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Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Your Verdict: Anfield axe falls

Dominic Raynor

Gerard Houllier's six-year reign as Liverpool manager came to an end this week amidts an impressive public display of emotion.

Unusually, the ousted Frenchman turned out at a press conference to explain his departure and declare his undying love for the Anfield club.

Meanwhile, the board are still thrashing out a 60million deal with Thai PM Thaksin Shinawatra after rejecting a rival 73m bid from Steve Morgan.

Well, I guess that is the best piece of news for all Scousers world wide. I'm no Liverpool fan, yet I'm celebrating at the long awaited departure of the most boring manager in the English League.

Defensive tactics masked with sorry excuses and p*ss poor signings, it's mind boggling how he has transformed one of England's best watched team into a boring soap opera. Watching the Italian national team would be better. And adding all that to Houllier's constant front that he's always right in all things, it will be a joyous time indeed for Liverpool fans.

Here's a first toast to all Liverpudlians, may you find your next manager with better eyesight. BTW, just leave Mourinho to Chelsea.

Kev Goh

Everyone harps on about the major decline of LFC and the questionable purchases Houllier made to try and strengthen the squad, but I don't think anyone has factored in one glaring and important point; at the end of the 2000-2001 season, Liverpool had won the League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Cup and qualified for the Champions League.

So what could have changed Liverpool's and Houllier's fortunes around so quickly? Nobody seems to remember that October afternoon at Elland Road when GH didn't come back to the dugout because he was being rushed to hospital for a massive heart attack. One could say that also effected the heart of the team.

One hopes that Houllier returns to the bench, but hopefully he will give himself some time off before putting himself under the stress of being a top-flight manager again.

David Rutledge

You have to wonder at the mentality of the Liverpool board on releasing a manager who has steered them to so much glory in the past six years and managed to get them to forth in the Premiership and a guaranteed place in Europe next year.

With the pressure to win at all costs slowly killing our game - these egotistical armchair prophets should stop - take off the rose tinted glasses and take a good hard look around them. With clubs like Leeds, Spurs and Everton - former bastions of English soccer, struggling to keep pace with the new era - it is only with good humoured, calm, tacticians such as Houllier that you will survive in the Premiership.

A sad day for Liverpool, an even sadder day for football.

PS. Message to Newcastle Board - Sign him up quickly. With Robson as director of Football and Houllier as manager -we can take on the world.

Keith Mole

It is about time that Liverpool replaced Houllier. How can a side like Liverpool accept 4th place and 30 points behind the winners. All of his recent signings have failed at a huge expense i.e. Diouf, Diao, Biscan, Kewell, Cheyrou and many others.

Replace him with Allan Curbishley as he worked wonders with Charlton with a small budget and less skilled players.

Craig Marot

I am sorry to see Houllier depart from Liverpool. No one could doubt his loyalty to and his passion for the club.

The Liverpool board must accept some of the blame for the opening divide between Liverpool and, in particular, Arsenal. It is still thrashing around over how best to fund its future success. What benefit, other than a financial injection, is a bid from Thailand? An association like this is hardly a pipeline into a rich vein of domestic talent. What will the cost of that association be over the long term?

The fact that Liverpool CEO, Rick Parry, has proposed that the next manager must have Liverpool challenging for the title next season reveals that the board and executives at the club are already overlooking the wisdom of Houllier's parting statement that there will be no quick fix for the club.

None of those named as potential managers inspire confidence, much less certainty, that they can take Liverpool to the pinnacle of English football in the space of a season, if ever. If chairman, David Moores, and Parry believe that, then the club's fans are destined for further disappointment.

In the end, I think Houllier's greatest strengths, loyalty and gentlemanly conduct, cost him his position. When under pressure, he could have blamed the team's poor performance on a whole bunch of people, including the players. But he never once flinched from taking his share of the responsibility for on-field and even off-field performance.

Houllier's departure leaves an overriding question - could anyone have done it better at Liverpool over the past five years? I think the answer is 'no'.

Geoff Brooks

It is always easier to axe a manager than it is to axe a whole team. Gerard Houllier should be held partly responsible for Liverpool's poor performance this year but so should the players as they have under achieved.

Through out the season, we called for Houllier's departure. And now that it has finally happened, I do feel some sense of sympathy for him. He has been a terrific leader for this club, leading them back to the doorstep of the glory years.

Though he hasn't been able to take us through that door, his achievement at a club that was hardly even fighting for a place in Europe before should be commended.

He was in effect a victim of his own success, setting higher standards each season with his early success. Merci Gerard, for putting us back on the map.

Ven Shanmugam

Houllier's reign went all wrong when he suffered heart problems. He started well winning trophies and building a championship side. However, when he returned it all changed.

Instead of telling weak players that they needed to improve, he rather supported them with nothing in return. He should have stepped down after recovering and let some-one finish what he started, but he returned and dismantled his original good work.

Roger Niken

Having watched parts of his final news conference, I wanted to comment on the class that former Liverpool coach Houllier showed. In a day and age where mangers and players seem to lose club pride for a quest of fame and fortune I applaud his team loyalty.

Best wishes to him and may he find a club where he can do his job, express his obvious passion for the sport (and his players), and reach new heights. Best of luck to him and to Liverpool in their new quests!

Stephen Hartsfield

It a sad day in Liverpool because they are firing Houllier and looking outside the Liverpool system again. They have one of the best prospects in Phil Thompson, who has lot's of time to develop as an assistant coach under Houllier.

If you go after a new manager from outside the club he will want his own staff and that means that Thompson will not be back next year which is wrong. I hope they don't go outside to hire Celtic manager Martin O'Neill, or Charlton's highly-rated Alan Curbishley but it might be a change and we might see more home grown talent instead of European players coming in.

I think it's time that Liverpool made the change and good luck to them.

Gurmail Singh Gosal

There's only one man who can lift Liverpool and that's King Kenny. No more needs to be said.
Vernon Bedeau

Simply put, if Arsene Wenger or Alex Ferguson had the opportunity to manage, mould and motivate a team that contained the backbone of the Liverpool team they would have definately been far more successful than Houllier.

Houllier demonstrated with France and then with Liverpool that he possesses very poor man management skills and lacks the vision to take players on to the psychological level that allows them to perform at their best.

The Charity shield and the Super Cup are not major trophies for gawds sake and Liverpool were remarkably flukey when winning the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup; every Scouser admits to that Houllier has vastly underachieved.

Colin Pauly

I am very disappointed Liverpool's termination of Gerard Houllier's contract, his shrewd business sense, eye for talent and obvious hugely influential motivational skills will be missed by us all.

His hard work and dedication has seen them rise to the dizzy heights of fourth excatly where they belong, way off the top 3.

I hope they don't appoint Alan Curbishley or Martin O'Neill as then they could be in danger of being competitive again. Do us all a favour and put Thompson back at the helm!

Richard Davies

Well Houllier has gone and so, hopefully, will some of the underachievers that have arrived during his stay, yes he did some good things but they were not carried on.

Who will replace the man? In my opinion there is only one person with the skill and knowledge, a proven winner, and that is John Toshack. Think it through, Toshack was a winner at Liverpool, he was part of the greatest team to grace Liverpool, he has won as a manager, he has Euro experience as well as English football experience - and don't forget international experience.

I wish Mr Houllier all the best, he will be back in management at sometime, you can't keep a good man down but now it's Toshacks turn, let the man have a go.


  • Also, Real Madrid sack Carlos Queiroz ....

    Personally, I was very happy to hear about the sacking of Carlos, indeed I should be done before February. 12 months ago it was a surprise to me when I came across the announcement of Carlos and Beckam coming to San Bernarbeu. The latter was not so a big surprise, even though he is nowhere compared to others team-mates, super talented players. Anyway since he was the most marketable face in this industry, I would consider it was not a too bad purchased.

    I would still support Mr. Perez to remain his position as the president of the club. The biggest mistake of the club management was the transferred out of Fernando Redondo, where I considered him as the one of the best player around during his sting with the club especially the semi-final of champion's league where Madrid easily demolished some said world most (sorry, not biggest but arrogant) club, Manchester United. The major task for our new manager Jose would be building a concrete wall at the defence and at least add one defensive midfielder stabilizes the whole team.

    Tham Kah Lun

    I guess we all knew it would happen. Especially after the weekend's horrific match. To lose 5 in a row is unheard of for a big team like Real Madrid. From what I've read, it sounds like they made a safe choice in their new with Madrid history.

    I thought the final comment was interesting - about anyone wanting to leave for Chelsea or elsewhere can and Madrid would take offers.

    One thought before next year...if the new coach is the opposite of the former coach, I wonder will Becks have problems with him? My impression is that the new coach will not want all the "rock star" publicity Becks has. Then again, maybe Becks has started to walk away from that.


    I really do not like Real Madrid's pretentious nature so I have enjoyed their collapse as the season came to a close. Yes, I do support Valencia in the La Liga.

    However, I have just read how Perez has fired our good natured Carlos Queiroz to save his skin at the next election. He also had the boldness to say it was a mistake to hire the coach!

    Hey, this is man who fired Del Bosque when he had won La Liga. Then he allows their best players to leave; Conceciao and Morientes. Surely any president that could allow Makelele to leave Madrid must be insane.

    What Madrid reaped this season was not the fault of the coach; who had earlier made it clear that the team was unbalanced. The buck stops at the feet of Florentino Perez and I hope the voters will punish him with defeat at the elections and they should not allow him an escape as he is pleading for time to clear the mess the club finds itself in.

    I wish the lawyer (is he Sobrino?) all the luck in the elections. Perez is a liability to Real Madrid and the club must be saved from him.


    I can't believe men like this are allowed to get away with blue murder. It was obvious, even to the blind man, that the main problem right from when Del Bosque had control over Real Madrid was that the team had problems with the defence.

    One would have thought that the ideal thing to do was sign quality defenders. Rather Perez sacked the coached for an under-achiever left with a defence that any Conference team could have walked through without their noticing.

    OK, so he has realized this now and brings in Samuel only to let Roberto Carlos go. Excuse me someone, when will this guy (Perez) get the boot!


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