Gérard Houllier 'error of judgment' re Liverpool Loss Remarks

Gerard Hullier

Former Liverpool manager, Gerard Houllier angered Aston Villa fans with his controversial post-match comments at Anfield.

Aston Villa's irate fans and supporters have called for the manager to be sacked "have the right to feel that way".

General Charles C Krulak, who has close relationship with Lerner, the Villa chairman, insisted the board remained behind Houllier but also said Houllier made an error of judgment with his remarks. Houllier, who returned to play against Liverpool for the first time in a competitive fixture since he left the club as manager in 2004, said: "If I have got to lose 3-0, I would prefer it to be to them as I like Liverpool."

The remark upset Villa supporters, who were already angry with Houllier for waving to the Liverpool fans that chanted his name at the end of a defeat that leaves the Midlands club just two points above the relegation zone.

Houllier later said online that his comments had been "misconstrued" and that he had "intended to be humorous". There was, however, no apology.

Krulak remarked, "I am unable to get into Gerard's mind - nor am I able to truly understand what he was feeling before, during and after the game. Equally, I am not going to try to minimise what he said, make excuses or anything else. What I do know is what he put forth in his statement is far closer to the reality of how he feels about our club and our fans. Those who are looking for GH's head, who are asking that he be fired, have the right to feel that way – they buy the tickets and can say what they want. At the same time, Randy and the board need to keep focused on the overall goal and we believe that GH plays a key role in achieving that goal."

"I believe we are all sorry about what happened. To think that no one is sorry is just crazy. Perhaps his statement should have used the 'sorry' word - but I doubt if that would have made any difference to many of the fans."

Houllier said, "No one likes to lose 3-0 against any team and, if comments I made in the immediate aftermath of our defeat by Liverpool have been misconstrued – comments which were intended to be humorous, by the way – let me put them into context. The experiences I enjoyed with Liverpool some years ago will always stay with me, as will many experiences I have had in football both before and since, and I have taken all these experiences into my job as manager of Aston Villa.

"I understand the fans' feelings of hurt and disappointment at the moment – I am hurting as much as anybody, believe me – and I say emphatically that we will battle through. Building lasting success at Aston Villa is my focus and my commitment to this challenge is resolute."

Buy Aston Villa tickets and Liverpool tickets online.