Aston Villa - Rash Houllier Decisions Bad Timing For Villa?
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Rash Houllier Decisions Bad Timing For Villa?

Villa are struggling and as long as we are 4 points above the drop zone then we have to admit, we are in a scrap at the moment. But last night's squad showed that the fully fit John Carew, Richard Dunne, Habib Beye and Stephen Ireland didn't even make the bench.

Houllier surely has made the right decisions by getting the dead wood and moaners out of our squad and planning to sell them in January is a good move, but, have all these arguments, public criticisms and fights come at the worst possible time?

Emile Heskey got injured last night and no doubt will miss the following games leaving Villa in a bit of trouble with Ashley Young more than likely sitting out at Man City; surely this would be the time John Carew should step in? If my memory is right then he scored our only goal at The City Of Manchester Stadium last season so surely after last nights performance showing we really miss a target man when Heskey went off, shouldn't Carew start against Man City?

But Houllier has slagged Carew off in the press already, clearly they don't get on, he won't even put him on the bench anymore and our once Holte End Hero is now surely leaving in January.

Stephen Ireland's career at Villa has so far been a disaster. But with Ashley Young out injured for a little while, surely having Stephen Ireland given another go in Ash's central role should be what Houllier does next. But Houllier criticised Ireland in the paper ages ago and hasn't looked back since dismissing him as an option with Ireland presuming never playing for Villa again.

Same goes for Habib Beye despite Beye playing extremely well in his once match against Chelsea. I can understand we need the big earners to leave Villa but surely causing these problems during the season is disrupting the squad who are still playing. We are 15th in the league and against Tottenham (a game we knew from the previous game at WHL would be bossed by Van Der Vaart) surely Nigel Reo-Coker (who is now match fit) should have started instead of a very young Jonathon Hogg.

It seems NRC wasn't played because he is stalling on contract talks and wants out unless he gets £50k a week according to the French one and speculation is now mounting that as a result of holding the club to ransom over the contract, Houllier won't play him. Also Delph started last night, was great to see him back! But why did he start? Houllier seems happier Delph is back rather than Petrov which seems strange. Actually it doesn't because Gary McCallister will have been telling Houllier all week from his Leeds Utd days just how much he rates Fabian.

What Gary will have failed to mention however is that Leeds were in League 1 at the time and playing against the likes of Modric and Van Der Vaart is quite a big jump. It does seem stupid though that because of these arguments going on and Houllier making rash decisions that we saw Hogg mark VDV, Bannan on the bench, NRC not play, Pires come off the bench ahead of Bannan and no Carew to replace Heskey. It makes you wonder, fair enough to Gerard for saying it like it is to people and saying 'You're not good enough,' but surely there is a time and a place? Maybe January 1st?

I don't know about everyone else but having Ireland play off Heskey with NRC and Bannan behind I think would have been better than what we saw with Hogg and Delph.

The good news is though that in January Houllier is being backed with money to go out and buy players (confirmed yesterday by Paul Faulkner). The bad news is Houllier will be spending the money, and I do worry because if he finds it so easy to make these rash decisions with our current players, I hope he doesn't do the same when he buys players. We need players that are good and have great ability and that are proven, not players who are cheap, french and had a good game 1 time Houllier saw them play.

I just hope his decision making in the window is better than his decision making in the dressing room.


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The Journalist

Writer: astvil123 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 27 2010

Time: 10:16AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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I agree 100%. Houllier seems to be a big gambler with team selection and be like a bull in a china shop when dealing with players and their egos. I was willing to give Houllier a fair chance but am now worried that he will waste what little money we have in the pot and alienate all of the senior squad.
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27/12/2010 10:36:00

ireland does not deserve a place on the bench nor does carew or beye for me they do not work hard enough for us and gerrard is right to do what he has done for me. richard dunne has been terribly poor this year and doesnt look up for it atall, its a real shame after last year but oh well plenty more decent centre halves out there that will want to play for this great club, back gerard houlier mon left this club in the *****and with all the injurys weve had a real bvad start but it will improve i am not worried at all and now just looking forward to a few new faces in january! UTV
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27/12/2010 10:41:00

Clarkamus.... you can give players a kick up the arse without totally alienating them from the club. And to freeze four senior players out of a small squad is very poor management indeed. MON did cause the mess but Houllier, at 63, should have enough experience and a level enough head to manage thes players without needing to massively weaken our already threadbare squad.
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27/12/2010 10:54:00

Coker was in the team until about 45 minutes before KO - Gabby was then put in the team- and Coker dropped to the bench with the promise of 45 mins - which he never got
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27/12/2010 11:10:00

I agree that Ireland was exactly the kind of player we needed 2nd half - or Bannan come to that..I don't think we're in going to be in too much danger of relegation, but I do think we're doomed to a few seasons of mid-table obscurity under this regime. It's all very well people talking about what we're going to do in Jan, but nobody good enough to improve us is going to want to sign for a club in the bottom 5 with a clown for a manager. Get rid. Please just get rid before it's too late :o/
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27/12/2010 11:22:00

I made a forum post last night saying that carew should have been on the pitch. If we're going back to our crossing game we need big and aggressive men on the field. Carew is that guy for us. i don't think houllier wanted the crossing game to be played at all last night and thats why carew wasn't there. but you can't deny our wingers a bloody good at it so why avoid it? if carew is not on the bench on tuesday and we play another crossing game i really will start to question GH's ability to manage our side.
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27/12/2010 11:40:00

Agree with most of what people have said already. Why were were we crossing it when there was no one in the middle? And as you point out astvil123 there is good timing and bad timing. When MON came to Villa he got the best out of DOL's lot and then changed things slowly without wee weeing anyone off. Houllier seems to think he has walking into a crisis club that needs root and branch surgery. We weren't Newcastle, we were a fully operational, top 6 team that just needed a bit of leadership and confidence. Instead we have someone who looks more and more like a little boy lost every week that doesn't seem to know any tactics??
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27/12/2010 11:50:00

Players need to remember they are not bigger than the club, Houllier is right the big fish need to earn their place in the squad its not a god given right, they should keep their mouths shut and do their talking on the pitch, or move on. Things aren't looking good at the moment but I'm sure long term the Houllier reign will reap dividends.
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27/12/2010 12:20:00

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27/12/2010 12:20:00

Personally I don't think he's done anything except show the nads that the previous manager failed to do on so many occasions. Carew gave up last year, Dunne has been atrocious since last March, Ireland is obviously a cock and has shown nothing to suggest he can actually play football let alone be some kind of midfield maestro that seems to exist only in his chav addled
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27/12/2010 12:20:00

There is only one person to blame for our (lack of) performance and that's O'Neill. To a lesser degree I blame Carew for not scoring more than the one goal we got; Ashley Young for not putting in the sort of crosses we needed; Richard Dunne for conceding two goals; Nigel Reo Coker for not providing more midfield bite and Luke Young for not closing down Bale.Played some really nice football last nigh; really pretty. Who would want to watch that rubbish 'hoof ball' that Spurs play? 60 yard passes and players getting forward quickly? Hopeless. Sit back and savour our pretty possession football. Look how our world beating youngsters like Hogg and Delph ran the show. Get rid of Dunne and Carew. They are the cause of all our ills. Stick with goal machine Delfounso. How many Premier goals is it now> 20? 10? Oh, 1.

Some time ago I challenged one of GiGi's many supporters to say where we would be in the table at the end of January. Come on, where are you all? Mid table obscurity? Only if we get very lucky. Do not kid yourselves, we are already in the relegation dogfight. Wake up before it's too late.

chocolate teapot
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27/12/2010 12:39:00

claretandbluearmy, Houllier thinks that HE is bigger than the club. The man is a fool and although he DOES know how to play football nicely, he DOESN'T know the premiership of today and won't succeed ever. Get rid ASAP.
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27/12/2010 13:04:00

for me Houllier has to balance youth and experience and with so many older players seemingly on their way, he has to reinvest in experience or you will continue to struggle and potentially waste some excellent young players by either over playing them or not having the older heads around them for them to learn from.
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27/12/2010 13:09:00

This season was always going to be a struggle with what O'neill did and Houlier had no chance to nspend money plus the injuries of not helped matters at all. We were in this position of struggling the first season O'Neil took over. Agress Ireland needs to go as it obvious now why he wasn't getting a shout in a Citeh. He is too inconsistance. Carew I like and would rather he stopped but erh I am not the manager and Houlier has to mould this team himself which is why I think he is playing alot of youth as he believes in the youth and he has the option to mould them. The only positve to the injuries is we will have alot of fresh players foir the second half of the season when the other tesams are beginning to tire.So some of you say sack him and replace him with who??????????. Give Houlier time eh. There is no one to replace him unless you want Big Sam Huyghton or God forbid fsw
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27/12/2010 13:29:00

Bannan and Reo being saved for tuesday night?
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27/12/2010 14:29:00

Despite the poor results I still think that Gerard "when I was at Liverpool" Houlier is the right man for the job. In a strange way this is the most interesting time to be a Villan since the near-top four days a couple of years ago. We've got a manager with a proven pedigree, who has also got contacts all over Europe. Villa are being linked to up and coming foreign talent who MON (who created much of the current mess) probably hadn't even heard of let alone would be interested in signing. Yes, the squad isn't setting the world on fire on the pitch, but is that surprising considering half of them will probably be gone by the end of next summer (and they know it!). In Ciaran Clark, Delph, Albrighton and Bannan Villa have the nucleus of a potentially great side. If, we, the fans can support them, Randy Lerner and a genuine football man like Houllier then next season can be a great one (with lots of potentially exiting new faces too). Villa might finish fourth from bottom this season but if everone gets behind the side, it might be fourth from top sooner rather than later.
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27/12/2010 15:27:00


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