English Premiership

Houllier set to leave Villa?

2011-05-31 11:18
Gerard Houllier (File)

London - Gerard Houllier is set to stand down as manager of Aston Villa following his latest health scare, press reports have said.

"Houllier and Villa have reluctantly decided the 63-year-old should vacate his position with immediate effect following his recent heart scare," the Birmingham Mail reported.

The Frenchman, who underwent heart surgery when Liverpool manager a decade ago, missed the final month of last season with the latest setback.

Caretaker boss Gary McAllister has said he was confident Houllier would return to his post and the 63-year-old has played his part in drawing up Villa's plans for next season.

But Villa insisted medical tests conducted on the manager before the weekend would determine Houllier's future.

The results have been studied by Villa owner Randy Lerner and medical staff and an official announcement was expected soon.

But Villa forward Ashley Young, called up for England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland at Wembley on Saturday, said the players had yet to be informed of the latest situation regarding Houllier's health.

"To be honest, I've not heard anything out of the club, officially. I'm not too sure what's been going on," Young told reporters at England's hotel on Tuesday.

"I'm away with England and that's what I'm concentrating on. We've got a massive game on Saturday and that's where my thoughts are."

Asked if he wanted Houllier to stay at Villa Park, Young said: "Of course. He's done great. It's been a difficult season, but fingers crossed things can get sorted and he'll get back to full health."

Young's Villa and England team-mate Stewart Downing added: "We have seen the rumours going about but we haven't been told anything yet.

"We were told at the end of the season he was coming back.

"He came in at a difficult time and did quite well with the team. He has been good for me personally and if he stays then brilliant. If he goes I wish him all the best."

Both Young and Downing have both been linked with moves away from Birmingham club Villa but Dowing said any decision on his future was not dependent upon Houllier's prospects with the Midlands side.

"I have enjoyed working with Martin O'Neill, Kevin McDonald, Gary McAllister and Gerard Houllier so it doesn't influence my decision at all if he stays or goes," Downing explained.

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