Gerard Houllier is an internationally renowned football manager who is currently the Head of Global Soccer for Red Bull.
Gerard began his career as a teacher, playing football for amateur teams while he worked. At the age of 26 he went from being a deputy headmaster to fully turn his attention to the world of football as a player-manager for Le Touquet. From there Gerard rose through the ranks as a trainer, became National Technical Director of France from 1988-98, then became manager of Liverpool FC from 1998-2004, manager of Aston Villa FC from 2010-2011, before taking on his role as Head of Global Soccer for Red Bull in 2012.
Gerard has been awarded the Légion d’honneur and an honorary OBE for services to British Football.
With Liverpool FC, he won the treble of FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup in 2001, and also shook up the under performing spice boy era by instilling an era of professionalism at a club far too complacent. He helped introduce Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard to the first team and achieved an up to that point, premier league high finish of 82 points, second only to a rampant Arsenal.
He brought back hope to the Kop and LFC started to became a real threat to Man Utd and Arsenal…until 2001/02. After that high, things progressively got worse until he was fired. Many attribute the fall to the heart attack he suffered during a game in October 2001. Prior to that, many of his decisions were commendable, after that, most of his decisions came under increasing criticism.
Liverpool were so bad at one stage in 2002/3 that I almost gave up on watching the games…but I prefer to remember Gerard for the treble in 2001, and so I was very pleased to have my photo taken with him today.