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Mid-Day Ticker: Houllier deal final, Wales manager to resign and more



The Aston Villa manager saga appears to officially be over as French publication L'Equipe reports that Gerard Houllier will inform the French Football Federation that he will sign a two-year contract to take over at Villa Park.

Houllier (pictured above, center), who coached Liverpool from 1998-2004, will step away from his post as the FFF's technical director after the country's notorious World Cup stint and replace interim manager Kevin MacDonald.

Aston Villa is currently 2-1-0 with victories over West Ham and Everton and a loss to Newcastle, all of which came under the guidance of MacDonald, who replaced Martin O'Neill prior to the season opener.

Here are a few more stories to get you through the day:


Wales manager John Toshack is likely to announce his resignation on Thursday. Wales fell to Montenegro in their first qualifying match for Euro 2012, and the Football Association of Wales has called a press conference where the announcement is expected to be made.

Toshack, 61, has been the manager at Wales since 2004. The FAW is said to be looking at having Ryan Giggs become Toshack's replacement, and Giggs has confirmed his overall interest, although it is unlikely that he would take the job while still playing for Manchester United.


Former Denmark striker Brian Laudrup has been diagnosed with a lymphoma. According to reports, the cancer is in its early stages and is a mild case, and the prognosis for Laudrup, 41, is positive.

Laudrup starred at some of the biggest clubs around Europe in his storied club career, scoring 103 goals over a 14-year career. He scored 21 goals in 82 appearances for Denmark.


In an early international friendly on Tuesday, Japan received two goals from Takayuki Morimoto to defeat Guatemala, 2-1 in Osaka.

World Cup sensation Keisuke Honda set up the opening goal for Japan, and Mario Rafael Rodriguez scored the lone goal for Guatemala. You can see highlights of the match here.


In other friendlies already completed, Iran defeated South Korea, 1-0, and China and Paraguay played to a 1-1 draw.

In Euro 2012 Group B qualifying, Slovakia surprised Russia, 1-0, on a Miroslav Stoch goal in the 27th minute.


Think Houllier is the right man for the job at Villa? Would Giggs make for a good international manager? Surprised by any of Tuesday's early results?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. is anyone else as intrigued as i am that the guatemala national team managed to go 1-0-1 in international friendlies today, with the two matches being played thousands of miles away?

    i’m surprised more national teams don’t split their team like this for international friendlies. it’s a great way for a program to give experience to fringe players, evaluate their play at international level alongside national team regulars, while experimenting with team chemistry and tactics. maybe this sounds a bit crazy, but if the usmnt doesn’t have a competitive match to play on an official fifa date, why not call in 50 guys, send half of them abroad to play country x, and send half of them to chicago to play country y? obviously bradley wouldn’t be there to manage both sides but modern technology would obviously allow him to pull the strings in both matches, provided they weren’t played simultaneously. it also might be a great way to give coaching experience to an assistant on the staff that might prove invaluable in the future.

    i’m thoroughly intrigued, and i think this is something the ussf should consider doing in the future. i’d love to hear an argument ot the contrary.

  2. Why are the british press making a big deal about Wales losing to Montenegro?

    Both are small minnows (at least Montnegro is a country, they do well in basketball, handball and won silver in waterpolo this week. Using the logic that allows Wales to play internationally, the US should demand four teams be sent to the world championships because we invented basketball) but it seems to me that Montenegro has better players.

    Its not like Wales lost against Faroe Islands or San Marino.
    And to boot it was an away game.

    Is this the same delusion we get from brits every few years that makes them think that ‘this’ generation will win it all?

    I find it hard to believe that a 1-0 away loss to an equal opponent on the FIRST game is reason enough to quit.

  3. Houllier seems like the best of a bad bunch to me. Whatever, not going to shake my love for the team. Hopefully he takes a more aggressive stance on foreign transfers. I think Villa can get more for their money if they look overseas more frequently.

  4. Your first point was what I was going for – make them feel like they belong, make them feel American over whatever other nationality. Let them meet the guys and set up.

  5. Capping in a friendly no longer ties him to the country. It may make them feel included and therefore could be worthwhile, but to make them truly cup-tied, it has to be in a qualifier, the Gold Cup, the Confederations Cup etc.

  6. Glad to see Morimoto doing well, he’s a fantastic young striker and I was surprised to see him unused at the World Cup. Could of used some speedy bite to Japan’s attack.

    Honda is still kicking it in overdrive – think he’ll move to one of the big 4 leagues in the winter.

  7. Thanks for pointing out the article!

    When it comes to things like this, striker playing in a respected league at a young age, and starting some games – just cap him in a meaningless game to get him involved before he comes another one that “got away.”

    We’re so pressed on winning every friendly, we forget that they’re there for developmental purposes. Don’t think he’s good enough, but like in business, when you smell the sharks circling, you gotta act.

  8. Saw this rumor on Sunday, I wonder if there was a shred of truth to it, or it was a typical tabloid ‘these people were together before, so it must have happened’ type of thing.

    Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel and full-back Stephen Warnock will seek urgent talks with the club’s hierarchy if they press ahead with their plans to appoint Gerard Houllier as manager – when in charge at Liverpool, Frenchman Houllier sold Friedel to Blackburn and loaned Warnock out to Coventry.

  9. Nice to see the write up on Conor Doyle on ESPN… not so nice to see that a call up from Ireland (eligible through his father) would be enticing.

    Of course USSF has yet to contact him. I’m not one to jump on and say, “Cap him now!”… but does it really take that much to keep tabs on our young up and comers? Phone calls, e-mails, texts, etc., I really think they do themselves a disservice by not staying up with these kids.


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