Unai Emery, Aston Villa’s head coach has changed the club’s future to the point where qualification for European competitions is not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
Unai Emery was appointed as Aston Villa’s head coach on the 24th of October, 2022.
Emery, who left La Liga club Villarreal to take the job at Villa Park has made an exceptional start for the team.
The Spaniard has masterminded 10 wins and just four defeats from 16 Premier League outings in charge of Aston Villa.
Aston Villa are currently in seventh place in the Premier League table, two points behind sixth-place Brighton who still have two games outstanding.
When Steven Gerrard was replaced as manager, the Claret and Blue were 16th and on the verge of relegation.
Nine games remain in the season, and seven of Aston Villa’s opponents are from the top half, including matchups against Manchester United, Newcastle, and Brighton.
Even though the task is far from finished, it is impossible to bet against Emery’s Aston Villa given their current form.
This is the most difficult year ever for the clubs fighting relegation, thus every point counts and every victory brings them closer to safety.
Aston Villa was in danger of being dragged into the fight if Unai Emery hadn’t been able to produce miraculous results.
Only Manchester City and Arsenal have accrued more points since he took charge, which speaks volumes about his impact on the field of play and the players.
Aston Villa have done incredibly well to move up the league standings from sixteenth to seventh as clubs around them have had trouble picking up points.
Although the underlying numbers are far from complete, Emery’s proposed aesthetic adjustments won’t be easy to accomplish.
Aston Villa players have previously been a team without a clear identity under Gerrard, but they are adjusting to Emery’s metrical technique.
The former Villarreal manager is using tactics like playing out from the back, using numbers to attack, controlling games with the ball, and being difficult to beat while not in possession of the ball.
But, there have been missteps and games when they were fortunate to obtain the victory, the most recent one being the 2-1 victory over Leicester.
Emery’s method is perfect, however, there will inevitably be gaps.
Nonetheless, Villa is hoping that despite a challenging schedule in this last stretch of the season, they can continue to pick up points whenever feasible.
As a manager, Unai Emery is obsessive with the smallest details; this method has worked well for him throughout his career and is now having an impact at Villa.
Since Unai Emery took control, they have suffered some setbacks as a result of their risk-taking strategy, including embarrassing losses to league leaders Arsenal, Leicester, Manchester City, and Liverpool.
But, overall, the benefits have surpassed the weaknesses.
Unai Emery secret team weapon;
The development of striker Ollie Watkins’ style, who has 11 goals in the Premier League so far this season, may be one of Emery’s greatest accomplishments this year.
Watkins has already matched his scoring total from last season, according to that number, and he is undoubtedly hungry for more. Outside of the house, he has been very impressive.
The 27-year-old is thriving under Emery’s direction as he enters his third season at Villa. Emery is also his third manager.
Watkins is actually averaging lower numbers than the competition for both passing stats and every possession metric.
Emery has helped the player focus on scoring goals by drowning out the distractions.
With 11 goals scored so far compared to an overall expected goals figure of 13.1, the Villa player has somewhat underperformed, but there is yet more to come from him.
What’s next for Unai Emery and Aston Villa?
At Villa Park on Saturday, 8th of April, 2023, Emery and his team will lock horns with Nottingham Forest and they will be looking forward to bouncing back from their last Premier League defeat.