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.
When we say 'Creative Ten', I'm sure you immediately conjure up an image of a classical painter of a player, who wonderfully creates art with their passing and incisiveness in the final third. But as has been well documented over the past few years, that type of player does not tend to exist in the modern game. The Mesut Ozil's, David Silva's and Cesc Fabregas's of this world no longer tend to exist as they once did, or play in the same positions that they once held. Nowadays, 'number ten's' must not only be capable contributors in the final third, but highly active in pressing from the front, and contributing to rotations that spread the width of the pitch.
Earlier this month, Aston Villa agreed to a stunning season-long loan deal with Barcelona to enjoy the services of Coutinho, with an option to buy for a reported £33.5 million. The deal seems to be a perfect platform for the Brazilian to get his career back on track, while also adding a different dimension to Gerrard's squad in the process. Here is our review on what Philippe Coutinho will bring to Aston Villa, and the betting odds of the former Liverpool man achieving success with his new club.
Gerrard remains a relatively inexperienced manager, but with a clear sense of tactical knowhow, the former Liverpool legend appears to be long for this world. Gerrard's won four from his first ten in charge, and added his first draw to the mix this past weekend against Manchester United with an extraordinary comeback. New additions in Lucas Digne and Philippe Coutinho have also entered the frame, providing the perfect time to take a look at how Gerrard has settled into life at Villa Park so far. Here is our tactical analysis of Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa in 2021-22.
After a four-and-a-half-year spell at Carrow Road, Daniel Farke has officially been sacked as Norwich boss. Farke, who was plucked from the relative obscurity of Dortmund’s B team by sporting director Stuart Webber, has given Norwich fans two of the best seasons in their history, and two Championship league titles. Nevertheless, Farke’s diminishing faith in … Continue reading Why Daniel Farke Paid the Price for Abandoning ‘Farkeball’ at Norwich City
John and Declan are joined by Norwich superfan Lewis Fuller to sing the Canary calls ahead of Norwich's second season in the Prem in three years. What will losing Emi Buendia to Aston Villa mean? Can Teemu Pukki inspire them to survival? And how will all the new players gel together? We discuss all in this episode!
On this episode of The Longball Premier League Preview Show, John and Declan are joined by Aston Villa reporter for Birmingham Live, Ashley Preece as they fawn over the Villains' signing of Emi Buendia, determine whether or not Villa can qualify for Europe this season, and discuss the latest in all things Jack Grealish.