Friedel gives Houllier backing
rad Friedel believes that new Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier will bring in a positive mentality at the club. The Frenchman took charge of his first training session with the Midlands club on Monday after relieving caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald of his duties. Friedel was at Liverpool when Houllier took the reins at Anfield in a short-lived joint manager venture with Roy Evans, before taking the role single-handedly for the Reds. Houllier began building the club in his own image, making several changes and eventually enjoying a relatively successful period bringing home five trophies in 2001, before falling ill the following year and departing in 2004. One of his first changes was to ship out both Friedel and fellow goalkeeper David James to make way for Dutch stopper Sander Westerveld. However despite rumours that Houllier's arrival would unsettle his former keeper, Friedel was confident that the work he did at the Merseysiders demonstrates his ability to re-establish clubs. "There was a lot that needed to be done at Liverpool when he took over - not only the first team but the whole infrastructure of the club," he told AVTV. "He had a lot of work to do there and he did very well indeed. Liverpool were falling behind Arsenal and Manchester United not just on the field but off the field with the youth setup, with the merchandising and with the global brand, in a sense. "I think that was one of the reasons they brought him in because that is what his background and pedigree was - to revamp the whole infrastructure of the football club. "And then, on top of that, the co-managerialship didn't work out so he found himself as a sole manager, so he had a lot on his plate. "But he did a fantastic job. When people go back there and see the new Melwood [training ground] and things of that nature, they can attribute all that to him. "I am very hopeful he can take this club forward. He's very astute and very professional. He always get the best out of his clubs."
Related Aston Villa News