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Gerard Houllier Says Clash With John Carew Is Over

From Sky Sports:

"There was a discrepancy between my words which were full of praise for John Carew, and what was put up in the Norwegian press."John realised that, and that had to be clarified in front of everybody.

"The matter is over. I don't want to talk about it anymore."

Well I am shocked, simply shocked that this appears to be a massively blown-out-of-proportion misunderstanding. Do I think Carew and Houllier care for each other? No, I do not. Do I think Carew was dumb for his comments in the Norwegian media and Houllier needlessly rash in calling one of his players 'stupid' in response? Yes, I do. I'm not naive enough to believe that things are all hunky-dorey between the two camps after this closed door meeting.

At the same time, these are two professionals we are dealing with. Gerard Houllier knows that he's likely to need Carew at some point this season and Carew knows he's better off playing out his contract and finishing with a solid performance in the Premier League and entering free agency where he stands to make a tidy sum with no transfer fees attached. It's best for all parties involved that Carew stay on the team and in the rotation until January at the very least, and if what it takes is a team meeting where Houllier and Carew apologize to each other between gritted teeth, that's what they are both going to do. And it's entirely possible that I am being cynical; perhaps Carew did truly misunderstand what had been reported and perhaps the two have kissed and made up. As long as this whole thing doesn't cause the squad to implode or turn against the manager, I'm really not concerned either way.

I always take these exchanges with a massive grain of salt for numerous reasons. The English football media has an unbridled enthusiasm for creating a tempest in a teapot, and that's pretty clearly what happened here, with a bit of an assist from their counterparts in Norway. Both Carew and Houllier could have shown more tact but they didn't and they both seem to realize it. I'm with Gerard on this one; it's over, and I don't want to hear about it any more.

What do you think the odds of that happening are?