played almost two hours of football in midweek. We lacked a bit of freshness and imagination, the second factor was that the creativity was not there today.'

Gerard quickly adds that he's not sure if it's possible or normal for the 'creativity' to show itself in our local derbies due to his lack of experience when it comes to Midlands rivalry, but it's a good sign to me that he's disappointed we didn't play properly and he's admitting that, as opposed to banging on about how pleased he was about the effort.

'The brave thing would have been to face the physical aspect of the game and put the ball on the floor and play. Maybe we didn't have the physical quality for that today. So when you can't win you have to make sure you get at least a point.'

Houllier was more pleased as the game drew on, especially the final 30 minutes, but it still wasn't enough for him to be happy.

'Maybe the best chances were probably Ciaran's header and Ashley's effort at the end. That's not enough. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't happy with what I saw. In terms of effort there is nothing to complain about, it's just about the way I see our football - it wasn't there today.'

Houllier ends by giving special praise to Ciaran Clark who performed well with an experimental defensive midfield role. Houllie explained his choice as a move to help out Reo and Sidwell because of the Burnley game and provide us with a more solid backline.

'Ciaran did well, he adapted to the situation well. To put him there for the first time in a derby, all credit to him. He did very well, as did Barry Bannan when he came on.'

For some nothing less than a victory would've done for today, and yes the performance was disappointing but Burnley and injuries as excuses aside, we still had chances to win it, we had youngsters 'trusted' again - today's decision alone shows how much Houllier rates Clark - and we didn't lose.

Today proved the importance of making the right choices in January.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday October 31 2010

Time: 4:28PM

Your Comments

looking forward to the january window now we do need a few more players and it will be interesting to see what houlier does
clarkamus
Houllier loves Barry Bannan.
olofthegreat
If we look at Mr H's playing policy over the years, it is obvious he sends out his teams to get a result, whether draw or win, but certainly not lose. You make very valid points P.Avfc, but my concern is that while we are still "converting" to the Houllier-style doctrine, how much will be slip down the table. Now I consider that a valid point, not negative. Does that mean we sacrifice this season for experimentation? I certainly hope not. We are a confidence-based side and what this type of playing style does, is stifle our sometimes free-flowing movement. I am prepared to follow a watching brief, and feel that if the new coaching methods are to be working, we should be seeing some results in the not too distant future. A little concern of mine at the moment, is that the team don't seem as fit as they have been in the past - anyone concur?
AVFCinOz
Look, we all wanted a win and as the man says, we can't fault the commitment of the players (on both sides) who all really wanted it today. Looking at the positives, Bannan showed some great touches and was at least looking for killer passes even if they didn't really come off for him today. I hope he gets more games as from what I saw today he could be the creative spark we are distinctly missing. UTV
Rawlie
I tonight it was a brilliant game. Loved the passing and movement. Oh, sorry I was watching something different. I'm just glad that unlike the other bloke our boss came out and said "not good enough".
Revdpete
Teapot made valid points, but I don't feel the need for his negativity. The club is a work in motion. Houllier has inherited players and player problems (often contractual ones, Sidwell Young, NRC etc) that are not of his making. However by playing Clarke in the role he did yesterday he effectively forced the game down the eventual path it took. How Heskey survived all game with the lack of support he got is a measure of how good Heskey is. He was delivered balls at all heights and angles and was expected to bring others into play when not one Villa player lended any quick support. To play the midfield we did yesterday it was obvious to most watching, that we needed an extra striker. The player to have missed out would have been either Ashley Young or Downing. Personally I think Downing has been more effective. The goalkeeper and back four were solid. The midfield three would have worked if ............ we had rested Ashely Young or Downing, played The Fonz alongside Heskey and said to (Young or Downing, whowever was selected), play the free role behind the front two. Choose what wing you want to go down, choose if you want to come from deep, give the opposition something to think about. O'Neill has left a slight problem for Houllier because it is not possible to really accomodate Albrighton, Downing and Ashley. Personally I would tell Ashley that he is on the sidelines until he learns not to fall over invisible legs, to stop whingeing everytime he gets tackled a bit hard and to stop trying to believe his own hype. It seems as if he is playing for himself and not the team.
voiceoftheholte
We are clearly missing Gabby alot! When is he set to return? Last 4 PL games we have 1 goal scored, last 3 games none! I think Heskey/Agbonlahor up front will be our best option, with Young, Downing on wings, Reo-Coker and Ireland in middle and usual back 4!
icelandvilla
i'm sorry to disagree with you iceland villa but we're missing a top class striker and have been for about 10 years, longer even, gabby will give us options, but goals, no, he couldn't hit a cows arse with a banjo!
eltoro
 

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