Getting back into the swing after the break.
After putting together some positive form before the 2022 World Cup, Aston Villa boss Unai Emery will be eager to rediscover the rhythm when the Premier League season resumes.
The Spaniard has made a positive start to life at Villa Park and the focus is now on picking up where they left off and continuing the climb up the Premier League standings.
Promising Signs Before Qatar Distraction
With three wins in their last four league games before the World Cup this winter, Villa were starting to make significant progress under their new man in the dugout. Villa, who as of December 15th are 15/8 in the Betway Premier League betting to earn a top-10 finish this season, saw those nine points help them pull away from the relegation zone and climb into 12th before the World Cup. A much more welcoming Premier League table to look at, compared to when Emery took over the job from Steven Gerrard at the end of October.
Impressive wins over Brentford, Manchester United and finally down at Brighton at the Amex Stadium will have seen confidence grow in the Villa camp in the weeks leading into the World Cup distraction. All Premier League sides have had to adapt to the unique situation of the major tournament taking place mid-season. Emery, who ESPN reported jumped quickly at the chance to return to the English top flight, is an experienced manager and he will be doing all he can to make sure the break works to his side’s advantage.
Dubai Offers Up Opportunity
While most managers who come into a new club mid-season must implement their ideas while trying to get results, the World Cup break has offered Emery an opportunity to get more work done on the training ground. While the results before the tournament in the Middle East were largely positive, perfectionist Emery is likely to feel there is plenty of work to be done to get Villa winning on a more consistent basis in the Premier League.
A warm-weather training camp in Dubai has offered the ideal situation for Emery to really set out his stall and also get a better understanding of the players he wants to use going forward. Rising stars have been given a chance to impress, while the older heads will be eager to make sure they are in Emery’s plans for the second half of the Premier League season and beyond. With just four players heading out to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Emery had the majority of the squad at his disposal. Only goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez was able to make it into the latter stages of the competition, while fellow Villa stars Leander Dendoncker, Jan Bednarek and Matty Cash headed home earlier. Clubs higher up the Premier League table lost many more players to the Word Cup, so that could offer Emery another advantage as Villa look to pick up where they left off against Brighton.
Players Buying Into Emery’s Vision
Along with the growing optimism on Aston Villa forums, the sounds that came out of the training camp in Dubai and before the “mini pre-season” have certainly been positive. Of course, no player would be likely to come out and say the transition from Gerrard’s tenure at the Premier League side wasn’t positive unless they were desperate for a move away in January. It’s more the fact that players have spoken of the change in style Emery is looking to implement and when it’s producing results on the field it’s even easier to buy into, as Villa hope to challenge up the table and possibly make a trip to Wembley Stadium in the FA Cup this season.
Experienced defender Tyrone Mings was quoted by the BBC about getting plenty of new information coming his way from the new management team and much of it is different to what he has experienced before. Emery is known for having a unique style and it will be up to players like Mings to take this new information on board and lead the way in this new era. Villa have been looking to implement this new way of playing in Dubai and it was there to see in friendlies against Brighton and Chelsea, with the Villans drawing against the Seagulls, before beating the Blues.
There seems to be plenty of optimism about this new tenure under Emery and the right noises appear to be coming out of the squad ahead of the resumption of the season. Emery’s focus is now on helping his new side pick up where they left off.