WILL UNAI EMERY BE A SUCCESS AT ASTON VILLA?
Aston Villa have appointed Unai Emery as their new head coach following the sacking of Steven Gerrard, as confirmed by the club.
Gerrard hit rock bottom after a disastrous start to the 2022/23 season, and the Villains dismissed him following the 3-0 thrashing by Fulham last week.
While names like Mauricio Pochettino, Ruben Amorim and Thomas Frank were considered for the managerial role, the Lions went with Emery.
Villa have paid €6 million to release the Spaniard from his contract at Villarreal.
The former Arsenal gaffer will take over at Villa Park from November 1 after completing his work-permit formalities.
Interim manager Aaron Danks, who oversaw the 4-0 victory over Brentford, will remain in charge until then.
Emery’s appointment has raised several eyebrows owing to his failed stint in the Premier League at Arsenal.
He was also the leading candidate to become the manager of Newcastle United following the takeover of Saudi-led consortium PIF last year, but he turned down the opportunity.
Nonetheless, the Villans are getting a high-profile manager with a successful career compared to the club’s predecessors.
Forgettable spell at Arsenal
Emery took the spotlight after becoming the manager of Arsenal in 2018, replacing the legendary Arsene Wenger.
The former Paris Saint-Germain gaffer led the Gunners to an impressive 22-match unbeaten streak in his debut season before spiralling down in the latter stages, which saw the North Londoners miss out on the Champions League qualification.
He endured more struggles the following season, with the performances ceasing to improve. He was relieved of his duties in November.
Resurrection at Villarreal
Emery returned to his homeland in 2020 to take over at Villarreal. He silenced his critics by inspiring the Yellow Submarine to the Europa League triumph for the 2021/22 season. The irony was Emery defeated the Gunners in the semifinals before seeing off Manchester United in the finals.
The Spanish gaffer led the Yellow Submarine to unprecedented success the following season after reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League, recording some famous victories against Juventus and Bayern Munich.
Can he be successful in his second stint in the Premier League?
Aston Villa are in dire straits as they are 15th in the table with 12 points. Emery has a huge task in his hands to steady the ship at Villa Park.
But he has shown he is capable of doing such during his time with Valencia, Sevilla and Villarreal.
Unlike Gerrard and his predecessors, Emery is tactically strong and flexible. He always emphasises attack and defence equally.
The 50-year-old will be inheriting a talented squad at Villa Park. The Lions can hope for a turnaround soon enough.