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Webcam ready for new contract and when exactly does Gérard Houllier start work?

News has filtered through, via The Sun, that Ashley Young is ready to sign a new contract at the club. This is good news, for many reasons, not least because Webcam is going to be a star one day.

He has his doubters. I am one of them and I wonder if he practices free kicks and corners because so many of them go wide and over and long or not past the first man, but he has undoubted qualities, the right work ethic and if he could just get a few more free kicks on target, he'd get a few more goals. It will come.

Naturally, this is just speculation as it came from The Sun, so don't get too excited just yet, but Gérard Houllier is a top name manager with undoubted qualities and a proven track record, so it doesn't surprise me that players want to play for him and Ashley Young could make Aston Villa his club and his name could be sung for generations and we could be telling our grand-children about him.

When does Houllier start?

However, there does seem to be a lack of communication on when Gérard Houllier actually does take over at the club and while I am sure it isn't going to take three months, a headline I saw somewhere this morning, the lack of clear communication as to when he does actually start is a surprise.

In all likelihood it is probably a case of the manager wanting to finish what he started in France or at the very least, clear his desk and leave knowing there was nothing outstanding, but a little communication from the club would have been nice. A set date at the very least on when he could properly start his job anyway.

Gérard Houllier I couldn't get back for the Stoke game. I have meetings Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I apologise for that. When I'm here, I'm here. At some stage, I will be here. To me, the earliest would be the Bolton game, not in charge, but there.

Even the Wolves game I can't promise. All I can tell you is that I will come. It will take some time. I'm quite aware of that. It's going to be more difficult, more tricky because of that.

What happens if, between now and when he does arrive, Kevin MacDonald has a fantastic run and we win all our games, then Houllier comes in and his changes have a negative impact on results? Or, flip it the other way, what happens if we lose all our next three games and he is just sitting in the stands - does he feel a pressure to walk away from his role in France and take control sooner?

It will be tricky and I hope it is part of the former, that we win all our games, but not knowing when he will start does feel a little uneasy.

Football bets

Anyway, there is no Villa today, so I've had a cheeky fiver on Chelsea, Newcastle, Manchester City, Fulham and Arsenal. Nice odds and if it wins, a fair chunk will be going on Aston Villa to win on Monday night. I think the bet of the day is Rooney to score at Everton, but that it just me.