Houllier admits Owen interest

New Villa boss keen on reunion with former England forward

Last updated: 16th September 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Houllier admits Owen interest

Houllier: With Owen at Liverpool

He has always been in my thoughts.

Gerard Houllier on Michael Owen.
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New Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier has confirmed his interest in working with Michael Owen again.

Houllier, who will officially begin work at Villa Park next week, has been linked with a swoop for the Manchester United forward after sealing his own switch back to England.

The French tactician worked with the former England striker for six years during their time together at Liverpool and the new Villa chief has not dismissed the chances of a reunion.

"He has always been in my thoughts," Houllier Canal+.

"I like him (Owen), as a player and a man."

Houllier also dismissed suggestions that Owen, 30, was no longer capable of producing goals at Premier League level.

"I went to Liverpool on September 4 for Jamie Carragher's testimonial, and I saw Michael play a half of football," he said.

"He still has the legs for it."


Houllier's comments come on the same day as Owen revealed that he could be growing increasingly discontented with life on the bench at Old Trafford.

"You can only do your best and prepare and train well, so that you are ready when the manager calls on you," said Owen.

"After that, it's up to the manager who he chooses.

"It sounds easy, but probably the most difficult thing is not playing for a couple of weeks and then all of a sudden getting called up and being mentally and physically right to perform well.

"At the end of the season, I'll look and think, 'Was I happy with the amount of games I was available for?', 'Did I score enough goals in the games when I played?' and 'Did I play well enough in those games?'

"You look at highlights of the season, did we win anything, things like that. But I wouldn't put any goal or appearance totals out there because, at a club like this, you never know when the manager is going to use you."

Comments (15)

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Jeffrey G (Liverpool fan) says...

As a Liverpool fan I can''t bear to see MO at Man Utd. If he is available on the cheap come January I''d love to see Roy Hodgson go in for him as he could be the 2nd striker Liverpool need, he certainly knows where the goal is

Posted 13:01 16th September 2010

Nick D (Manchester United fan) says...

Thank god! Please go; never should have come and never ever deserved the No. 7 shirt! Praise Houllier!!

Posted 12:54 16th September 2010

Phil Spurs (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

Do any of you know how to spell?

Posted 12:54 16th September 2010

Mr g Singh (Aston Villa fan) says...

I have been crying out for this ever since the speculation originally started. I dont understand why MON didnt sign him, his probable high wage demands we easily accomodating the the FOC transfer fee. And not he is on a pay as you play but he never plays. This is wasted talent. Mr GH, get him in. Imaging what this would do for the club and ticket sales, etc. Injuries, well he dont play often enough so once back in his stride he will ba good as gold. Quality striker with years left in him wasting away at MUFC. COME ON OWEN! AVFC & Country need you!

Posted 11:22 16th September 2010

Jackie Hound (Newcastle United fan) says...

Seriously lads, Michael Owen is finished. He talks about given him a chance and he''ll take it but it''s just not true anymore. At Newcastle he was really poor, say what you like about a struggling side but when he had chances he missed them. One in particular that sticks in my mind was against Pompey, the game finished 0-0 and contributed towards us going down. Plus I think he cares more about horses than football anyway so if you''re looking for somebody with a bit of fire in their belly look elsewhere. You''ll do well to miss out on him Villa fans.

Posted 11:16 16th September 2010

Alex Taylor (Liverpool fan) says...

I agree with Houllier when he says Michael still has the legs, he showed some good touches and movement at Carras testimonial, and given a run of games he''d only improve with the match practice, and with Owen, once the first goal is in then he''s a different player, makes you wonder a little whether Houllier has one eye on the past though, what with Heskey being there too, but they''d still link up well, Owen is currently going to waste at United, and its a shame to see a player like him benchwarming, Villa would be a good move for him for sure.

Posted 11:12 16th September 2010

Kevin Macdonald (Aston Villa fan) says...

This could be a good signing if MO comes on a free transfer or elects to leave Man Utd as he''s not getting any games. His age maybe a concern and his injuries but he will score goals unlike Emile Heskey.

Posted 11:10 16th September 2010

Ben Watkins (Aston Villa fan) says...

After being sceptical about Gerard it is nice to see that at least he has recognised that we are a goal scorer short of being a decent team

Posted 11:00 16th September 2010

Dewald Dunckley (Aston Villa fan) says...

NO! I don¿t want Owen, we need to buy players that will replace our current first team, not players to sit on the bench, ill rather bring on Delfouneso who needs to play

Posted 10:53 16th September 2010

Austin Space (Liverpool fan) says...

I know Houllier has been away from the Premier league for a few years, but even he must realise that Owen is a has-been ... I fail to see what he can he offer Villa that they don''t already have. Villa should be wary of this sort of business when funds are tight.

Posted 10:05 16th September 2010

Deen Mugal (Manchester United fan) says...

Well am not surpised seeing sepculation put up for Owen. Yes its very hard to get a starting place for strikers and united with Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Javier Hernandez being there not to mention people are thinking of Hernandez as a young version of Michael Owen. I don''t want to see Owen leave but i fear he probably will with lack of opportunitys in the starting XL

Posted 10:02 16th September 2010

Christopher Ogboke (Aberdeen fan) says...

Very interesting mindset Houllier is introducing, clearly a signal of intent discussed with Randy Lerner at interview. Many supporters would have been questioning Lerner''s perspective which may have triggered O''Neill''s decision to consider his role at the helm. O''Neill is definitely not a rash man and appeared popular at Villa Park, especially with the players. Pursuing Owen is definitely a new avenue. Does he hope blending talent and model professionals could be the base which guarantees Europe? It will be interesting to see how much financial support he receives in January from Lerner. It will be a test to his managerial skills to ensure his talented and capable squad give themselves the best chance to still fight for 4th / 5th / 6th after Christmas. The question is, does Houllier remain focused on pursuing British model professionals like Owen? He has been out of the English game for a while and his knowledge of France would have definitely been expanded in his role with the FFA. We have seen the benefits this has profited Wenger. Without question, Owen''s calibre at top form are few and far between and hopefully remains injury free. Owen''s professionalism will always leave him with the confidence to perform and it appears as if the responsibility of playing consistently would appeal to him and mentoring future England 2012 players. David Beckham? Any team would be suffer loss losing a model professional like James Milner, as proved the falling of Newcastle; who have acquired a talent in Ben Arfa I am sure Houllier would have known of. Houllier is known for disciplined defending, so establishing a team that is difficult to beat will be imperative, looking across the city to McLeish underlines that. Replicating O''Neill''s ability to get the best out of flair players like Ashley Young and Gabby will be the differential. Exciting times at Villa Park.

Posted 10:01 16th September 2010

Mark Iddon (Liverpool fan) says...

I cant bare to see Michael owen at manu , and i hope Houllier snaps MO up . Manu dont deserve michael owen and they treat him like a bit part player. Aston villa will play MO alot more if he desides to go there .. Michael could score goals with ease when he gets the right amount of playing time on the pitch.... It''s also mo time to prove to Capello that he still has the legs and eye for goal buy leaving manu and going to Aston villa. Michael make the right choice for yourself and for england..

Posted 09:26 16th September 2010

Stephen Nicholls (Aston Villa fan) says...

If he''s coming on a free or nominal fee transfer and doesn''t have a silly wage demand I think its a half decent bit of business. Injuries will be a worry but he still has goals in him.

Posted 09:14 16th September 2010

Ken M (Aston Villa fan) says...

Hope Gerard can land Owen. I think he could have a positive effective on Gabby and show him how to put the ball in the net and be a bit more clinical! I Love Gabby but just want him to score more goals and show the league he is one of the top marksmen.

Posted 09:11 16th September 2010

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