Unai Emery has been one of the most esteemed managers of the modern era, to little fanfare given that much of his managerial success has come in competitions like the Europa League and Ligue 1. But Emery is yet to truly fail in a managerial role, and looks prepared to only continue his incredible reputation at Aston Villa. When he took over from Steven Gerrard, Villa were hovering around the relegation zone, desperately trying to stay afloat. Now they've attained four wins from their last six matches, in a robust 4-4-2 system that has dragged them all the way toward the top ten. Here is our analysis of how Emery has achieved so much success in his early days at Villa Park.
The 'Midfield Destroyer' continues to be alive and well in the modern game, and encapsulates some of the most highly regarded and sought after defensive midfielders on the planet. The 'Destroyer' is essential to defending in transition and stunting attacks before the opposition reach the final third, within the wider umbrella of 'Anchoring' the midfield and screening in front of the back-line. Casemiro and Yves Bissouma would qualify as some of the best around, with Óscar Valentín and Benjamin André performing as two other fantastic emblems of the fearless persona behind the 'Midfield Destroyer' player type.
Steven Gerrard's recruitment team have been extremely busy in the first few months under his leadership. From being one of the greatest footballers of his generation and a man with an ever-growing reputation, Gerrard provides a massive pull-power, securing the services of Philippe Coutinho in his first month at the club. Now preceding an underwhelming 14th place finish in the league last season, the Villains have pinpointed the exact areas of the side that need improving. We've already seen the permanent additions of Philippe Coutinho, Robin Olsen, Boubacar Kamara and Diego Carlos, taking the rest of the Premier League by storm. The window only officially opened for business on June 10th, but the early business from Gerrard's men arrows toward an exhilarating season in store for Villa Park's supporters.
Fabinho has been instrumental to Liverpool's success for almost four years now, as the Reds have won four major trophies - including the Champions League and Premier League, with the Brazilian at the heart of their midfield. It may not be time for the Reds to move on from a man who has made the position his own, but there is certainly an opportunity to recruit fresh, young talent that can learn the role and grow into the side, just like Liverpool have done with Luis Diaz.