Aston Villa's New Gaffer Is Chatty: Gérard Houllier On Ashley Young and Liverpool

BIRMINGHAM ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Tim Howard of Everton makes a save from a shot by Ashley Young of Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Everton at Villa Park on August 29 2010 in Birmingham England. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)

If you can get past the terrifying image on the front page of Guardian Football, there are at least two stories involving Gérard Houllier.

First, Houllier talks about Ash. The Guardian asked if Young could be one of the best left-wingers in Europe:

"As a left-winger? No. He can play on the wing. Whether he can be one of the best in the world in that position ... I think he can be one of the best in another position."

On the Ash-O-Meter, we're seeing about an orange: Contract talks with the club are 'positive." What this story says is that Houllier isn't going to mince his words in regards to Ash. Young wants to be a regular with England, and he wants to be at a club that allows him to get to that point. Houllier is saying yeah, Villa can make him into that person, but he has to step it up a notch.

While I was worried that Houllier was going to be a bit too conservative in regards to players, positions, and tactics, the fact that he's already willing to go back on what he originally said about Young--that he should stick to being a winger--bodes well. He dropped him back into that second striker role for the second half on Wednesday, and it was that changed position that turned out to be the death of Blackburn--that and Ash's brace, of course. Those sorts of changes are the type I want to see from the Villa manager.

Things like this are just the icing on the cake:

He needs to have a good glass of wine with me: it's a game of football. Sometimes it's a blessing as it's an opportunity for change.

Houllier wants to have a sit down with Roy Hodgson, give him a little pep talk. Don't worry, Roy. Houllier lost to Grimsby at home. Things could be worse. What's important is that your boys like you. Not that you can't win matches.

New life goal: have a glass of wine with Gérard Houllier

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