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Houllier out of hospital, but not out of the woods

SoccerNews in English Premier League 29 Apr 2011

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Everton boss David Moyes has scoffed at suggestions he could replace Gerard Houllier at Aston Villa following the latter’s health scare.

Houllier was discharged from Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Thursday evening, having been admitted with chest pains last Wednesday.

Doctors have since diagnosed the 63-year-old with having a tear in the wall of his heart, a condition he experienced previously while managing Liverpool.

The Frenchman was forced to have open-heart surgery in that instance, and while his condition is not as serious this time around there remains considerable doubt over whether he will be willing and able to resume his post at Villa Park.

Moyes is the first to be linked to the possibly vacant job, though the Scotsman was having none of it at Goodison Park on Friday.

“It is nothing to do with me,” he said when quizzed as to his interest in the role. “I am at a great club and have got a great job. I don’t know what to say.”

Gary McAllister, Houllier’s assistant, will take charge of Villa for the remaining four matches of the season, and said the club is confident their manager will be right to return in the off-season.

“The facts are the doctors are saying he’s good enough to come out of hospital after only one week,” McAllister said.

“We’ve been convinced his condition will be fine in the future.”

“There is a plan to move forward (into the July transfer window) which is already there. As much as it would be ideal if Gerard was here, it can be done from his home because we’re down the line on a few things.”

However, the mood at Villa Park is reported to be pessimistic, with Houllier believed to have been advised to keep his blood pressure low and avoid putting strain on his weakened heart.

Then there is the duty of care that Villa must extend to their manager, and the possibility of a relapse in the 2011/12 season that would put their campaign at risk.

At least one cardiologist has advised Houllier to retire, with Chelsea consultant and top Harley Street physician Dr Duncan Dymond saying the manager would risk his life by staying on.

“My own assessment, without knowing Gerard Houllier or having seen him, quite frankly he’s had one brush with the grim reaper already and he had one serious warning,” Dymond told TalkSport.

“To put himself through this again with the stresses and strains of being a football manager, I think he should call it a day.”

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