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The time Sheffield Wednesday nearly got Gerard Houllier

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Houllier was technical director at the French Football Association in 1998, prior to the World Cup in France that summer.

 

Sheffield Wednesday had dispensed with the services of Ron Atkinson shortly after the season had finished - the Owls finishing 16th in the top flight that year.

 

They were on the search for a new boss with the board, led by Dave Richards, looking further afield at potential replacements.

 

South Africa coach Philippe Troussier was under serious consideration but the Owls then turned their attentions to his compatriot Houllier.

 

As Tom Whitworth's book, 'Sheffield Wednesday: Through the Modern Era ' recalls, there were a number of meetings between Houllier and the club that summer.

 

"I knew the club and I knew some of the players. And I had a good relationship with Dave Richards," Houllier said.

 

"He was very keen to sign me.

 

"I practically gave my agreement to join."

 

Houllier admits that he wanted a "divorce clause" inserting into his contract - but that the club seemed reluctant to do so.

 

He said: "This was where if the club for one reason or another had to sack me, they would pay me a certain amount of money.

"I'd never been sacked in my life, but things don't always go your way and sometimes a club has to take a decision. So I just wanted protection for myself."

 

"Dave Richards was very good about this part of the negotiations and told me that their lawyer would get in touch to agree the sum of the clause"

 

"The lawyer came to me, it took him some time to do so, and I said I wanted this amount of money. It wasn't even a year's contract. But he said, 'It's too much. Can you lower it?' 'No,' I said."

 

Houllier eventually moved to Liverpool and would go on to win half-a-dozen trophies with the Reds.

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Dave Richards should be retrospectively hung for this.

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fizz me.

 

This is up there with Cantona.

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Typical of the decisions Richards made around that time. Let Atkinson go despite the progress made after Pleat left, pass up on Houllier, and appoint Wilson. Out of his depth, took us down, demise complete. Cheers Sir Dave. 

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It was the sacking of Atkinson that was the major mistake. He knew how to handle and get the best out of the Italians, he’d also just signed Thome and Alexandersson for peanuts, he was starting to build a good squad. Apparently the plan was to bring in Pearson to eventually take over 

 

Dave dropped a right b*llock that summer

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Biggest missed opportunity that this club made over the last few decades that could’ve completely changed the direction of the club.

 

When you look at what he did at Liverpool compared to what Wilson did here, reading that is beyond depressing.

 

Of course we couldn’t have attracted the likes of Owen, Fowler, Litmanen to Wednesday but he also bought in the likes of Smicer, Henchez, Hypia, McCallister etc who could’ve signed for us instead of the likes of De Bilde, Sibon, Jonk etc.

 

Reading they book, if you’d hired somebody to go undercover at Wednesday with the intention of ballsing things up as much as possible, you couldn’t have done a better job of it than those at the top of the club did anyway, messing Houlier about being the biggest mistake of all.

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Hindsight, but it does bring to the fore mistakes that this Club has made over and over again, one day we will get it right.

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We should never have sacked Ron. I remember Troussier being touted about as well as one or two others then we got Wilson. So many bad decisions made around that time. Hindsight a wonderful thing, as they say

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It all started when we Put the squad over ground development in the 1960's.lol

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I don't think Houllier would have done much at Wednesday the club was on the slide.

Houllier did ok at Liverpool but nothing outstanding for a club that size, never looked like winning the league and he flopped at Villa.

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42 minutes ago, matthefish2002 said:

I don't think Houllier would have done much at Wednesday the club was on the slide.

Houllier did ok at Liverpool but nothing outstanding for a club that size, never looked like winning the league and he flopped at Villa.

In fairness he won the League Cup, the FA Cup, the UEFA Cup and European Super Cup in one season.

 

Not bad when you consider the rather mediocre side he inherited from Roy Evans.

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Saw him on a flight from PCG airport to Manchester. This was earlier this year. Didn’t look to well to be honest.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Jakes Grandad said:

We should never have sacked Ron. I remember Troussier being touted about as well as one or two others then we got Wilson. So many bad decisions made around that time. Hindsight a wonderful thing, as they say


Indeed, I remember that summer being really optimistic about the future - Big Ron had turned our form around and made us decent, beating the likes of Man Utd, Arsenal, Spurs and Newcastle etc. We let Big Ron go and so surely it meant we were going to replace him with someone special.   Danny Wilson.  Seriously? 
 

As bad as when Pleat was hired to replace Francis. 
 

Those two managerial decisions were the catalyst for the crap we’ve lived through since (besides a couple of good seasons). 

Edited by Owls-Fan

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Is it the same summer as Walter Smith was on his way down too but got a call from Everton? 

 

What a come down if so. 

 

Atkinson

Houllier

Smith

 

 

 

Wilson. 

 

Richards should never have acted in revenge against Atkinson. 

 

Don't think we would be here now if he hadnt.

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5 hours ago, @owlstalk said:

 


I blame Di Canio and the fancy dan's...

Wait for it....

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13 minutes ago, Road Runner said:

Is it the same summer as Walter Smith was on his way down too but got a call from Everton? 

 

What a come down if so. 

 

Atkinson

Houllier

Smith

 

 

 

Wilson. 

 

Richards should never have acted in revenge against Atkinson. 

 

Don't think we would be here now if he hadnt.

Richards, in the end turned out to be a very small minded man. Add to which, as soon the chips were down, he effed off to feather his own next. Clearly wasn’t up for a battle. 

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5 hours ago, folger said:

Dave Richards should be retrospectively hung for this.

 

I've seen him in the gym, he wasn't hung then, and he's not hung now. 

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Posted (edited)

Inexperienced yes, but Wilson had a cracking run at Barnsley. Spent a full two weeks ripping the P out of our 6 fingered friends when he signed, not many complaints ! 

 

Whereas everyone was asking WTF is Gerrard Houllier ? 

Edited by nevthelodgemoorowl

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