Houllier looks to Young to provide a happy return

Gerard Houllier has only been in charge of Aston Villa for less then a week but already he has seen enough to convince him that Ashley Young has the ability to become a regular in the national side.

Young reminds him, claims the former Liverpool manager, of a young Michael Owen.

Today is day six of Houllier's second tenure in this country and in the hurly-burly world of the English game he is already preparing for his second match; a short trip to Molineux for what is likely to prove a searching examination for a side that have endured an erratic start to the season under Kevin MacDonald's temporary stewardship.

Young, who scored twice in the Carling Cup win over Blackburn, has been one of Villa's better performers and has made an immediate impression on his new manager. "He's more like Michael Owen than Steven Gerrard in terms of what he can deliver and produce," said Houllier when asked to compare him with his former charges. "He reminds me more of Michael Owen, but he's got an eye for the pass as well. Ashley can make goals, score goals. It's a good challenge for me to make him improve. Ideally I would like him to step up a bit more, but he's got everything it takes to reach the very top. I would like him to be a regular international player. That's the first stage.

"The second stage is for him to really progress to the highest level. I haven't seen many players I've worked with who didn't progress."

Young is still in discussions over a new £70,000-a-week contract with Villa and there was a concern that Houllier's arrival would not be enough to persuade him to stay, but the Frenchman's willingness to build his attacking philosophy around Young and find a position on the field that suits the 26-year-old have turned the tables.

"I am hopeful he will sign," said Houllier. "Things are going on well and the discussions have been positive. He can be a star, but a star as a team player and his input must not be only making goals and scoring goals. It's his work-rate and his attitude that can improve the rest of the team.

"One of the major ingredients of the very top players is that they always have a lot of confidence in themselves. They can take responsibility."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?