Gerard Houllier set to decide on Aston Villa job
Premier League return? Frenchman Houllier Aston Villa target Gerard Houllier will make a decision on his future later today. The former Liverpool boss, technical director with the France national team, has been lined up as Martin O'Neill's successor at Villa Park. Kevin MacDonald has been caretaker boss since O'Neill quit just a few days before the start of the season and several players are keen for the Scot to be handed the role on a permanent basis. But a source close to the club said: 'Mr Houllier is the first choice but there are still finer details to sort out on Monday.' Houllier is believed to want Phil Thompson as his No 2, having worked with the former Reds star at Anfield, with MacDonald going back to first-team coach. Houllier, 63, was in charge of Liverpool between 1998 and 2004 and watched Jamie Carragher's testimonial at the weekend. The Frenchman won five trophies - FA Cup, UEFA Cup, UEFA Super Cup, League Cup and Community Shield - in 2001. He added a second League Cup in 2003. Randy Lerner's determination to land Houllier has provoked a mixed response from Villa fans but the American owner's right-hand man has hit back at the doubters. General Charles Krulak, a non-executive director said: 'Any manager worth their salt is going to do some due diligence on the club, and that would probably include reading up on the fans and the type of support they might receive. 'Take Mr H [Houllier]. What ever anyone thinks of him, he deserves respect from the fans. He has a fine record with multiple clubs and deserves better for the amount of effort he has put into his chosen career than to be ridiculed. We are bigger than that.' Highs and lows: Aston Villa have won their two home Premier League games under caretaker manager MacDonald but they were thumped 6-0 at Newcastle Krulak also slammed supporters for being impatient. He added: 'Those who believe that all we need to do is walk into a manager's office and throw a wad of money at him and he will come with us just have zero idea of what it takes.' Houllier has been backed to be a success at Villa - by the club's only other foreign manager. Jozef Venglos had an ill-fated spell in charge two decades ago as Graham Taylor's successor in which they only just survived relegation from the old First Division.
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