Adieu, monsieur Houllier.

Although it is sad to see a man who gave so much to the club he loves leave, I’m sure many would agree that Gerard Houllier has gone as far as he can with Liverpool FC. He has done wonders for the club, removing the much-maligned “Spice Boys” culture and instilling European-style discipline and dedication in the players’ attitudes. Under his tutelage, Michael Owen has grown into a all-round striker and who’d go on to win the European Player of the Year award. (To date, I don’t remember neither Henry or Nistelrooy winning that award, have they?) Steven Gerrard emerged from the youth team to become club captain as well as the natural choice for captaining the national team in the future (although, given David Beckham’s erratic performances recently, many would wish that future is now…).

His gift lies with the developing of the ground-work, laying the foundation on which future successes can be built. His work as technical director for the French national team (after he had stepped down as national team manager following the country’s failure to qualify for USA ’94) was crucial in France’s victories in World Cup ’98 and Euro 2000. Likewise for Liverpool, the Melwood training ground, the Academy and the club culture all have been transformed by Houllier. He also ended a lean spell in trophy success. Prior to his arrival in 1998, Liverpool had won 2 cups in 8 years. Since his arrival, we’ve won 6 trophies. We also achieved our highest league finish since 1991 when we finished 2nd in 2002.

At any other club, this would have been magnificent achievements. At Liverpool, they are but appetizers. What the club and its supporters want, nay, crave more than anything else is the league title. And Houllier, perhaps, is not the man to bring the title to Anfield.
Nevertheless, whoever does guide the Reds to the championship should know it would not have been possible without Houllier’s efforts for the last 6 years.

GH and the UEFA Cup

You’ll never walk alone, monsieur Houllier. Thanks for the memories.

How Houllier measures up to previous managers (since 1991).

Gerard Houllier

Gerard Houllier
Period as manager: 1998 – 2004
Trophies: Charity Shield (2001), UEFA Super Cup (2001), League Cup (2001, 2003), FA Cup (2001), UEFA Cup (2001)
League finishes:

  • 1998-99: 7th
  • 1999-2000: 4th
  • 2000-01: 3rd
  • 2001-02: 2nd
  • 2002-03: 5th
  • 2003-04: 4th

Roy Evans

Roy Evans
Period as manager: 1994 – 1998
Trophies: League Cup (1995)
League finishes:

  • 1993-94: 8th
  • 1994-95: 4th
  • 1995-96: 3rd
  • 1996-97: 4th
  • 1997-98: 3rd

Graeme Souness

Graeme Souness
Period as manager: 1991 – 1994
Trophies: FA Cup (1992)
League finishes:

  • 1990-91: 2nd
  • 1991-92: 6th
  • 1992-93: 6th