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Demanding Emery Has Taken Villa To The Next Level

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Unai Emery has admitted he has been “demanding” on his players since his arrival but Aston Villa have reaped the rewards after qualifying for the Europa Conference League on the final day of the Premier League campaign.

Qualification for Europe was a fitting end to what has been a truly remarkable turnaround since the Spanish tactician walked through the doors at Villa Park.

Redemption For Emery

After his first spell in the Premier League came to a disappointing end at Arsenal, there were many who questioned whether Emery could cut it in England’s top flight. The Gunners, who are around 9/1 on many a football betting site to win the Premier League title next season, led from the front in the early stages of the campaign while Villa toiled near the bottom. Steven Gerrard’s time at the club abruptly ended in October, with the former Rangers boss having just 11 months with the Villans.

It was not long before Villa spent the reported £5.2million to Villarreal to get Emery and it looks to have been the best money the club have spent in an age. Emery is known for his no-nonsense approach, which arguably did not suit the highly-paid stars at both Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain. Well, it certainly suited the squad at Villa Park, as they bought in early and reaped the rewards as they flew up the Premier League standings to finish above Tottenham Hotspur in seventh.

The Standard Has Been Set

The job for Emery and the board at Villa Park is to make sure this new-found standard continues for next season, with the added bonus of European football also to look forward to. Winning 10 of their last 15 games of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign, that form will be tough to replicate next term but it’s something to aim for. Certainly, with the confidence levels going through the roof in the squad, there will be high ambitions for what can be achieved going forward.

A big summer of recruitment awaits and Emery will be eager to get the balance right in the transfer market. While looking to improve in certain areas, the former Sevilla manager won’t want to cause too much disruption to a side that have shown they can be consistently strong in Premier League. The Villa hierarchy have proven in the past they are not afraid to splash the cash on quality individuals and a few fresh faces will be needed to help the side maintain their new level and also have the strength in depth to compete on a new front in the Europa Conference League.

In what has been a remarkable Premier League campaign that has seen so many success stories across the league, Emery has to be one of the managers of the season. The foundations have been put in place for exciting times ahead and the Spaniard must be given the resources needed to make Villa’s outstanding form the new norm.

Photo by Unsplash

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