Villa wait on Houllier decision

The Midlands club do not expect to make any announcement until
early next week as Houllier recuperates after his recent heart
problem. Sources close to Villa have indicated the outcome of the
tests will be “the driving force” behind what is the next step to
take. There have been conflicting weekend reports over Houllier’s
future. One suggested the 63-year-old would be relieved of his
duties and another indicated his return would be rubber-stamped by
club owner Randy Lerner. But the source insisted it is “neither of
those” and that the medical tests will be the key. Caretaker boss
Gary McAllister continues to be in an upbeat mood over Houllier’s
future. He said: “Gerard is very good. He is in fine form. We are
seeing more and more of him. He is up and about. “We have had
lunch, we’ve been for dinner. He’s not driving or anything like
that. He’s obviously got a driver. “But every indication, and all
the things he is saying to me and other members of staff, is that
he wants to be back here and he wants to be back in full-time work.
“He is just preparing for July 7 when we come back for pre-season
training.” Meanwhile a Premier League managers’ arbitration
tribunal is continuing this week to consider the circumstances that
led to Martin O’Neill’s abrupt departure from Villa. O’Neill
enjoyed a successful four-year association with the club after
taking over from David O’Leary in August 2006. He led them to three
successive top-six finishes in the Premier League and the 2010
Carling Cup final. But the former Leicester and Celtic boss opted
to leave just five days before the start of the campaign in August.
A League Managers’ Association mediation panel failed to resolve
the dispute between O’Neill and Villa at the tail-end of 2010.