Belfast Telegraph

Houllier advised to walk away

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier has been advised to walk away from football by Chelsea's cardiologist.

Houllier remains in hospital after complaining of chest pains last week, and although he is nearing the point where he can return home there remain serious doubts about whether he will return to work, with assistant Gary McAllister taking control of team affairs until the end of the season. Houllier, 63, has suffered from heart problems before, needing five months out of the game while in charge of Liverpool in 2001.

Dr Duncan Dymond, who works with Chelsea, told talkSPORT: "My own assessment, without knowing Gerard Houllier or having seen him, quite frankly he's had one brush with the grim reaper already and now he's had another serious warning. To put himself through this again with the stresses and strains of being a football manager, I think he should call it a day."

Houllier suffered from a dissection of the descending aorta, a condition where layers of the of the main vessel out of the heart can come apart, allowing blood to force its way out.

Dymond warned that the condition was "very dangerous", and added: "When you've had a dissection once, you're more likely to get it again."

"One of the major risks of this is blood pressure," he said. "You only have to look at the pressure managers are under on the touchline.

"Their faces go red, the veins stand up in their necks, they get a bad decision and their blood pressure goes up. A lot of managers went through an assessment and their blood pressures go up to the sky."

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