After defeat to Liverpool, and all that went with it, it was the first time Aston Villa fans vented their frustrations at Gerard Houllier. After showing too much respect for one of his former clubs and suffering a heavy defeat, Aston Villa fans have started to question their managers style of play and ability to move Aston Villa forward. Are Aston Villa fans right to question their manager’s capabilities?
After the job Martin O’Neill did at Aston Villa, it was always going to be a difficult job for anyone. The funds simply aren’t in place to compete with Tottenham and Manchester City and the squad is thin. Martin O’Neill took Aston Villa as far as he could – is Houllier the right man for Aston Villa? Sadly, it seems that his tactics and football philosophy are outdated and he hasn’t changed from his time at Liverpool. Of course Aston Villa fans will be disgruntled with the way he sets his teams out. Martin O’Neill was a manager who desired expressive and expansive play – Houllier will not allow his players this freedom.
It is unfair to judge Houllier against O’Neill because Villa are a work in progress. Come January, Villa could have a new look, but it seems they will loose players before they invest. Take the example of Ashley Young. Will he now see Villa as a declining club under Houllier, and look to move on come January? It would be a huge blow for Aston Villa and their fans. They way it is going at Villa Park at the moment, who would bet against it.
Aston Villa fans deserve better that what Houllier has offered so far. Houllier is a better manager than he is showing. There are problems at Aston Villa – and Houllier is shouldering a lot of the fans’ frustrations. They are frustrated about not being able to compete in the transfer market, loosing key players to teams challenging around them and the fear that they are declining. If Aston Villa continue to drop down the Premier League table, Houllier may find himself out of a job. Fans’ frustration is very powerful.
The best thing Gerard Houllier and Aston Villa can do is get on with the job. The win against West Brom on Saturday will have lifted the whole club – it could be the kick start their season needed. Aston Villa need accept that they have fallen behind clubs, but they can fight back. Does Houllier have the fight in him? Do Villa need another O’Neill character – passionate. If results get better it wont be an issue, but Houllier could be in trouble if Villa do not start climbing the table again.
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