Randy Lerner’s Houllier-Shaped Dilemma

Martin O’Neill’s resignation from the managerial position at Aston Villa just days before a ball was kicked in August came as something of a shock to many of the club’s supporters. Four months on, Villa supporters could be forgiven for pondering whether O’Neill saw this coming. Their form now feels more like a collapse than a slump and the question of whether this team at this time has the stomach for a relegation battle is now starting to come to the forefront of the minds of many supporters. Villa, however, remain stuck between a rock and a hard place. Replacing Gerard Houllier would, no matter how unpopular he is at present, be a gamble, and in the current economic climate Aston Villa can hardly afford to lose their Premier League status in this of all seasons. Their recent form had been shocking – just one win in their last eight matches – but their abject performance at The City of Manchester Stadium this afternoon marked a new low in their season so far. There is no doubt that Gerard Houllier is exceptionally unpopular with the supporters of the club, and whether the appointment of Houllier, who was always likely to be a short-term fix rather than somebody coming into the club to build a new dynasty at the club, feels irrelevant at present. Talk of new dynasties is for...

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