Former Liverpool manager Gérard Houllier sadly passed away today, at the age of 73. The Frenchman, who earned an OBE during his life, also managed Lyon, Aston Villa, PSG and the French national team during his managerial career.
As a Liverpool fan, I wanted to pay tribute to Houllier, the manager of the club when I started to support them in 2002.
Houllier has always been spoken of highly by many of his former players.
He oversaw the development of Steven Gerrard into the first team. Houllier was also in charge during the best part of Michael Owen’s career, where the English striker won the Balon d’Or.
Gerrard and Owen are just two players who spoke highly of their former manager. Robbie Fowler, Jamie Carragher, Emile Heskey and Harry Kewell. In all their quotes in tribute to Houllier, they firstly praise him as a man as well as a manager.
Liverpool’s Success Under Gérard Houllier
There was also the success on the pitch. Houllier was the manager when Liverpool three trophies in one season. The League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup were all won during the 2000/01 season. Liverpool beat surprise finalists Birmingham City on penalties in the League Cup.
Michael Owen scored two late goals to win the FA Cup final for the Reds against Arsenal.
Liverpool were taken to extra time by Deportivo Alavés, winning 5-4. An own goal won Liverpool the final by virtue of a the golden goal rule.
League Cup final glory would also come two seasons later during the 2002/03 season. Liverpool beat fierce rivals Manchester United 2-0 in the final, with Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen getting the goals in Cardiff.
Houllier would see his time end at Liverpool a season later.
Life After Liverpool
He would go on to manage French side Lyon and win back to back Ligue 1 titles. Aston Villa would prove to be his last club as he had to step down after just one season due to health.
Other honours as manager include winning PSG’s first league title as well as individual honours such as European Coach of the Year in 2001 and Ligue 1 manager of the year in 2007.
Houllier’s death is a sad one and he will be sorely missed.
Rest in peace Gérard.
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