Nearly three years after his Arsenal exit, Unai Emery will be returning to the Premier League. The former Villarreal and Paris Saint-Germain head coach has won a plethora of trophies as a manager, but failed to find success in the Premier League while with the London giants. He will return with a point to prove.
Aston Villa have appointed Emery as their new head coach, per the club.
Emery replaces the recently fired Steven Gerrard. Gerrard was lauded as a terrific hire upon his initial signing. The former Liverpool legend had led Scottish club Rangers to success and was seen as one of the game’s biggest up-and-coming managers.
Gerrard was unable to get a winning Aston Villa squad together despite great players and financial backing in Birmingham. Gerrard held a 33.3% win rate as Villa’s manager. This was one of the worst marks in the Premier League during his tenure. Defensively his teams were terrible, allowing a -2 goal differential. The team also lacked consistent scoring prowess, averaging 1.25 goals per game.
Aston Villa reportedly pursued Mauricio Pochettino and Thomas Tuchel, among other high-profile coaches. Pochettino was fired by PSG this past Summer. Chelsea dismissed Tuchel in September despite having won the Champions League the year prior. Villa fans will hope the club made the right choice with their managerial hire.
Emery is a serial winner. The manager won the Europa League four times, thrice with Sevilla and once with Villarreal. In 2018 he coached PSG to the Ligue 1 title. Villa fans hope the manager continues his trophy-winning ways in Birmingham.