Villa’s Gérard Houllier: faites entrer l’accusé

GuillotineAmnesty International

Bring in the defendant, indeed. Gérard Houllier stands accused, in his own imagination, of the heinous crime of being French. Everyone else has all but forgotten Darren Bent. Just a bad dream. But M Houllier, with whatever encouragement he derives from the auld alliance (his Scottish sidekick, l’ancien superplongeur Gary McAllister), cannot let go. The Villa boss has discovered why he’s had such flak. You guessed it, and so did our mysterious chroniqueur, Birflatt Boy: it’s just our way of re-opening the 100 years’ War …

He thinks it’s because he’s French! Houllier that is!

He’s a funny bloke Gérard Houllier isn’t he? He received widespread benevolence during his time at Anfield. Everyone looked at him as if he was a favourite uncle.

In no time at all since his arrival at Villa Park he has become something of a public menace. His antics in the transfer market have made him look like a complete prat.

The Darren Bent saga has been done to death, but Houllier is still harping on about it, long after Steve Bruce has moved on from events, at least as far as the media is concerned.

Ton ton Gérard’s complaint has been fully aired by Sky Sports: “Houllier also alluded to the comments he made last week, when he said he had been victimised by other managers due to his nationality after also coming in for
criticism from Sunderland boss Steve Bruce over the deal for Darren Bent.”

So Stevie Bruce got the hump over allegedly nicking his star striker behind his back because he’s French. You can just imagine his thought process: “I could have taken it if he’d been Welsh or Irish, poaching Benty, but the bugger’s French! That’s the last time I go on a P&O Ferry to Calais, I can tell yer! Portuguese or Moroccan even, but French!”

Gerry Houllier (time he Anglicised his name a bit), has also upset Ian Holloway the Blackpool boss for the “derisory” (according to Olly), offers for the Tangerines star midfielder Charlie Adam.

Obviously Olly is irked by Gerry’s preference for the Tower Eiffel over the tour that graces Blackpool’s seafront. No Reg Dixon in any ballroom on the Champs-Elyseés, eh Gerry? Olly may have wondered if the 2.5 Mill offered by Villa for Adam was going to be paid in defunct francs.

There’s been a lot of criticism of Houllier’s behaviour when it comes to “tapping up” other club’s players. The modus operandi seems to be to let players know that he is interested and then put in a bid.

In the case of Charlie Adam, it appears to have turned the player’s head as he has today submitted a transfer request presumably in response, even though his manager has called them (Villa) “a half arsed club that used to be famous” and “managed by a Frenchman”.

Olly didn’t actually say the last bit but we can assume that was what Houllier thought he heard Olly say. Accusing Bruce and Holloway of some kind of racism is not only foolish and uncalled for, but it typifies Houllier’s desperation to claw back some of the respect that he’s lost amongst his peers as well as the general public. I’m not sure what the translation is for “being a complete prat” but whatever it is (ce mec est vachement con works quite well … M Salut), then Houllier has shown himself to fit the bill. Until he mentioned it, my awareness of Houllier’s Gallic origins had dimmed to distant memory, in the same way that it probably had for Steve and Olly.

If he really thinks along these lines (and I suspect with some certainty that he does not), then Houllier should report both of them to the FA and see what they make of it. He’d look an even greater buffoon then. Tant pis!

Houllier has been well out of order in his recent dealings, but the end result is that the coffers of Sunderland have already been swelled considerably and the same may be true of Blackpool when Adam departs, as he undoubtedly will. Olly has a lovely turn of phrase and sees his club as being just like his home.

“When my mum was running our house, when I was a kid, all the money was put into tins. She knew what was in every tin and I know how much I’ve got in my tin – that’s the way we’ll run this club.”

When Charlie Adam goes he might have to get a bigger tin. “Merci bien Gérard!

23 thoughts on “Villa’s Gérard Houllier: faites entrer l’accusé”

  1. I’d really like to know what a bloke like Houllier (being French) does for a night out in a place like Birmingham.

    Just wondering?

  2. I agree with everything that you say there Mr Judd with the exception of wishing him well. I don’t and I can’t.

  3. Still the bitching goes on. So here we go. Villa are a smashing club and as I`ve already said I have a lot of time for their fans and club, which has been in recent history much more sucessful than my SAFC. A reality check at he moment would be that Villa have had to pay an aweful lot of money for a goalscorer to keep them in the division. If the time comes when he has to play football he will be found wanting. Why ealse have none of the so called big clubs been after Bent. SAFC in the meantime are out of sight of Villa this season as far as league position goes. The history I know, the future I haven`t got a clue about. Isn`t that why we all love the game. Once again I wish DB well and look forward to future meetings with Villa

  4. M Salut says: “I was there to witness McAllister’s dive, Jeremy, but maybe not in its entirety. Some people outside the stadium swear it started in Fawcett Street. ”

    That’s right. It was right outside Joblings.

  5. I get the distinct impression that they are courting a bid at Wigan. They know he’s going to be off and just want the best price. Despite all the protestations they know they’ll sell.They always do. Anything else is just a front.

  6. All those ***s He must have a nervous twitch Salut.
    Perhaps you need to provide a definition of “superplongeur.”

    The incident that you refer to show that McAllister was clearly in his own half when he swan dived for the penalty.

  7. I’m really not sure what Neutron is talking about when he refers to the absence of communication between Quinn and Bruce. As far as either were aware there was nothing to discuss regarding Bent, although the chances are that there had been dialogue elsewhere given the sharing of an agent between Gerry and Bent. Never mind. Enjoy Bent’s diligence to your club. It won’t last long.

    Regarding Fuller M. Salut, it’s very much horses for courses I’m afraid. All the nay sayers who are opposing the signing of Fulller need to consider who the alternate and viable targets are going to be in the transfer window. As I said before we need some bodies!

  8. … and Birflatt Boy: I hope you’re wrong about Fuller coming – overpriced, crocked and reportedly demanding much more than we paid the one we’ve lost – or that I’m wrong about him. Assuming Bruce is right about having no hope of signing Welbeck, we go from Bent-Gyan-Welbeck to Gyan-Fuller-Healy!

  9. While bowing to the superior eloquence, wit and intellect of Liverpoolfc – second comment and perhaps a gentleman who disapproves of our long memory (McAllister’s Olympic quality dive for a Liverpool penalty at the SoL) – I urge a sense of proportion. Birflatt Boy has had his spot of fun, Villa fans get their say and the entente remains no more or less cordiale than before (ie, and this is spoken from the heart since half my family is French, not very cordiale at all).

    As for the transfer, we know for a fact that Bent lied publicly about his commitment to SAFC. If he has a good badge-kissing second half of the season, Villa fans should therefore hope no one hovers six months from now with an even bigger pot of gold to turn his head yet again.

    The spat between the clubs is just part of football’s pantomime and we almost certainly don’t know the full truth, only – as Pete Sixsmith noted here yesterday – that no one comes out of it with any great credit.

  10. Silly post, I think you’ll find Bruce has come in for a fair bit of criticism for his monotonous moaning. He’s been a joke in this whole affair, as has your club, I.e no correspondence between Quinn and Bruce. All Quinny had to say was, “Look potato head, let’s face it, we’re a decent club but it’s horrible up here in the north east, who wouldn’t want to leave? Even you and I are only here until we get a better offer.” Simple.

  11. I think that we will sign Fuller if for no other reason than we must have some bodies, and preferably bodies that are honed with PL experience.

    Fuller will bring that experience. I don;’t expect that we will sign either P’chenko or Bendtner who are both awful players in my opinion. Depending on how soon we can expect Welbeck and/or Campbell to return fit, we may see Brucie sign a second forward. Personally I think we should.

  12. Nice article. But, as Stevie Bruce has been misquoted in the press, maybe we should allow Houlier the same privalege. I hope we dont replace Darren with Pavlyuchenko – or Fuller. I do not think we will. And the prospect of Bendtner – OUCH That really sucks.

    I trust Steve Bruce, he has made Keiran play all over the park and now, Keiran is so versatile. With Asamoah being so classy, and other useful players in the team, we will not miss Benty. I hope the income brings in someone better.

  13. Shame the man who came out the bigger man (never said a word about Adam ’till after Holloway, not a dickie on Bent) and still gets ostracised by apparently uniformed, blinkered people. The facts are thus; Houllier never commented upon either player contracted to other clubs mentioned above (until asked a direct question in response to Holloway); Sunderland confirmed the transfer an hour before Villa (Villa wait until the player registration has been confirmed to talk about other teams player, unlike ironically Mr Quinn, and Mr Bruce); Villa have finished outside the top eight 5 times since the inception of the premiership (ie six transitional months does not make us a small club). And most importantly Sunderland have had a week to make a complaint, and have not, so are clearly just baselessly speculating.

    Villa are in fact reputed (see leeds delph comments last year) to perform their transfer business admirably.

  14. y is he a prat for defending himself? maybe the accusing of racism was a bit stupid bt what do u expect. he and his club is being mocked by holloway for simply putting a bid in for the player and then holloway brings it out in public having a go at him and the club and saying that he’s tapping up adam wen he clearly hasn’t and then when liverpool make the same sort of bid he rules it out as it “probably wasn’t dalgish making the bid” and then bluenose bruce comes in saying tht houiller should have spoke to him wen clearly wen a bid is put in for a player it goes through the chairman not the manager. have fun on ur downward slope in the prem without ur best player bent 😀

  15. You Sunderland fans need to grow up, your manager is full of shit, it was he who decided to sell your best player, you should all be ashamed of yourself. Also Ian Holloway thinks he is gods gift to the premier league when in fact he brings sweet f**k all.

    Slag me off but Bruce is crying about something he decided to do and is trying to discredit Houllier for going after the deal and about things the right way, same goes for Holloway (can talk the talk but can’t walk the walk).

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