Date:Friday June 10 2011
Aston Villa confirmed at the start of the month that manager, Gerard Houllier would be leaving after only nine months in charge.
The 63-year-old Frenchman missed the final month of the season because of heart problems and after undergoing further tests,Doctors advised him he would require further time to recuperate.
The story goes he has left beacuse of these health concerns with the club also worried that a return to the dugout could cause the former Liverpool and Lyon boss further health issues.
It has though also been a poor season for Aston Villa in the Premier League by their standards. At one point they looked in danger of relegation but recovered well to finish in 9th spot. The fans were restless and Houllier was certainly under pressure so maybe the writing was already on the wall before the illness.
So who will replace him? Well the favourite at one point looked to be Wigan gaffer, Roberto Martinez. He has chosen though to remain at Wigan despite Aston Villa making an approach for his services and Wigan chairman, Dave Whelan giving him permission to talk with the Midlands club.
Everton manager David Moyes, Fulham boss Mark Hughes, former England coach Steve McClaren and former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti have also all been linked with the post. Clarets fans though will more interested in the speculation that one other manager could be in the frame. Yes, it's the silly season again, and Owen Coyle may well be getting itchy feet!
Coyle will probably have been disappointed the way the season panned out for Bolton in the end! At one point they were in with a sniff of Europe, but they tumbled down the league to finish in 14th spot. They were actually the lowest club not to be involved in the relegation battle on Survival Sunday.
Not only that of course but they suffered a humiliating 5-0 FA Cup semi-final thrashing by Stoke at Wembley and then lost their key striker,Johan Elmander. Elmander signed for Galatasaray in May on a free transfer after his contract expired. Gary Cahill could be the next to go and the club could struggle to re-sign Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge on loan.
So is it time for Coyle to do a runner again? Could he be tempted by a move to Villa Park or would the thought of managing a team in Claret & Blue again scare him off?
Place your bets! You may have to be quick though, Villa hope to make an announcement next week
Date:Friday June 10 2011
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