“Unai Emery is a brilliant manager” – Gary Neville Backs Aston Villa To Secure Top-Six Finish In Premier League

Aston Villa Have Won 11 Premier League Games So Far
Aston Villa Have Won 11 Premier League Games So Far

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has heaped praise on Aston Villa manager Unai Emery, tipping the Lions to secure a top-six finish in the Premier League this season.

Following an abysmal start under Steven Gerrard, Aston Villa appointed former Arsenal coach Emery as their manager in November last year. The Spanish tactician got off to a flying start in the English top flight, beating Manchester United 3-1 on his debut. Over the next 24 Premier League matches, the Villans picked up 14 wins, four draws, and six defeats, clinching a seventh-placed finish.

Neville backs Aston Villa to “deliver” this season

Speaking on The Overlap, Neville sang Emery’s praises and backed Aston Villa to improve upon their last-season performances. The Englishman said:

“Unai Emery is a brilliant manager. He was brilliant the first time round when he went to Arsenal but sometimes things don’t work. I really fancy him, he’s a manager that knows exactly what he wants and has brought a group of people that have worked with him before.

“The General Manager that I had at Valencia is his General Manager at Aston Villa – he knows exactly what he’s doing, he’s been round the block and he’s a top manager – they’ll deliver this season.”

Neville sees similarities between Emery and former Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde

The former Manchester United full-back, who briefly served as La Liga side Valencia’s manager, recalled his clashes against Ernesto Valverde, who was Athletic Bilbao’s manager at the time.

He added:

“I remember telling Jamie Carragher about Ernesto Valverde who went on to coach Barcelona. I played his Bilbao twice, well it was three times when I was at Valencia CF.

“He wasn’t just one step ahead of me, he was 10 steps ahead of me. He changed three times in one game, and I’d never seen anything like it to be honest with you.”

Neville continued:

“Unai Emery is similar to Valverde in his thinking behind the game.

“The people who can do that – they’re special coaches, massively talented, Aston Villa have got someone there that could do really well for them. That’s why I put them where I did in that sort of top six. They’ve got something to go in there.”

Aston Villa, who have brought in Moussa Diaby, Pau Torres, and Youri Tielemans this summer, will begin their Premier League campaign with a clash against Newcastle United on Saturday (August 12).

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