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Page last updated at 20:07 GMT, Wednesday, 8 September 2010 21:07 UK

Aston Villa appoint Gerard Houllier as new manager

Gerard Houllier
Houllier managed Liverpool for six years until 2004

Former Liverpool and Lyon boss Gerard Houllier has been appointed the new manager of Aston Villa.

The 63-year-old left the post of technical director at the French Football Federation to return to English football after six years away.

He takes over from caretaker Kevin MacDonald, who had been in charge since Martin O'Neill left on 9 August.

Chief executive Paul Faulkner said: "He [Houllier] understands the ethos of our club and shares our core values."

No announcement has yet been made on the future of MacDonald, who stepped up from his position of reserve team coach when O'Neill left before the start of the season.


Phil Thompson, Houllier's number two at Anfield, had been linked with the assistant manager's role at Villa Park but has decided to continue working as a television pundit.

He said: It was hugely flattering and enticing to be asked, I had no choice but to turn the offer down.

"With Gerard, you are signing up to 12-hour days. You have to be totally committed. I would throw myself at such a challenge again but at the same time I do not want to uproot my wife and two boys and I'm not someone who could live away from them through the week."

The length of Houllier's contract has also not yet been revealed.

He will be formally presented to the media on Friday, with his first game in charge away to Stoke on Monday.

"Two of the key qualities which we identified as being of crucial importance in our search for the new manager were experience of managing in the Premier League and a strategy for building on the existing strengths in our current squad," said Faulkner.

"Gerard Houllier comfortably satisfies these criteria."

Houllier admitted it had been a "very difficult decision" to leave his post in France but he was "very happy and proud to join this great and historic club".

This is a tremendous challenge and one I am very much looking forward to taking o

Gerard Houllier

"I could not turn down the opportunity to manage a club whose approach, both on and off the pitch, I have long admired," he stated.

"Aston Villa is one of England's biggest clubs and has an amazing set of fans.

"This is a tremendous challenge and one I am very much looking forward to taking on."

Houllier has an impressive record in club management, having led Liverpool to the FA Cup, League Cup and Uefa Cup Treble in 2001.

After leaving Anfield, he managed Lyon between 2005 and 2007, winning two league titles.

His other former clubs include Paris St Germain and Lens, and he also coached France between 1992 and 1993, when he failed to secure qualification for the 1994 World Cup finals.

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see also
Curbishley linked with Villa job
02 Sep 10 |  Aston Villa
Aston Villa job interests Koeman
31 Aug 10 |  Aston Villa
Villa to seek experienced manager
29 Aug 10 |  Aston Villa
MacDonald job chances suffer blow
26 Aug 10 |  Europe
Villa loss my fault - MacDonald
22 Aug 10 |  Premier League
O'Neill quits as Aston Villa boss
09 Aug 10 |  Aston Villa

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