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Houllier set to leave Aston Villa, not by mutual consent

I was writing my post this morning about Gerard Houllier about why, if four doctors had say he is fit to continue, there was going to be every chance that the fifth would say that too and that, if that was the case, while there was always going to be a risk he could keel over on the touchline, that there was also a good chance that what he was trying to bring to the club could start to really happen next season, especially after he had a summer transfer window and pre-season.

That was a long sentence but I had to write it as it was the crux of my post you will never see. But as I was writing it, I started to see posts on Twitter, NewsNow and Google reporting that Gerard Houllier had left the club 'by mutual consent'. This was started by Mat Kendrick on Twitter - a plug for the local paper later, but on further investigation, I could only confirm that he hadn't left 'by mutual consent'.

To me that suggests he has gone, but it isn't mutual and that means one of two things: he was pushed or he walked and if four reports suggested he was fit to continue, then my conclusion is that he was pushed.

Houllier and McAllister set to leave Aston Villa

Houllier is a football man, much like I am a beer man. I sometimes switch to wine but I always end up with my favourite beer and I know I always will. Houllier had a few days in hospital, but that isn't going to stop him wanting to manage, hence him jumping through hoops to prove he was fit and able, hence his assistant saying he was coming back and hence the photos of him walking round Villa Park last week.

But even writing my initial post today, I couldn't help thinking about what Lerner and Faulkner would be thinking every match day and that was 'is he going to keel over on the touchline' and that that was too much risk for them to carry, so sadly, they had to make the decision to let him go.

I say sadly, because I know they wanted it to work with Houllier and because this website and I have fully backed the manager in his transitional season, knowing that change takes time and hoping for him to get a proper chance next season.

But after what happened, the decision was finally made and it was the right one, after all things were considered and sorry to write this next bit, but it was something we told you last month too.

Another transitional season

So, we say goodbye to Gerard Houllier. Some will be happy, but I think most will be sad. Sad because of what I wrote above and sad because they had time to reflect on what could really have happened had he not fallen ill and had a pre-season and summer transfer window.

The happy ones are the stupid ones, because they never really gave him a chance - calling for his head in October and November. They know who they are and I don't need to go into detail again, they only come on here when we lose or before a match to predict a loss.

But this does mean we have another transitional season to come. This time however we will be more aware of it which hopefully means the new manager will get more time and more support.

But, I'm not sure he will need as much time, because if the club bring him in sooner rather than later, he'll get a full pre-season and a summer transfer window. I think, if he comes in sooner rather than later, that we will do better than ninth next season and as long as the new manager continues to develop the football, focus on possession and adds real quality to the squad (maybe even giving one or two of the younger players a more prominent role next season), we could do quite a bit better.

But that is it from me right now. It is time for coffee but as soon as we get anything else, we will let you know here.