Gerard Houllier seems to have alienated a number of players at Aston Villa, since he took over in late September.
A good shot of Gerard Houllier at Aston Villa
Three of those players seem to be Stephen Ireland, Stephen Warnock and John Carew.
Carew has since signed for Stoke City on loan, and as far as we know the remaining two are still not training with the first team, with Warnock’s first club Liverpool, said to be eying taking Stephen back home.
It seems that Newcastle are close to signing Ireland on loan for the rest of the season, but we have been told the deal will probably not happen until late Monday night, when Newcastle may get better loan terms for the player.
Of course the risk there is that another club can come in and offer terms closer to what Aston Villa are after, and they get the player.
And the new news yesterday was that Gerard Houllier told reporters he would definitely not be selling Ireland in January.
And the Frenchman even said the £7M signing could still have a future at Villa Park.
Gerard was asked if Ireland would be staying at Villa Park, and he replied:
“Oh yes. “Of course he could have a future, if he shows he’s better than what I have, yes. I’m not stupid, I’ll play the best players.”
But of course he’s hardly going to say anything else, and that’s even the standard text book answer to that question – as in the football manager’s handbook – page 78, third paragraph down.
But the potential good news this morning is that the local Newcastle Journal is reporting that Newcastle are confident they will secure two new players before the window closes at 11:00 pm on Monday night.
With some of the comments we’ve seen on the site over the last few days, Newcastle fans will be relieved if indeed the club can get in two good players by then.
Stephen Ireland is on of the players no doubt, but we wonder who the other one could be?