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Houllier appointed Aston Villa manager

Houllier returns to the English Premier League for a second stint following a successful spell with Liverpool.
Houllier returns to the English Premier League for a second stint following a successful spell with Liverpool.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Aston Villa confirm the appointment of former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier as manager
  • Houllier returns to the Premier League after six successful seasons with Liverpool
  • The 63-year-old Frenchman won four cups in 2001 before leaving Liverpool in 2004
  • It is unclear whether caretaker manager Kevin mcdonald will stay on as number two

(CNN) -- English Premier League side Aston Villa have confirmed the appointment of former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier as their new manager in succession to Martin O'Neill.

Houllier left Liverpool in 2004 after a successful six years at Anfield, culminating in a remarkable 2000-2001 season which saw the club win four trophies; UEFA Cup, FA Cup, League Cup and European Super Cup.

However, his time on Merseyside was also marred by health problems and he had to undergo surgery in October 2001 after suffering a heart attack.

The 63-year-old Frenchman then moved to Lyon, where he twice won the French Ligue 1 title before moving on to become technical director for the French Football Federation.

O'Neill left his position on the eve of the new season and the club have been under the caretaker charge of coach Kevin Mcdonald since then.

Scotsman Mcdonald has led Villa to fourth place in the table, although the club crashed out of the Europa League as well as losing 6-0 to Newcastle United.

There has been no confirmation whether Mcdonald will now stay on at the club as Houllier's assistant, or seek pastures new.

I am very happy and proud to join this great and historic club.
--Gerard Houllier
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Houllier told the official Villa website: "I am very happy and proud to join this great and historic club.

"It was a very difficult decision for me to leave the French Football Federation but I could not turn down the opportunity to manage a club whose approach, both on and off the pitch, I have long admired.

"Aston Villa are one of England's biggest clubs and have an amazing set of fans. "This is a tremendous challenge and one I am very much looking forward to taking on."

Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner added: "Two of the key qualities we identified as being of crucial importance were experience of managing in the Premier League and a strategy for building on the existing strengths in our current squad.

"Gerard Houllier comfortably satisfies these criteria. In fact, he stands out as a football man who understands the ethos of our club and shares our core values."