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Houllier/KevMac V Martin O'Neill (First 14 Games)

It is too early to say yet whether Houllier is better or worse than Martin O'Neill but considering that a few fans are starting to get on Gerard's back already I thought I would point out something fairly interesting and compare this years start compared to Martin O'Neills start in his first year.

Look at the stats below:

This season's first 14 games (Kevin MacDonald's 7 games + Houllier's 7 games) from all competitions:

The Fixtures: West Ham (H), Rapid Vienna (A), Newcastle (A), Rapid Vienna (H), Everton (H), Stoke (A), Bolton (H), Blackburn (H), Wolves (A), Spurs (A), Chelsea (H), Sunderland (A), Burnley (H), Birmingham (H).

Won - 5 (3 of which were won under Houllier)
Drawn - 4
Lost - 5 (Only 2 out of 5 losses were under Houllier)

Scored - 17
Conceded - 19 (14 of which were conceded whilst Kevin MacDonald took temporary charge)

Martin O'Neill's first 14 games in all competitions:

The Fixtures: Arsenal (A), Reading (H), Newcastle (H), West Ham (A), Watford (A), Scunthorpe (A), Charlton (H), Chelsea (A), Spurs (H), Fulham (H), Leicester (A), Liverpool (A), Blackburn (H), Chelsea (A).

Won - 6
Drawn - 6
Lost - 2

Scored - 19
Conceded - 16

Under MON by this stage of the season we were already out of the Carling Cup and only won 1 more game than we have this year despite the fixtures this year being more challenging than the start of the 2006/2007 season not to mention the league has generally become a lot stronger since 2006.

Also so far this year we have our third manager, adjusting to a new style of play and have yet another small squad but we are doing just as well as when MON first arrived.

But this is where it gets really interesting, after the first 14 games MON then went on a terrible period with Villa where his squad picked up just 3 wins in the next 21 games!

I'm more than confident Houllier can better that abysmal run!

The point to this article being that MON didn't exactly have the best season in his first 12 months at Villa so we can't be expecting miracles from Houllier working with Martin's squad after 7 games but when you look at it with the injuries we have and the fact we've lost Milner, I think we're doing very well!

And if this is Villa still adjusting to a new formation and becoming fitter and tactically more aware with a few arrivals coming in this January I have to admit I am looking forward to a great future under Houllier.

Time to push on though in the League Cup and climb the table.

Next up Fulham away.

This fixture in MON's first season was 1-1, lets hope Houllier can go one better.

Oh and can I just add one more fact .... Seven in a row! Seven in a rooooowwww!

We're unbeaten, seven times in a row!!!! UTV!!!

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The Journalist

Writer: astvil123 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday November 2 2010

Time: 8:00AM

Your Comments

Good on you for putting it in to perspective but unfortunately some villa fans loved MON too much even Mourinho would be under pressure from that section of fans. Houllier was handed a poison chalice replacing a popular bloke, though it's arguable as to whether MON deserves his place on the pedestal some have placed him upon.
young_jonah
The most interesting aspect in the above is the goal difference in the last 7 games. Another difference not mentioned is that MON was able to make 1 signing and had a bit of a pre-season too. GH just got thrown in and then saw the players leave for a 2 week international break. Also MON had his own staff to bring in whilst GH had to form a team in the back too. There are so many differences it is difficult to compare anything. Maybe its just best to ignore ejits who believe everything can be achieved in a few short weeks.
Gordonsleftboot
MON took over a team that had finished just above the relegation zone and with just one addition had the record shown. GH has inherited a squad which has finished 6th three years in a row, minus Milner. And currently we sit 14th in the league. Whilst I can see the changes GH is trying to make will benifit the club long term, and appreciate he's been left with a strikeforce that can't score, results wise it's been disappointing.
Ams78
YatesVillian, that is probably evident in the quality of defence, but when you look at the rest of the team and see we've since lost barry, and also milner, (and arguably players like carew, who is just cack right now), then in many respects the team is lacking in quality now as much as it was then. We shouldn't be comparing anyway; different eras, different managements styles, different challenges... are the idiots really thinking that you can just repeat history and then better it?
johnnyuk
Under O'Leary's last year yes we did finish 16th but does anyone really believe that the quality of our squad deserved such a low finish? I thought that squad was always capable or a 10th or 9th place finish but O'Leary messed it up and lost the dressing room causing them to revolt and get him sacked. Players like Mellberg, Barry, Sorenson, McCann, Samuel, Davis, Ridgewell, JPA, Delaney, Hughes, Bouma, Milner and Agbonlahor. MON didn't exactly inherit a squad worthy of a 16th place finish did he because look at how each player has gone on to further success for the same reason, they are all quality players. And well said above that MON made 1 signing (Petrov) to improve the squad and had a preseason to prepare the team. GH was thrown in the deep end and has changed MON's 11 into a squad and changed our style, he is doing a brilliant job!
astvil123
I think you'd have to say that MONs start was more impressive given the circumstances, but really it's like comparing chalk and cheese. On the one hand I'm gutted because I feel if MON had remained and was supported in the transfer market we'd be in a strong position in the league now with a good chance of mounting another attack at the top 4. As it stands we're very much in a transition phase and any advance in the league is a write-off (btw, personally I blame MON for this). As others have noted there are some positives - more expansive play, more 'in game' tactics and substitutions, the emergence of young players. I just hope GH is properly backed in the transfer market, otherwise our best players' ambitions will exceed those of the club and they'll start planning their exits. There should be plenty in the coffers (18m from Milner, 5m from Gardner, 20m?? winter /summer of inactivity) so let's hope GH can identify and acquire some quality to give us the best possible platform to challenge for next season.
RoyalVilla
for where we are at the moment is a little unacceptable. however i'm willing to accept it though purely for the fact the team has completely changed its style of play from MON. it will still take time to adjust. but i think once our plays get back on track we'll start hitting the back of the net regularly.
Zarch
I have no axe to grind on the MON/GH question. My criticism is limited to the one game, against the Blooze. How can you send out a team with seven defensive players in it and still expect to score goals? Then to compound matters two of our three forwards were played out on the wings leaving EH all on his ownio! We'll never win games with that system.
chocolate teapot
Only one thing as sure as eggs are eggs is when Gerarh Houlier leaves we will be having the same debate all over again.
col8
People are saying "we're 14th" as if we're in an awful position, and struggling. We're 3 points of 5th! ha. I'm very happy to have Houllier in charge, yeah a couple of the teams he's put out haven't worked like against Birmingham, but he's trying out different systems/formations/line-ups, and i'm glad to see that. Even if they don't work out everytime, it'll be nice when one works perfectly! He's adjusting and getting used to the team, you can tell that from the way he's trying out different things.
Callum_ws
Rif - get another one. Good post!
Gordonsleftboot
 

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