Rob can help youngsters - Houllier

BY foxsports • November 20, 2010

Pires has put pen to paper on a six-month deal and could make his debut in Sunday's Premier League clash at Blackburn, subject to international clearance. And Houllier feels the 37-year-old can help the likes of Marc Albrighton, Barry Bannan and Ciaran Clark with their development. Bannan followed the other two in committing his future to the club by today signing a new three-and-a-half-year deal. Houllier said: "I am used to signing old players because I signed Gary McAllister at Liverpool when he was 35. "He helped us to deliver and get some trophies. When McAllister came to Liverpool, I definitely think it helped Steven Gerrard. "Pires can also help our younger players develop. It's not only during games, you practice every day in training. "His game intelligence, experience, attitude, is a good example for the young and sometimes they need tips. "They can get tips from the manager but can also get tips from players. "They will be extremely eager to have what he can deliver in terms of attitude and messages, I would say." Houllier believes Pires still has the desire to succeed in the Premier League, four years after leaving Arsenal, with whom he has been training for the past two months. He said: "Robert is hungry. That is the main thing. He has got the desire to play. He wants to win things for us. "It is better to do that in the next 18 months because after that it will be more difficult. "Robert has never been the quickest but he has got quick feet and the eye for the pass and he will make goals for us. He can score as well." Pires admits he will take time to regain full sharpness, but is relishing the challenges ahead. He said: "I've trained for two months with Arsenal and for me now it was a good opportunity to join Villa and Gerard Houllier. "I know him, I know his work and he is very good. I am very happy here. "I know for me it is difficult because I need competition. The training and the games are not the same but, more and more, I need to practice football. "I bring my experience for the team. I know it is a younger team but sometimes in the squad you need a mix of younger and older players like me." Pires reiterated his desire to win silverware for Villa after lifting two Premier League titles and three FA Cups with Arsenal plus the World Cup and European Championship with France. He said: "I hope to win a trophy. For me it is the most important because Villa are a very good team with very good young players. "Some players are injured like Emile Heskey and John Carew but we have good experienced players. "I am here to win trophies - the FA Cup or the Carling Cup, why not? - and aim for the Champions League. It is important." Bannan made his debut for Scotland in midweek against Norway and completed a memorable week by committing himself to Villa until the summer of 2014. He had a spell on loan at Blackpool last season but during the current campaign has featured regularly for Villa in the starting line-up or as a substitute.


share story