Belfast Telegraph

Friday 9 October 2015

Benitez in frame for Aston Villa job

Published 09/06/2011

Steve McClaren's hopes of becoming Aston Villa manager appear to have been dashed — with Rafael Benitez the bookmakers' favourite to succeed Gerard Houllier.

Former England head coach McClaren was due to be interviewed today by Villa owner Randy Lerner.

But sources close to McClaren claim he has been told he would be “wasting his time” attending the meeting.

It is understood the negative reaction of some Villa fans to McClaren being in contention for the post has been taken into consideration by Lerner.

These claims have neither been admitted nor denied by Villa, with Lerner keen to make the right appointment to take the club forward.

But some sections of Villa supporters were also unhappy with the appointment of Houllier, who eventually parted company with the club last week for health reasons.

McClaren was portrayed in some sections of the media as “the wally with the brolly” after standing pitchside at Wembley holding an umbrella when England lost 3-2 to Croatia in a crucual Euro 2008 qualifier.

But he has a creditable record at club level, steering Middlesbrough to League Cup glory and the UEFA Cup final as well as winning the Dutch title with FC Twente.

Villa are understood to have made initial contact with Benitez, who left Liverpool last summer.

Benitez, who is keen to return to the Premier League, succeeded Houllier at Liverpool in 2004 and led them to Champions League glory the following season.

Mark Hughes, Owen Coyle and Roberto Martinez are the other candidates being backed for the Villa job.

From the web

Sponsored Videos

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph