On the plus side, Aston Villa supporters can look forward to Gerard Houllier wearing a suit as opposed to Martin O'Neill's preferred tracksuits. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
We've been pretty clear in our opinions of this hire, but I will reiterate mine; this is not the worst decision the club could have made, as Houllier has a fairly impressive track record of success and is something of a known commodity. I don't see this is anything approaching a disaster, and in many ways I completely understand the club's thought process behind bringing Houllier in.
With that being said, I'm disappointed. I was really hoping for Villa to take a bit more of a risk, and while I can see why they didn't it's still not something that I'm especially pleased about. I will absolutely withhold judgment until Houllier is given a chance to show what he intends to do at the helm; perhaps he's learned from some past mistakes and laid out a new vision in his interview. Perhaps he intends to abandon the defensive approach he used at Liverpool in favor of the more attacking style he's employed at other stops along the way. He might have some exciting ideas in regards to international scouting and the youth system. We weren't there, so we can't know what was said for sure.
What we can do is give our impressions of Houllier's appointment based on the information at our disposal, and mine is a fairly resounding sigh and a shrugging of the shoulders. In the coming weeks and months, Houllier might make this reaction look absurd. In this particular instance, I'd be happy to appear a fool.