Gerard Houllier of Therouanne, France, the former manager for Liverpool, passed away at the age of 73, according to the Associated Press, on Monday. Houllier’s death came after he had heart surgery.
Houllier managed soccer teams from 1973 to 2011. He was with Le Touquet (1973 to 1976), Noux-les-Mines (1976 to 1982), Lens (1982 to 1985), Paris Saint-Germain (1985 to 1988), France (as their assistant manager from 1988 to 1992, and then the manager of the national team from 1992 to 1993), the French under-18 team (1994 to 1996), the French under-20 team (1996 to 1997), Liverpool (1998 to 2004), Lyon (2005 to 2007), and Aston Villa (2010 to 2011).
Houllier’s most successful season managing soccer was with Liverpool in 2001. During this single year, Liverpool defeated Arsenal 2-1 to win the FA Cup, beat Birmingham City in a penalty shootout to win the English Football League Cup Final, beat Manchester United 2-1 to win the FA Community Shield, beat Deprtivo Alaves 5-4 to win the UEFA Cup, and then beat Bayern Munich 3-2 to win the UEFA Super Cup.
Houllier also had great success managing Lyon for two seasons. In fact his winning percentage managing Lyon was .639 (69 wins, 14 losses and 29 draws). That was an even better winning percentage than Houllier had with Liverpool, which was at .508. Houllier won 165 of 325 games with the Reds.
Unfortunately for Houllier, the success he had in the English Premier League and Ligue 1, did not equate into success with the French National Team at the highest level. Houllier was unable to guide France to the 1990 World Cup in Italy as an assistant manager, or the 1994 World Cup in the United States as their manager. In 1990, France lost in European qualifying by a score of 3-2 to Yugoslavia, and by a score of 2-0 to Scotland, and did not get out of Group 5. In 1994, France lost in European qualifying by scores of 3-0 and 2-1to Bulgaria, and 3-2 to Israel, and did not get out of Group 6.
Houllier did have more success with the French under-18 team. At the 1996 UEFA European Under-18 Championship, in Bescancon, France, France won the tournament by beating Spain 1-0 in the final.