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.
Even despite six of their potential pre-tournament starters now missing, France continue to be one of the most electric sides at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Supercharged by the vibrancy in attack of Kylian Mbappé and masterfully supported by Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud - France's front four quartet work together wonderfully to bring out the best in one another. The French put on a dominant display on Sunday, rolling to a rollicking 3-0 win over the Poles in the Round of 16. Here is our match analysis.
After a fantastic end to the 2020-21 season in which the Black & Yellows won the DFB-Pokal and climbed into third, Lukasz Piszczek officially retired from football. The Polish defender was a stalwart at Dortmund for over a decade, and the task to replace him was always going to be impossible. To make matters more difficult, Mateu Morey tore his ACL in the team's run to the cup final, and Achraf Hakimi left the team for Inter Milan the season before, reducing Rose's options all the more come the 2021-22 season. While Thomas Meunier has improved under Marco Rose's influence, a replacement in the position is still evidently needed. So with that, we take a look at the very best options to replace Piszczek, as Dortmund attempt to put their right-back concerns to rest.
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 surviving relegation by a single point in 2019-20, few would have imagined Aston Villa to have such a stellar season in 2020-21. Instead of battling for relegation, they've been battling for a place in Europe, beating the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Leicester City along the way. Perhaps most impressively out of anything, beyond the results which have unequivocally been spectacular, Dean Smith's side have just been so much fun to watch. They've been tactically intriguing in their shifting systems and styles of play, but also just so full of life this season with Grealish and co leading their charge toward European football. Here is our latest Tactical Analysis all about Dean Smith’s Aston Villa, including why the Lions look destined for European football next season.
The 2020-21 Premier League season has been full of surprises, most notably a number of different teams topping the table at one point or another so far. As things stand, Leicester City sit at the top despite a horrendous injury list. But the likes of Southampton, Everton, Aston Villa and Spurs have impressed more than most would have predicted and each have had their turn toward the very top. Much has been made about the success of these teams, but perhaps certain individuals within these teams have gone a bit under the radar. As a result, this article attempts to uncover the eleven best surprise performers of the season so far, that have helped their teams to better times in 2020-21. Here is our Surprising Performers Premier League XI after the first eight games.
After surviving relegation by a single point in 2019-20, many would have tipped Aston Villa to go down in 2020-21. So even though it is still early days in this season's Premier League, Dean Smith could not have dreamt for a better start to the season. After beating Sheffield United by a narrow margin, thumping Fulham and then most recently, breaking records in a 7-2 thriller against Liverpool, Aston Villa look a much improved side from even just a few months ago. With their recent performances, many think that Aston Villa could be in for their best season in the top flight in over a decade. Here is a Tactical Analysis all about Dean Smith's Aston Villa.