Emery is an inconspicuous coach. His teams do not press aggressively -- only four clubs have registered fewer high turnovers this season than Villa -- nor do they dominate possession in terms of possession dominance.
However, Emery's pragmatic approach - often misconstrued as "negative", as evidenced by his changes against Wolves - remains central to their Premier League success. This was evident during their encounter.
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Villa have taken an impressive run since Emery was appointed, amassing 71 points since November and rising into fourth position in the Premier League table. Their expected goals data shows their recent success is no coincidence but evidence of steady advancement.
Emery has benefitted greatly from having a solid backroom staff led by chief coach Johan Vidagany and director of football Monchi, both providing stability as well as players that complement his reactive tactical framework.
Emery's methods at Villa have proven extremely successful for several reasons. First and foremost is his clear plan of attack, instilled into his squad based around defined patterns of play across defence, middle third, triangles and overloading wide areas. As such, his teams play high transitional matches resulting in fast paced, entertaining matches which players appreciate immensely while attributing Emery with improving individual performance as well as welcoming young players with open arms, something many managers shy away from doing.
Emery has transformed a team that was on its deathbed before his arrival, turning them from relegation contenders into Europa League contenders and out of relegation contention altogether. Additionally, he was shortlisted for Premier League Manager of the Month honors in October alongside Mikel Arteta from Arsenal and Jurgen Klopp from Liverpool.
Emery's coaching principles are much less overt than his rivals'; rather than using high-intensity pressing to dominate opposition possession, Emery allows his opponents to complete fewer passes per defensive action than any other club prior to Wolves matchup.
Emery relies heavily on "automatisms," or passing moves drilled to become natural, thus eliminating the need for improvisation or mistakes, to create transitional, fast-paced games with unpredictable outcomes that are highly entertaining and unpredictable - an approach which has enabled him to build an exceptional team.
Emery, who won titles in both La Liga and Ligue 1, and Villa are currently in an excellent position to qualify for Champions League with fifth place finish this year. Carragher considers him one of the three top managers in Premier League.
He has instilled at the club a winning mentality and gained their trust. Following their victory over Leicester City, he was quick to thank each member of his squad and stress the fact that all are part of this endeavor together.
Ollie Watkins has seen his confidence return under Emery and is now second most involved player in Villa's attacking sequence involvements (not just open play shots). He has played an integral part in seven of their 18 goals so far this season and could even earn himself selection for Gareth Southgate's England squad next month.
Unai Emery has come quickly and delivered incredible change at Villa Park since his arrival. Through strategic transfers and instilling belief and purpose into his players, he has transformed their fortunes. A former Valencia, Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss who will surely lead Villa into the top four this season and perhaps beyond that to Europe next term - Unai is undoubtedly an outstanding coach who can lead Villa to glory!
He's an outstanding manager in my opinion - third after Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola in this league.
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At first glance, it may be easy to underestimate 51-year-old Spaniard, who often gets criticised from fans and media alike, but there is evidence pointing towards his excellence as a coach. I wouldn't be surprised if his side take to Old Trafford with an impressive game plan and win comfortably.