Friedel gives Houllier backing
Brad Friedel believes that new Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier will bring in a positive mentality.
Last Updated: 20/09/10 1:02pm
Brad Friedel believes that new Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier will bring a positive mentality to the club.
The Frenchman took charge of his first training session with Villa on Monday after relieving caretaker manager Kevin MacDonald of his duties.
Friedel was at Liverpool when Houllier took the reins at Anfield in a short-lived joint-manager venture with Roy Evans, before taking the role single-handedly.
Houllier began building the club in his own image, making several changes and eventually enjoying a relatively successful period by bringing home five trophies in 2001 before eventually departing in 2004.
One of his first changes at Anfield was to ship out both Friedel and fellow goalkeeper David James to make way for Dutch shot-stopper Sander Westerveld.
However, despite rumours that Houllier's arrival would unsettle his former keeper, Friedel was confident that the work he did at Liverpool demonstrates his ability to re-establish clubs.
"There was a lot that needed to be done at Liverpool when he took over - not only the first team but the whole infrastructure of the club," he told AVTV.
"He had a lot of work to do there and he did very well indeed. Liverpool were falling behind Arsenal and Manchester United not just on the field but off the field with the youth setup, with the merchandising and with the global brand, in a sense.
"I think that was one of the reasons they brought him in because that is what his background and pedigree was - to revamp the whole infrastructure of the football club.
"And then, on top of that, the co-managerialship didn't work out so he found himself as a sole manager, so he had a lot on his plate.
"But he did a fantastic job. When people go back there and see the new Melwood [training ground] and things of that nature, they can attribute all that to him.
"I am very hopeful he can take this club forward. He's very astute and very professional. He always gets the best out of his clubs."