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."
Latest in Sport
Today’s St James Palace looks a cracker and there has been sustained money for Dawn Approach since t...
by Gareth Purnell
18 June 2013 02:01 AM
Newcastle don’t need a football director – they need a new medical team after finishing bottom of the injury league
Newcastle United have shocked their fans by appointing Joe Kinnear as director of football but new f...
by Alex Miller
17 June 2013 04:39 PM
Italy come here with pretty much a full strength squad and can be very relaxed about their World Cup...
by Gareth Purnell
15 June 2013 02:01 AM
Alan Pardew's warning to Joe Kinnear: I am still the Newcastle manager
Chelsea go for £10m Frenchman Geoffrey Kondogbia
The best and worst Premier League kits for the 2013/14 season
Arsenal in pole position to sign Gonzalo Higuain as Juventus turn their attention to Carlos Tevez
Exclusive: Cristiano Ronaldo advised to stay at Real Madrid for another 18 months before making possible switch to Manchester United
- 1 Breaking the Silence: In the reality of occupation, there are no Palestinian civilians – only potential terrorists
- 2 Charles Saatchi accepts caution for assault over incident in Scott’s restaurant when he put his hands on throat of wife Nigella Lawson
- 3 Anatomy of a waiter: Service staff spill the secrets of their trade
- 4 Exclusive: Cristiano Ronaldo advised to stay at Real Madrid for another 18 months before making possible switch to Manchester United
- 5 Iran to send 4,000 troops to aid President Assad forces in Syria