Gerard Houllier yet to sign Aston Villa contract

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
villa park

villa park

Newly appointed Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier has remarkably revealed he is yet to sign a contract with the Birmingham club.

Despite being unveiled as Martin O’Neill’s successor almost two weeks ago, the Frenchman has only verbally agreed a deal with club owner Randy Learner.

The 63-year-old suggested such a delay was commonplace in football and admitted he did not sign a contract with former employers, Liverpool until November 1998 despite beginning his tenure at Anfield four months earlier.

“No, not yet but it is okay,” said Houllier when asked whether he had signed a deal. The word is more important than the rest. You mean physically? No, but don’t be worried.

“This is not important – I think at Liverpool, I didn’t sign until November or December.”

Houllier won six trophies during a six-year spell on Merseyside and the former Lyons manager has vowed to end Villa’s 14-year wait for a trophy.

“Winning a trophy would be fantastic for the club and a huge reward for the fans,” he added. “It will come.

“Maybe what we need is to get out of this comfort zone and get results a bit more. The passion is there but the ambition to win things would do well at this club. The image is a nice club. We want to be a winning club, and a nice winning club.

“Winning that first trophy with Liverpool was crucial. It took a lot of pressure off the team. It came as a relief. We had actually won something. Even Chelsea lifted their first league title after winning the League Cup.

“I remember speaking to José Mourinho and saying, ‘Don’t neglect this cup because, if you win it, on the back of that, confidence grows.

“That is exactly what happened. After that we practically won everything at Liverpool and we want to win something at Villa.”

Houllier made a winning start to his tenure at Villa Park on Wednesday night after his side beat Blackburn 3-1 in the Carling Cup third round.


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