Venglos backs Houllier for Villa job

LONDON - Frenchman Gerard Houllier is the right man to manage Aston Villa, the Premier League club's former coach Jozef Venglos said on Monday.

Former Liverpool manager Houllier, currently technical director of the French Football Federation, is tipped by local media to take charge of Villa following the shock resignation of Martin O'Neill before the start of the season.

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Much-travelled Czech Venglos, who spent one season in charge of Villa 20 years ago, told the Birmingham Mail: "I know Gerard very well - he's a very good friend of mine. I am sure that Aston Villa and Gerard Houllier are right for each other.

"It is a very good, well-run football club and Gerard is an excellent, experienced coach so they will work well together.

"He has very good contacts, very good organisation and I know him well through my involvements with UEFA and FIFA. I think he will do a good job."

Houllier, 63, had emergency heart surgery nine years ago when he was Liverpool manager and concerns that a return to the stress of the Premier League might not benefit his health are likely to play a part in his decision.

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