Aston Villa boss Unai Emery reacts to shock comparison with Manchester City and Arsenal

Aston Villa boss Unai Emery reacted brilliantly to this surprise comparison with Manchester City and Arsenal.
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Unai Emery was disinterested in a stunning statistic he was told after Aston Villa beat Tottenham Hotspur in a crucial European six-pointer on Saturday afternoon. The Villans responded brilliantly to two consecutive 1-0 away defeats with a dominant 2-1 victory, moving to within just two goal difference of Spurs with two games left to play.

Emery, rather remarkably, is averaging 1.96 points per game this season – the third-best rate of any manager to take charge of at least 10 games in the Premier League this term. Only Pep Guardiola of Manchester City (2.41) and Mikel Arteta of Arsenal (2.31) can better Emery in this particular department.

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This emphasises just how remarkable of a job he has done at Villa Park but the 51-year-old is more focused on improving his playing style further rather than discussing his achievements. “The first priority is to try to be competitive and adapt quickly to the idea, style we want to build here,” Emery said in reaction to said comparison with City and Arsenal.

“Then it’s about how we can face each opposition. Really, we were being very competitive at the beginning [of my Villa spell] away from home - it was amazing our games we won away - but then the last two matches we lost and we drew at Brentford. We are still being less competitive away and less points than before,” Emery pointed out.

The Spaniard is right as his stint with the Villans began with some sensational away form. Emery guided his side to wins against Brighton & Hove Albion, Tottenham, Southampton and Everton in the space of five trips on the road. There was just one defeat in that period, with a 3-1 loss to City sandwiched between the Southampton and Everton victories.

Since then, though, points have been dropped at West Ham United, Brentford, Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers, with the only away wins since the start of March being at Chelsea and Leicester City. At Villa Park, on the other hand, there’s been a bit of a role reversal and Emery has pointed out a turning point.

Emery is focused on continuing the good progress at Villa, not stopping and looking at statistics about himself.Emery is focused on continuing the good progress at Villa, not stopping and looking at statistics about himself.
Emery is focused on continuing the good progress at Villa, not stopping and looking at statistics about himself.
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“At home, it’s completely different. We started with some doubt after we lost against Liverpool, drew against Wolves, we won against Leeds but didn’t play well, lost against Leicester, lost against Arsenal, but after those matches I really changed something in my mind first - and then changed something with the players,” Emery revealed.

“I did that because it wasn’t the way I wanted but now the last six games here it’s completely different. I was very happy with the first half [against Tottenham] and the second half was of course very difficult to keep the same performance but my objective in the next match is to be more consistent in 90 minutes.

“We still played very well [though], and the players showed their commitment is very high and the supporters are connecting really well. That’s now six wins here in a row - I think that’s very important to try and keep motivated for the option we can face in the next matches to get in Europe,” Emery continued.

Just two matches remain but the outings from now on in are the equivalent of cup finals for Villa. The first is an incredibly tricky trip away to a Liverpool side that has won seven Premier League games in a row. Then, on the final day of the season, the Villans host Brighton & Hove Albion in what could be a decider for Europe.

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