Confidence is one thing, wisdom another

Are you coming back boss? Doubt it, but until I make a decision, just say yes

Gerard Houllier is out of hospital. I hope you'll join me in wishing him the very best.

It's been confirmed also that Gary McAllister will be in charge of the first team until the end of the season, and with the support of Kevin MacDonald and Gordon Cowans, I'm certain that McAllister will achieve a decent lower-mid table finish for us in what was always going to be a difficult season.

What troubles me is this: McAllister is talking about his certainty that Houllier will be back at the reins for the start of next season. Is he just being loyal, or does he actually mean it? And do Lerner and Faulkner actually believe it?

For all our love of football, and for all our competitiveness - for all our arguments on this site and for all our disagreements - for all the money in the game and for all the glittering prizes on offer in the Premier League - surely there comes a point where simple humanity takes over.

Gerard Houllier is a lovely guy with a smashing football philosophy. He's enjoyed success at a number of levels and is highly regarded. He has, maybe, set the sail for Aston Villa on a new footballing course - keeping the ball and playing possession football.

But he's ill. He has a heart problem which seems to be recurring. And the stress of the Premier League is the last place you want anyone with a heart issue to be. Randy needs to take the guy to one side and tell him its over. That his life, his family and his children are more important than anything else. And don't move him upstairs - that's as stressful as anything else.

Gerard Houllier is a multi-millionaire. He can easily buy himself a villa on the Med and relax. That's what he should do - and that's what Lerner should be insisting he does. I don't want to see him anywhere near the Premier League again: it will kill him.

What he can do, before he puts his feet up, is suggest to Lerner a decent replacement. A man who can take Villa forward and win games even with a possession philosophy. I have a gut feeling about this, and it's French.

And it's Deschamps. Would that be so bad?