Villa manager Gerard Houllier hospitalized

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier was in a ”comfortable”

condition on Thursday after being hospitalized and will not be in

charge of the team for this weekend’s Premier League match against


Villa said Houllier was admitted to hospital on Wednesday night

and will remain there ”for several days” while he undergoes more


The club didn’t specify the exact nature of Houllier’s


”I spoke with him this morning … and he sounded very

positive,” Villa chief executive Paul Faulkner said.

The 63-year-old Frenchman will temporarily relinquish first-team

duties to assistant coach Gary McAllister, who took training on

Thursday and will be in charge for Saturday’s home match at Villa


Houllier had open heart surgery in October 2001 while manager of

Liverpool, and was out of the game for five months.

”On behalf of the football club, (American owner) Mr. (Randy)

Lerner and I wish to convey our best wishes to Gerard,” Faulkner


”I’ve also received a lot of good wishes from fans and I would

like to thank them for their kind thoughts in wishing Gerard a

speedy recovery.”

Houllier was hired by Villa in September, replacing Martin

O’Neill as manager, but was criticized by fans following a poor

start to his tenure.

The team has since improved and is 10th in the table ahead of

the match against Stoke.

Houllier has also coached France’s national team, as well as

Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain.