GERARD HOULLIER: LIVERPOOL'S UNSUNG HERO
On Monday 14th December 2020 we lost a legend of Football as former Liverpool and Aston Villa boss, Gerard Houllier, passed away at age 73.
As we look back on his time at Liverpool, I think it's quite honest to say he was underrated as a Liverpool manager and his name is never thrown into the mix with other legends such as Shankly Paisley, Rafael Benitez and Jürgen Klopp, but if we look back into his career with the Reds it's clear to see he was a magnificent manager who laid the foundations for future success.
The Frenchman joined the Reds in the 98-99 season alongside Roy Evans as joint Managers however this didn't work out and by the next season, Gerard was the main man in the dugout! He began to change things and put his own imprint on the squad by signing players such as Hyypia, Henchoz, Smicer, Hammann and Westerveld who would all bring future success to the club!
His first full season as Manager saw Liverpool finish 4th in the league and it was clear to see the Reds were on the rise under Houlliers guidance. The following season 00-01 is, without doubt, his best and most defining season and one of Liverpool's best ever seasons in their history. As they came away with a treble of trophies winning the League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup but also securing Champions League football with a 3rd place finish on the final day of the season with a victory over Charlton.
Mr Houllier followed up the next season with another two trophies, winning both the Community Shield and UEFA Super Cup and delivering an impressive 2nd place finish in the Premier League.
Houllier's last two seasons with the club saw Liverpool finish 5th winning another League Cup and then 4th in his final season securing Champions League football for 04-05; which as we all know ended with the club winning in Istanbul overcoming Milan on penalties.
Gerard Houllier was a kind, caring, compassionate and determined man who managed to get Liverpool back to the old ways of winning trophies and wanting to be the best of the best there is; no doubt he started the club on the journey that has led them to their good times now under Jurgen Klopp. Gerard Houllier was, is and always will be a Liverpool Legend and he will be sorely missed, but very fondly remembered.
Rest in peace Gerard, thank you for everything.