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HOULLIER NAMED ASTON VILLA BOSS

By NBF News

Former Liverpool and Lyon boss Gerard Houllier has been appointed the new manager of Aston Villa.

The 63-year-old left the post of technical director at the French Football Federation to return to English football after six years away.

He takes over from caretaker Kevin MacDonald, who had been in charge since Martin O'Neill left on 9 August.

Chief executive Paul Faulkner said, 'He (Houllier) understands the ethos of our club and shares our core values.'

No announcement has yet been made on the future of MacDonald, who stepped up from his position of reserve team coach when O'Neill left before the start of the season.

Phil Thompson, Houllier's number two at Anfield, had been linked with the assistant manager's role at Villa Park but has decided to continue working as a television pundit.

He said, 'It was hugely flattering and enticing to be asked, I had no choice but to turn the offer down.

'With Gerard, you are signing up to 12-hour days. You have to be totally committed.'