By Chris Wright
Aston Villa released a statement via their official website last night to confirm that they have appointed Gerard Houllier as their new manager. The Frenchman succeeds Martin O’Neill, who resigned from the post five days before the Premier League season was due to start.
Houllier has released the following statement to the media;
“I am very happy and proud to join this great and historic club. It was a very difficult decision for me to leave the FFF [French Football Federation] but I could not turn down the opportunity to manage a club whose approach, both on and off the pitch, I have long admired.
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.”
The website is also carrying quotes from Villa’s chief executive Paul Faulkner, who believes that Houllier is the right man for the job;
“Two of the key qualities we identified as being of crucial importance were experience of managing in the Premier League and a strategy for building on the existing strengths in our current squad. Gerard Houllier comfortably satisfies these criteria.
In fact, he stands out as a football man who understands the ethos of our club and shares our core values. We look forward to working with Gerard and supporting him.
We ask our supporters to get behind the new manager and the team as we look to build on the progress we have made over the past four years in all areas of the club.”