Updated date:

Rebuilding Liverpool FC Under Gerard Houllier

Nigel is a football (soccer) fan since his childhood days. He also plays football as a left-back and is a long time fan of Liverpool FC.

Gerard Houllier celebrating a goal with Steven Gerrard.

Gerard Houllier celebrating a goal with Steven Gerrard.

Joining As Co-Manager with Roy Evans

The Liverpool Fc team during this period had a negative nickname called "the spice boys", something similar to "the spice girls", the team at that time was known to be similar to a boy band rather than being Football (Soccer) players.

Houllier was initially invited by Liverpool Fc in July 1998, to be Co-Manager with Roy Evans as a way to help Liverpool Fc return to the top of their form. Their partnership did not work well and Roy Evans resigned in November 1998, just 4 months as co-managers.

Gerard Houllier during his reign as Manager of Liverpool Fc

Gerard Houllier during his reign as Manager of Liverpool Fc

Being The Sole Manager

Gerard Houllier went on a great start as the manager of Liverpool Fc, firstly, creating a five year plan to rebuild the team in the departments of, discipline, teamwork and player work rate. In the same five year plan, Houllier plans to lead Liverpool Fc back to Europe and improve the tactics and personnel of the team.

This decision has caused some big names to leave the club, for instance, Steve Mcmanaman, who left the club on a free transfer, longtime goalkeeper, David James, defender Jason McAteer, midfielder Paul Ince, Steve Harkness and Rob Jones.

One of the Frenchman's first task was to bring in former club Captain, Phil Thompson to the team as his assistant manager, this decision to appoint Phil was well received by the fans of Liverpool Fc because they know how much the club mean to Phil.

Gerard Houllier with Phil Thompson

Phil Thompson (Left) during a match, with Gerard Houllier (Right).

Phil Thompson (Left) during a match, with Gerard Houllier (Right).

The Start of a New Era

Arguably, Gerard Houllier's appointment to the managerial post of the team was the starting point of Liverpool Fc's road to returning to glory. He may have lost his first game at home to Leeds United, but we (the fans) can see where his appointment was going.

In the following season (1999-2000 season), many big name players may have left the club, but it's a revolution, players such as, club legends, Sami Hyypia and Dietmar Hamann joined, Stephane Henchoz, Vladimir Smicer, Sander Westerveld, Titi Camara and Djimi Traore were all signed too and the emergence of Jamie Carragher, Michael Owen and Steven Gerrard during this period has given Houllier some fire power in the team.

Outside the field however, Houllier has overseen the re-development of the team's training ground, Melwood.

The New Generation

Michael Owen (Left), Steven Gerrard (Center) and Jamie Carragher (Right), has Gerard Houllier to thank for their debuts.

Michael Owen (Left), Steven Gerrard (Center) and Jamie Carragher (Right), has Gerard Houllier to thank for their debuts.

3 of the players we adore today, namely, Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen and Jamie Carragher, has had their debuts given by Gerard Houllier. Not Forgetting, Danny Murphy, who has played 1 match at that point.

Houllier was well known for his approach to developing young players from the academy and making them superstars in world Football (soccer). Just take these 3 boys as an example.

Michael Owen spent the next few seasons on a goal frenzy, scoring at least 20 goals per season until his departure in 2004, Jamie Carragher's carrier in Liverpool Fc lasted until 2012 where at that moment, he was a "one-club" man and how can i not mention Steven Gerrard? The most prolific player among the 3, where his career at Liverpool Fc ended as a Club Legend even before retiring.

The Effectiveness of Houllier's Plan

Re-building continued well into the millennium, with the signings of, Markus Babbel, Nicky Barmby, Emile Heskey, Gary Mcallister, Igor Biscan and many more joining the team, while certain big names left the team like, David Thompson, Phil Babb, Dominic Matteo, Steve Staunton, Brad Friedel and Stig Inge Bjornebye leaving.

The effectiveness of Houllier's plan can be seen during the 2000-2001 season where it was Liverpool Fc's treble winning season. The efforts from the team has yielded trophies through the FA Cup, League Cup and the UEFA Cup (Now Europa League) and finishing Third in the Premier League, which qualifies them for the following season's UEFA Champions League.

Treble Parade

Liverpool Fc during the treble winning parade in 2001.

Liverpool Fc during the treble winning parade in 2001.

One of the best memories which are still instilled in Liverpool Fc fans today, regardless of age, was Michael Owen's last minute goal frenzy against Arsenal Fc in the 2000/2001 season FA Cup final.

Another huge moment for the club during Houllier's reign was during the 2001/2002 Premier League season, where Liverpool Fc fought for the Premier league title, the first title fight since the 1990/1991 season when it was still known as the English First Division and it was their best record in the FA Premier League (As it was then known).

Check out Michael Owen's goals against Arsenal Fc here!

Honors won by Gerard Houllier during his time with Liverpool Fc

This table only notes his honors with Liverpool Fc.

HonorHow many times?Years won

FA Cup

1 Time

2000-01 season

Football League Cup

2 Times

2000-01 & 2002-03 season

FA Charity Shield

1 Time

2001

UEFA Cup (Now known as Europa League)

1 Time

2000-01 season

UEFA Super Cup

1 Time

2001

His Last Days With The Club

El-Hadji Diouf being Substituted off for Milan Baros in 2004.

El-Hadji Diouf being Substituted off for Milan Baros in 2004.

My Story About Gerard Houllier

I first started watching and playing Football (Soccer) at the tender age of 6 years old in 2003 and coming from a Liverpool Fc fan family background, it is obvious that i'll be a Liverpool Fc fan. The first manager i encountered as a fan was Gerard Houllier, who at that time, was on a run of bad form.

My Dad told me about how Houllier turned the Liverpool Fc team around and made them superstars today despite the drop of form since 2003, but he was the first manager i know of the team.

Decline Of Form

A horrendous summer of 2003 where El-Hadji Diouf and Salif Diao were signed and a young Nicholas Anelka missing out on a full transfer to the club has caused the Liverpool team to drop in their form, to add fire to the fuel, lackluster investment by the club on better players, lack of commitment from the players and a poor reform on youth policy also caused the drop in form. As the horrendous form of the team continued, Houllier unfortunately resigned from Liverpool Fc in 24th May 2004.

This was after the announcement that Gerard Houllier has passed away.

This was after the announcement that Gerard Houllier has passed away.

Houllier's legacy with Liverpool Fc

Gerard Houllier may have left Liverpool Fc in one of the club's lackluster moments, but he will never be forgotten by the fans for turning the club around when he was able to. Dragging the club from being nicknamed "The Spice Boys" to being Treble winners. Houllier is known as the father of the modern Liverpool Fc revolution as it was his actions and plans that started the reform of the team. His success was continued by his successor, Rafael Benitez.

Death

Gerard Houllier passed away on 14th December 2020 at the age of 73 in Paris, France after a heart operation. Players that played under him like Steven Gerrard , Jamie Carragher and others, payed tribute to him. Rest In Peace Gerard Houllier, i will never forget the first time i watched a Liverpool Fc game.

© 2020 Nigel Koay Talks Football

Related Articles