When Steven Gerrard arrived at Villa Park, many envisaged that he would be around for a long time. The vision was that he would use Aston Villa as a grooming ground to prepare him for the higher calling. The belief was that when he finally became ready, he would take over from Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.
The act and the script have been at variance, with Gerrard unable to maintain his place at Aston Villa. The former Liverpool midfielder had a modest campaign last season and was supposed to build on it this term, but things went south, and the club had no choice but to part ways with him. The Liverpool dream might take a bit while longer.
Following the sack of Steven Gerrard, the club took its time before ending with the choice of former Arsenal manager Unai Emery. The Spanish manager takes over from Steven Gerrad, and as he takes up his second Premier League job, the former Sevilla boss said he is well prepared for his new role.
I am ready for the Villa job – Emery
Unai Emery is not a stranger to the Premier League. The former Sevilla boss is remembered not just for his exploits at Arsenal but also for his spoken English, heavily laden with his Spanish accent. The Spaniard had a decent record at the Emirates and took Arsenal to the Europa League final, where they lost to Chelsea.
On his second return to the Premier League, Emery says he is more prepared now and could bring a trophy to Villa Park. Emery has won four Europa League trophies. He won three of them at Sevilla from 2014 – 2016.
Emery lost his job at Arsenal after 18 months at the helm, but the former Villarreal manager insists that the Premier League has not changed much since he left in November 2019. He said he is better prepared for his role at Aston Villa after helping Villarreal to win the Europa League in 2021 and leading them to the semi-final of the Champions League last season.
A more daring assignment
Emery believes he is more ready for his new role than when he first arrived at Arsenal.
The Spaniard started work at Villa Park on Wednesday, with his first assignment a home tie to Manchester United on Sunday.
Emery said his current assignment is more daring, as he has to help the side navigate its way out of relegation. The Spaniard is not afraid of the size of the problem. Emery said the job appeals to him, as it is a massive test for him to push himself to see how far he can go.
The Spaniard said the role at Villa is different from what he faced at Sevilla, Valencia and Villareal. Emery has watched every Villa match this season to see what needs improving. He has made it clear that the squad has been underperforming.
Aston Villa has won only one of their past six matches and is three points off the bottom of the log.