Unai Emery: Transforming Aston Villa’s Fortunes
Unai Emery arrived at Aston Villa in November when the team was struggling. Under the previous coach, Steven Gerrard, Villa lacked effectiveness in the final third despite having control and possession. Emery’s challenge was to build a team and instill a game plan. He emphasized the need for patience and calmness among the players. Villa had gone without scoring in three of the four previous rounds before Emery’s arrival. However, everything changed in their first match against Manchester United, where they secured a 3-1 victory and scored three goals.
“We are on the right path to build the team that I want. To beat ‘Big Six’ clubs, you have to be disciplined in defense and effective in front of goal,” highlighted Emery. Villa’s performance improved significantly, moving from sixteenth place to seventh place in the Premier League, securing qualification for the Conference. Their defensive improvement played a crucial role in this comeback, while their offensive output increased significantly. They scored an average of 1.7 goals per game compared to 0.9 goals before Emery’s arrival. However, Emery aimed for even more success.
Top Scoring Teams in the Five Major Leagues
- Bayern (Bundesliga): 34 goals
- Bayer Leverkusen (Bundesliga): 27 goals
- Stuttgart (Bundesliga): 27 goals
- ASTON VILLA (Premier): 26 goals
- Newcastle (Premier): 26 goals
- Atlético de Madrid (LaLiga): 25 goals
- Girona (LaLiga): 25 goals
- RB Leipzig (Bundesliga): 25 goals
“I want to raise everyone’s level,” said Emery in August. Aston Villa has indeed raised its level by becoming a scoring machine. They are currently the top scorers in the Premier League, along with Newcastle, with 26 goals in 10 games. They have been averaging 2.6 goals per game, surpassing renowned clubs like Arsenal, Brighton, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Manchester City. Only three teams in the Bundesliga have scored more goals than Villa.
“We want more and more,” Emery repeats as his team continues to dominate at Villa Park. They have achieved 12 consecutive wins at home in the Premier League, making them the best home team in Europe. In recent days, they have convincingly defeated Brighton (6-1), West Ham (4-1), and Luton (3-1). Ollie Watkins has been instrumental in this winning streak.
“We want more and more”
Unai Emery, Aston Villa coach
The English striker, Watkins, has scored 18 goals in 34 Premier League games under Emery’s guidance. Alongside Watkins, eight other players have contributed to Villa’s success in the tournament, including Douglas Luiz, Diaby, Bailey, Cash, McGinn, Durn, Pau Torres, and Ramsey.
How Aston Villa Plays
Scoring responsibilities are distributed among the Villa players. Emery emphasizes that it’s not solely Ollie Watkins’ responsibility to score goals. Other players like Leon, Emi, and Ramsey are also actively involved in the attacking play. Aston Villa has scored an impressive 42 goals in 16 games across all competitions. Emery’s philosophy revolves around taking risks, building a strong mentality, and being competitive. His plan is yielding excellent results.
“Villa is a machine: they counterattack, they are well organized, 100% committed, they defend deeply…”
Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool manager
“Villa is a machine: they counterattack, they are well organized, 100% committed, they defend deeply…” highlighted Jürgen Klopp. With 71 points, Villa currently sits in fifth place, just one point away from the Champions League qualification zone and four points behind league leaders Tottenham. Emery’s aim is to entertain the fans and play with a strong attacking style.