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Unai Emery and the positive rebuild at Aston Villa FC

Aston Villa Villa Park
Philip Halling / Inside Villa Park

There’s a silent but positive rebuild going on at Aston Villa FC, since Spanish coach Unai Emery came in November 2022 English Premier League.  He took them from the relegation battle, qualifying them for the European Conference League after taking 7th position. Their first European Cup qualification, since the 2010-11 football season.

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It appears that his stint from 2018-19, with Arsenal FC, London, enabled him to easily settle in Aston Villa, adapting to the League and environment. Despite his accomplishments with stints in Villarreal,(won one Europa title), Sevilla FC, where he won three Europa titles, and Paris Saint Germain, France, Emery has continued to work silently under the radar.

Unlike his stay with Arsenal FC where he succeeded the legendary Arsene Wenger and soon buckled to the pressure it brought, his stay at Aston Villa has been rather quiet. Despite their glorious achievements of the past, their records in modern times have been abysmal. The last time they won any silverware, was in 1996. This could possibly account for the opportunity given to him, compared to many coaches of lesser pedigree.

In June 2023, Aston Villa appointed Ramon Rodriguez Verdejo (popularly called MONCHI) as their President, of football operations. He’d worked for four years at Sevilla with Unai Emery, where they won three Europa titles in four years. Both men have had a harmonious working relationship which could positively benefit them in their new environment. Aston Villa can surprise bookmakers and also benefit from any slip-up by any of the major contenders as they did in the past season to take a spot in the European competitions.

 MONCHI is a highly respected figure in player recruitment management in world football and has been involved in the emergence of several wonderful Spanish players.

This season, they brought some quality players such as Youri Tielemans, Pau Torres, Moussa Diaby, Nicolo Zaniolo and Clement Lenglet. These additions have improved the squad when compared to other big spenders such as Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Newcastle and Tottenham FC amongst others.

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Aston Villa FC has done well in the first seven matches of the English Premier League. They’re currently in the third position, having won five and lost two matches. their 6-1 mauling of Brighton in their week 7 match was really interesting and a strong statement of intent. They need to maintain their consistency in picking points both from the so-called small and big teams.

Another important aspect of the positive rebuild by Unai Emery involves their approach to the field.

Aston Villa has grown to become a forward-looking free-flowing football-playing club. With some improved defending they’d surely end the season well.


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