European Soccer

Mid-Day Ticker: Houllier hospitalized; Meireles, Parker honored and more

Houllier (Getty Images)


Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier was hospitalized on Wednesday evening in Birmingham after suffering chest pains.  

The Frenchman had undergone serious heart surgery during his managerial stint at Liverpool, but assistant coach Gary McAllister says that Houllier will only need "medicine and rest" in his road to recovery.

Houllier is unlikely to return to the Aston Villa dugout this season as he recovers, and McAllister is set to look after the squad in his absence. 

Here are a few more stories from around the soccer world:


Liverpool's Raul Meireles and West Ham's Scott Parker have been awarded the PFA Fan's Player of the Year and the Football Writers Association awards, respectively.

Meireles' accolade is voted on by the fans in the English Premier League and comes as a result of the Portuguese midfielder's phenomenal start to the year under the reign of Kenny Dalglish.

Since the turn of the year, Meireles has scored five goals and been a key figure in Liverpool's starting XI. 

West Ham talisman Scott Parker was voted the 2011 Footballer of the Year in what was one of the closet contests for the award, Parker narrowly beat out Tottenham's Gareth Bale, who was voted the PFA Player of the Year only last week.

The England international has been a hugely inspirational player for the Hammers this season in their bid to stay in the top flight. West Ham sits second to the bottom in the Premier League but only two points away from safety in a very tight relegation fight.


Liverpool's American connections continue to grow stronger after emerging reports that the Merseyside club is on the verge of signing an English Premier League record kit sponsorship deal with Warrior Sports.

The Boston-based sports company is set to pay Liverpool $41 million (£25 million) for the 2012-2013 season, which tops the current record that EPL rivals Manchester United hold with Nike for £23.5 million.

Although Warrior Sports is known primarily for producing lacrosse and hockey uniforms, Liverpool isn't likely to be complaining with the monster investment from the American company.


English midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker would reportedly consider it "an honor" to sign on with high-flying Serie A side Napoli.

Currently the vice-captain at Aston Villa, Reo-Coker's contract is set to expire this summer, and it is looking increasingly likely that he will leave Villa Park when it does. His availability has generated interest from top clubs like Inter Milan, AC Milan as well as Fiorentina.

Napoli currently sits six points behind AC Milan in second place as it tries to make a late push for the Scudetto.  


La Liga outfit Getafe have officially been bought by Royal Emirates, a Dubai-based group headed by Sheikh Butti Bin Suhail Al Maktoum.  

Royal Emirates said during a press conference that they intend to invest heavily in the club as it sits merely four points above the La Liga drop zone.

As a part of the takeover, Getafe's club name will remain the same, however "Team Dubai" will be added to their jerseys and stadium as well as other club merchandise.


Do you think Houllier's absence means that Michael Bradley finally gets more minutes? Do you think Aston Villa be on the brink of relegation without their manager? Are Meireles and Parker worthy of their awards? Would Reo-Coker be a worthwhile option for Napoli? What do you think about "Getafe Team Dubai?" 

Share your thoughts below.

  • Mark

    Is the Dubai investment in Getafe the first time a group like this has made an investment in La Liga? It’ll be interesting to see if they infuse the same type of cash that the Man City and Chelsea owners did to make Getage some sort of powerhouse club.


  • spencer

    I don’t think they are that wealthy, but either way it should improve the quality of players they get.


  • RK

    No, Racing Santander and Malaga recently had this — which is why Malaga was able to bring in Pelligrini and make a lot of purchases over the winter (such as Julio Baptista).


  • Josh D

    Serie A is more monitored when it comes to money and the trading/buying of players. I think you can only buy one foreign player a season or something like that.

    They’ll infuse money, but they haven’t said anything ambitious like the City owners.


  • Jamie Z.

    I think Reo-Coker’s status might have as much impact on Bradley’s situation at Villa as Houllier’s hospitalization.

    Unfortunately, I’m not sure either of them will have much impact on Bradley’s situation at Villa.


  • Tony in Quakeland

    It was probably due to the complications of getting his head out of his butt…


  • mistaDobalina

    didn’t Getafe use Burger King as their sponsor before? sad day for the BK King getting squeezed out by the Dubai Arabs


  • Robert Daniels

    This just in, Houiller has failed to recover from heart failure and passed at 2:24 eastern this afternoon. It’s reported his dying words were, “keep those yanks off the pitch”.


  • RK

    Yeah, that’s the one — they had the Burger King face under the shirt for goal celebrations.


  • Rod Radley

    Immediately after hearing Reo-Coker wanted to leave, Houllier went into shock from the thought he’d have to field Michael Bradley as a replacement.


  • Villain-from-Texas

    Some not cool responses on here concerning Houllier’s health.

    Many Villa fans don’t like him as a manager — I happen to like him — but we’re all hoping that he gets well soon.


  • elgringorico

    Ohhh, it’s all in good fun. Everyone who makes jokes obviously doesn’t actually wish any harm upon him.


  • Villain-from-Texas

    Of course they don’t. But i’s called class, and some people on here don’t have it.


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