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Walshy
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Liverpool fans everywhere can rejoice!

 

HOULLIER LEAVES LIVERPOOL

Monday 24th May 2004

 

Gerard Houllier has officially parted company with Liverpool after weeks of intense speculation regarding his position at Anfield.

The Frenchman spent six years with the Merseysiders and overcame a serious heart problem to lead the team to a cup treble in 2001.

 

However, despite clinching fourth spot in The Premiership and earning a chance to play in next term's UEFA Champions League, the Reds board have decided that the time is right for change at the helm of the club.

 

Liverpool finished some 30 points behind champions Arsenal and there will now be plenty of anticipation over who will succeed Houllier.

 

Charlton Athletic's Alan Curbishley and Celtic boss Martin O'Neill two of the names in the frame to step into the breach.

 

Well maybe now Liverpool can start going in the right direction, although I doubt they will be able to challenge for the League for a while they should be able to do well in Europe and the Cups, those should be a spring board to an improvement in the League!

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Here's hoping. I hope they're moving heaven and earth to land Martin O'Neill. I'll be sorry to see him leave Celtic but I think he's achieved all he can there. Liverpool would be the ideal job for him. I'd just also like to thank Gerard Houllier for everything he's done for the club and wish him all the best in the future.
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Thats great news for Liverpool, finally they have seen sense. However i think that wont be the last of their problems. The team needs strengthening and to do that they will need to bring in a new manager quick. Then the important decisions will be made promptly and they shouldnt lose out on any prospective players.
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I'll tell you all now - I may just put this in my signature (maybe...):

 

LIVERPOOL ARE SCREWED.

 

Houllier has been an easy target, fair enough but bloody hell, they have just made a cataclysmic error in letting him go. They will NOT make a UEFA Cup place next season.

 

Owen will now leave, maybe Gerrard, maybe Kirkland, maybe Kewell.

 

Liverpool have just released the guy who set up the French School of Excellence at Clairfontaine. That was entirely Houllier. He was fed up at the lack of French talent in the early 1990's when he managed the national side so decided to do something about it. This is the man who nurtured Thierry Henry, Trezeguet, Anelka, Vieira, Rothen, Zidane and Karembeu when they were school-age.

 

He's been sacked because of Arsenal's improvement and Chelsea'a sudden awesome spending power. He wasn't prepared for it. He also mad some poor signings but they can always be replaced. I said all along, give him one more season - if anyone is clever enough to see where they went wrong it is Houllier.

 

Liverpool fans will regret driving him out like this, I guarantee. Liverpool are screwed.

 

Cheers!

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Have to disagree Boyo. As long as Liverpool make the right appointment, we're far from screwed.

 

I have a lot of respect for what Gerard has done in his career, but you have no idea how frustrating it is to see the club going backwards season after season. He's a very knowedgable man but I honestly could not see us winning a championship with him at the club. And thats what Liverpool F.C. is all about - success.

 

Imagine if next season, Wenger brought in three bad signings for a total of 15 million. He plays them every week. He adapts a more defensive approach. Henry is left upfront on his own most games, even at home. Pires & Ljungberg spend most of their time tracking back. He is content to win most matches one-nil. The players are no longer allowed to express themselves but rather must adhere to a strict team structure. Reyes is eventually converted into a winger cos he's fast. Arsenal finish fifth. The following season they finish fourth.

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Have to disagree Boyo. As long as Liverpool make the right appointment, we're far from screwed.

 

Imagine if next season, Wenger brought in three bad signings for a total of 15 million. He plays them every week. He adapts a more defensive approach. Henry is left upfront on his own most games, even at home. Pires & Ljungberg spend most of their time tracking back. He is content to win most matches one-nil. The players are no longer allowed to express themselves but rather must adhere to a strict team structure. Reyes is eventually converted into a winger cos he's fast. Arsenal finish fifth. The following season they finish fourth.

You can't really use that as an argument because if I recall correctly, when Houllier took over and initially shared the job with Roy Evans, they weren't at Arsenal's level. In fact, they hadn't even come close to winning the Premier League since it was conceived.

 

I don't think, in the overall structure of things, that Liverpool have got worse since Houllier took over. Do you think that this current Liverpool side would beat "The Spice Boys" in a best-of-five series of matches? I think they would, and that is progress. Slow progress, granted - but progress all the same.

 

A lot of Liverpool fans delude themselves about Houllier's record at Liverpool - claiming he's gone "backwards". You seem to think that Houllier inherited the awesome all-conquering side of the 1980's and has turned it into a shambles. What Houllier inherited was a mediocre bunch of mavericks and created another mediocre team, but with a stronger base of talent.

 

Liverpool, when they were boring to watch, won a treble: fantastic! It was LIVERPOOL fans who demanded that Houllier bring in more attacking players and become more exciting. So he did. Liverpool are now scoring more goals than the Spice Boys were, and let's look at the two spines:

 

Kirkland vs James

Gerrard vs Redknapp

Kewell vs McManaman

Owen vs Fowler

Hyypia vs Babb

 

Absolutely NO contest. Liverpool have gone forward, and after one big stuttering season have sacked their manager. Unless the new manager is a genius, then I'm afraid Liverpool fans will seriously regret losing Houllier.

 

I'm not saying I'm right, I'm just voicing my opinion...:)

 

Cheers!

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To Boyo: I respect your opinion more than most, and a lot of what you say is, as usual, spot on.

 

My point about Wenger is that, if he did those things, you would be entitled to say that he was taking the club backwards and Arsenal fans would be well within their rights to demand a change if they couldn't see things improving. I realise that the Liverpool that Houllier took over is different to Arsenal now. My point is that, while Houllier did a magnificent job when he came in (putting the club on a sounder footing, making some quality signings like Hyppia, Henchoz and Hamman), he has almost now taken them BACK to the level they were at the season before he came in.

 

The thing about a club going backwards is that you don't know how far its gonna go. If Gerard was given another season, he MIGHT be able to turn it around; but he might not. What then?

 

The problem I have with the season we've had is not that Arsenal and Chelsea and Man Utd have been better than us, but the fact that we've been down with the Charltons, the Fulhams and the Boltons all season. That just aint good enough for all the money he's spent.

 

His team tactics also betray a lack of ambition. Like I said, he did a great job when he came in putting the team on a footing with which they could go and compete. But you have to take it further, on to the next step. No team EVER wins major trophies on a regular basis with Houllier's game plan. Even the most effectively defensive sides in history had attacking talent that was allowed to flourish. Take the Inter team of the late 60s: the most defensive team in history but they had the likes of Suarez, Rivera and the original attacking fullback Fachetti, and they were allowed to express themselves. Houllier doesn't allow his players to express themselves.

 

Contrast Henry and Owen, two players who, for me at least, when they're on top form, are very hard to separate in terms of goalscoring. Henry has Pires, Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Edu feeding him quality ball, he's surrounded by gifted players who are allowed to go out and play football. The result: Henry scores 30+ goals.

 

Contrast this with Michael Owen. Owen is a goalscorer, he loves scoring goals, thats what he does. Yet he's left up front on his own most times, even for home games. He has no support a lot of the time, the supply that strikers thrive on is non-existent, theres no penetration. Owen was on the panel for the FA Cup final last Saturday and he said something very interesting: commenting on Uniteds first goal, he said that it doesn't matter how many players a team has behind the ball, if you penetrate down the flanks, you'll score goals. He must really wish he had that at Liverpool.

 

I actually think that Owen is more likely to stay now than if Houllier had remained. Obviously that depends on making the right appointment. Owen wants to win trophies & score goals. He'll always score goals cos hes a damn good goalscorer but hes never gonna score like Henry if he isn't in a team with a more attacking mentality.

 

I think another problem with Gerard is that he doesn't trust his players to get the job done. I remember the match against Wolves at Molineux this season. We were winning one-nil at half time and playing well. What does he do? Sends the team out in a defensive shell for the second half. It eventually ended one-one.

 

Houllier's done fantastic things in his career, like the French academy. He'll probably go down more as a visionary than a good manager, someone who could lay the foundations, but ultimately wasn't around at the end. Thats a hard fact, but its the truth.

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I honestly dont think that Liverpool are "screwed" now that Houllier has gone. Thats going abit far, because Liverpool are a huge club, and can easily attract a quality manager. For example, Martin O'Niel. Which i think is a big possibility he may take the job. Hes done it all in scotland now really.

 

If i was on the Liverpool board i would have to look at what hes won. Like some people have said to me when i talk about United treble winning team.. all i get is that united are living in the past. Thats what is happening here. Houllier won the treble (not the real treble, but still credible :P) and some fans, and the general public are still thinking he can dig deep and do that again. I dont think he can, and means a replacement must, MUST, be brought in. The Liverpool team is not as good as Arsenal, Chelsea or United, and has been getting considerably worse than them teams for a couple of seasons. This change is needed. When i was younger watchin united, i used to sh!t it really when we played Liverpool.. i dont anymore. I reckon alot of fans are like that now from all teams.. which is why Liverpool need a change.

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I doubt O'Neill will go to Liverpool but if he did then he could make them real challengers within a season or two. The man has an incredible ability of getting teams to punch above their weight and its not like Liverpool have a team full of crap players. There are some very good players there like Gerrard, Owen, Kewell. O'Neill would be the right choice but I think he'd rather stay at Celtic. Celtic are desperate to hold onto him as well so I can't see him leaving.

 

As a Rangers fan, with Celtic losing Larsson, if they were to lose O'Neill as well then I'd be confident of our chances next year but I don't think thats going to happen sadly.

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This is the smartest thing Liverpool have done all season. Keeping the same format of going for 4th place every year isn't what the club should be aiming for, they correctly saw that Houllier doesn't have what it takes to change things, and a space is created for a new man with plenty of time to wheel and deal in the transfer market.

 

I don't think O'Neil will go though. The fact that he signed Sutton and Thompson to new contracts last season shows that he's planning for the future. And truth be told, I think O'Neil would be better waiting it out to see if the Man United job becomes available in the next few years. He must know that if he goes for the Liverpool job, he'll NEVER get the Man Utd job.

 

I have a feeling that Ranieri will be the man to take over. I'd expect him to get fired any day now, and since everyone in the UK except Abrahmovic seems to love Claudio, he's my tip for the job.

 

Whoever they get, I'm sure they'll be better than Houllier. In the past week or so Liverpool have dropped their two biggest duds in Heskey and Lé Gaffer, and if they can bring in a few decent players to go with their new manager in the summer, they could well be on their way to turning things around and getting back on track.

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My point about Wenger is that' date=' if he did those things, you would be entitled to say that he was taking the club backwards and Arsenal fans would be well within their rights to demand a change if they couldn't see things improving.[/quote']

This DID happen under Arsene Wenger. In 1998, Wenger had built an awesome attacking side and we won the Premiership at a canter. Then we sold Overmars, Anelka and Petit. We then replaced them Pires and Henry and reverted to playing Parlour with Vieira. We then finished about 18 points off from Man Utd who went on to win the bloody treble!!

 

You may smile at this but at that time about 95% of Arsenal fans wanted Wenger out, claiming they knew better, only to be proved wrong (and HOW!). My point is you DON'T know how it's going to be next season and despite some excellent discussion on these boards, Houllier knows more about football than all of us combined.

 

The thing about a club going backwards is that you don't know how far its gonna go. If Gerard was given another season' date=' he MIGHT be able to turn it around; but he might not. What then?[/quote']

As I said above, I firmly believe Houllier would turn it around. It's all about trust. The next manager will now realise that if they say "5 year plan", make progress, win some cups, but not win the league, then it seems unlikely they'll get another year. That doesn't speak too well about the trust given to the manager by the board. Of course, if if it was much the same year next season then I would say "let him go"

 

The problem I have with the season we've had is not that Arsenal and Chelsea and Man Utd have been better than us' date=' but the fact that we've been down with the Charltons, the Fulhams and the Boltons all season. That just aint good enough for all the money he's spent.[/quote']

The thing is: I don't think Houllier has bought bad players, I really don't (ok, Cheyrou). Perhaps I'm being a bit old fashioned but the team Houllier has assembled are not "Liverpool to the core", they don't owe the manager anything. Wenger bought players like Henry, Overmars, Petit, Vieira and Pires who were all child prodigies gone astray. I told them one simple thing: "I believe in you, now go out and play".

 

Despite his disappointing performances, I really like El Hadji Diouf, he is a superb player, but SOMETHING has gone wrong there. Perhaps it's Houllier's fault? But something tells me Diouf would be regarded as one of the best players around if he had signed for Arsenal at the 2002 World Cup.

 

His team tactics also betray a lack of ambition. Houllier doesn't allow his players to express themselves.

I disagree with this strongly. I don't think Houllier likes a show-off but you know the old adage: confidence breeds confidence. Harry Kewell is only going to try these amazing spin-a-roonies with the ball balanced on his nose if he feels confident that if it goes wrong, then Traore/Riise has got him covered. I think THIS is where Liverpool are lacking: the attacking players don't have trust or confidence in their team-mates.

 

Christiano Ronaldo, Darren Ambrose, Wayne Rooney, Bobby Pires and Laurent Robert all try these fancy tricks, because probably, they have a lot more confidence and trust in their fullbacks.

 

Contrast Henry and Owen' date=' two players who, for me at least, when they're on top form, are very hard to separate in terms of goalscoring. Henry has Pires, Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Edu feeding him quality ball, he's surrounded by gifted players who are allowed to go out and play football. The result: Henry scores 30+ goals.[/quote']

I'd say Kewell and Diouf are just as talented as Pires and Ljungberg. Gerrard is just about as good as Vieira, Murphy is as good as Edu/Silva. Djibril Cisse is extremely good, maybe as good as Reyes, but we'll have to wait and see. I think he needs the defence sorting out, I mean if I was Diouf I wouldn't try to elaborately nutmeg the defender if it was Igor Biscan backing me up...

 

Houllier's done fantastic things in his career' date=' like the French academy. He'll probably go down more as a visionary than a good manager, someone who could lay the foundations, but ultimately wasn't around at the end. Thats a hard fact, but its the truth.[/quote']

After all's said and done - you may be right there. I have a haunting vision of this season's UEFA Cup QF, Liverpool vs (whoever) and Houllier is in charge of the opposition...

 

Cheers!

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As a United fan I'm upset to see Houllier go, I strongly disagree with Boyo, Liverpool challenged United for the title in the 90's under Roy Evans, I belive it was in 1997 during Wengers first season at Arsenal, when Keegan left Newcastle and Liverpool briefly stepped up to become the main challengers before Arsenal came good.

 

Houllier won the poor mans Treble and since then Liverpool have gone backwards fast, they had to change something. Personally I'd gain a lot of respect, yes respect for Liverpool, if they hired an Englishman like Alan Curbishley.

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Houllier Speaks...

 

SACKED Gerard Houllier last night delivered his own verdict on his six-year Liverpool reign. He admitted he had felt his position was under threat from the very first day of the season. And Houllier claimed that he:

 

1. Had not always received the public support he wanted from the Anfield board.

2. Believed only injuries prevented Liverpool competing for second spot in the Premiership.

3. Was disappointed by the poor contribution of El-Hadji Diouf.

4. Had done better in the Champions League than his Liverpool bosses had asked of him.

5. Had left Liverpool’s team of tomorrow behind despite unrealistic Anfield expectations.

6. Appreciated a long, personal goodbye chat with his skipper Steve Gerrard.

 

Frenchman Houllier, sacked by his Anfield bosses on Monday, said: “I had a good relationship with my directors, but they did not always express themselves to rectify certain things. I ended up telling them ‘If you do not support me, then at one time or another . . .’ But I understand them. The situation wasn’t easy for them.”

 

On Diouf, Houllier said: “He was the disappointment because he has great potential but was never consistent. He did not give a good image of the club at times and no doubt that worked against me. But I reckon I have prepared the team of tomorrow with Baros, Cisse, Riise, Le Tallec and Sinama-Pongolle.

 

“What’s more, they asked me to play the Champions League one season in two. We played it three times out of four and, in disputing this competition and winning the UEFA Cup, we also got some money back.

 

“I arrived in 1998 but could only start to work on the team in 1999. It is from then you have to judge me, when we finished seventh. The Premiership was the thing I missed out on but I have to say the players have been remarkable this season in spite of all the injuries. Without those knocks, we could have been involved in the fight for second place — but not for first. Arsenal’s season was exceptional.”

 

On the threat to his job, Houllier explained: “I felt it was wobbling from the first day of the season. You have to know there are 28 former Liverpool players or managers working in the media.

 

“But I will never forget the strong relationship I had with the players, all the messages they left for me on Monday. Stevie Gerrard made sure he talked to me for 10 minutes. Now I hope Liverpool continue to progress.”

Some nice, predictable quotes there from Houllier; what do you guys think?

 

I made a point about *something* going wrong with El Hadji Diouf, super talent, no results. Houllier seems to have put the blame on Diouf, others may say it's the manager's responsibility to get the best from the players. Others may say Houllier is renouned for placing blame elsewhere. Personally, I think Diouf lacked confidence in his ability - he was a shadow of the player he was in Japan/Korea.

 

Something else I picked up on, too: the SHEER AMOUNT of former Liverpool players slagging him off in the media. Now I think about it, all I remember is Ian St John, John Barnes, Alan Hanson, Mark Richardson and John Aldridge slagging him off in the tabloids.

 

He even exceeded the board's expectations. Sadly not the fans'. My main reason for Houllier getting sacked is the delusional Liverpool fans who somehow think that Houllier inherited the 1980's side and made them worse. When in fact he inherited the Spice Boys and made them better.

 

Cheers!

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He's on something, blaming injuries for the lack of a challenge for 2nd! He's pathetic! A good manager would have backup's incase someone got injured, but not Houllier!

 

He hasn't bought anyone from Liverpool's academy through either, he just put's then on loan then lets them go for nothing! He has no one to blame but himself, in 6 years he took a side that finished in the top 4th every year to a side that scrapes 4 if their lucky!

 

As for Houllier placing the blame somewhere else, lets not forget that he blamed France not getting to the world cup in 1994 on David Ginola! It wasn't his tactics that left them hanging on, it was all down to Ginola trying to set up another goal!

 

Quite frankly even the most die hard of Liverpool fan wanted to see him go because he simply doesn't know what he is doing!

Edited by Walshy
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