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Alarm bells sounding for Everton


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Barclays Premier League

Aston Villa confirm Gerard Houllier start date

Gerard Houllier will take control of Aston Villa after the weekend's game with Bolton, meaning his first game will be the Carling Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers at Villa Park next Wednesday.

Houllier is still completing his duties as the French Football Federation's (FFF) technical director despite agreeing to take over as the club's new boss, but has now agreed a departure date. He was unveiled as Villa manager last Friday on a three-year contract worth more than £2.5 million a year, but missed the 2-1 defeat to Stoke on Monday and will watch the Bolton game from the stands.

Earlier, Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov expressed his frustration at the uncertainty surrounding the club.

"It is complicated," he said. "Complicated for the new manager, complicated for Kev [MacDonald] as well, but we will see the new manager soon. We wait to see how we can improve and we look forward to stability."

Caretaker Kevin MacDonald has been taking control of the side, but Petrov is keen to work with his new boss as soon as possible.

"He has been at the top level for a long time,'' he said. ''He managed Liverpool, had success, been manager of Lyon. He knows what he needs to do. We try to do our best for Kev because he has been at this club for a long time and has done a tremendous job."


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