Irish 'war' for houllier
Gerard Houllier will hold talks with Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner and chief executive Paul Faulkner tomorrow in the hope of resolving Stephen Ireland's future at the club. Houllier said yesterday that the midfielder had asked to leave -- a claim which has been dismissed by his representative.
The decision over what to do with Ireland comes as Houllier seeks to identify players he feels he can "go to war with".
Richard Dunne, dropped last weekend after a furious training-ground argument , has not travelled with the squad for today's match at Wigan. Neither has Corkman Ireland.
Houllier has decided he cannot rely on the midfielder and Villa are prepared to move him on.
The Frenchman's relationship with some of his senior players has come under scrutiny after reports that a number of arguments have erupted.
Houllier sought to place the responsibility for the Ireland predicament on the shoulders of the player and his representative yesterday by claiming they were agitating for a move. "He said he wanted to go in January," Houllier claimed. "He said that to his agent. Once a player wants to go, he goes." (© Daily Telegraph, London)