Only four clubs, including Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United, have taken more points than Aston Villa since Unai Emery was appointed Steven Gerrard’s successor back in November.

Emery, who left La Liga outfit Villarreal to take the job at Villa Park, has made an exceptional start to the job. The Spanish coach has masterminded eight wins and just four defeats from his 14 Premier League matches in charge of the club.

When Gerrard was sacked back in October, Villa were languishing near the relegation zone, having won just two of their opening 11 matches.

“It didn’t end well for him at Arsenal but I still don’t think you can poke holes in his pedigree. You’re talking about a guy who’s won the Europa League four times. I think he’s a really, really good coach,” former Villa striker Darren Bent told talkSPORT when asked about the appointment of Emery.

“He had the whole Ozil situation to deal with as well which went against him. I don’t think you win the trophies that he’s won if you’re not a good coach. You can say what you want about his time at Arsenal, but it was always going to be hard coming in after Arsene Wenger. I think it’s the right appointment. I’d say I’m excited about it.”

Bent’s optimism has since been vindicated. The club have dramatically shot up the table then, with results under Emery seeing the club emphatically out of the relegation conversation.

Aston Villa are now up to 11th in the table, narrowly behind big-spending Chelsea, and will surely be targeting qualifying for European competition next season.

The one low point so far came with a last-gasp 2-1 defeat at home to Stevenage in the FA Cup, but Emery’s side responded admirably with back-to-back league wins over Leeds United and Southampton and have maintained their excellent 2023 since.

“After the matches we lost to Arsenal and Leicester, the reaction has been fantastic. Today is maybe the best 90 minutes we played here since I arrived,” Emery told the BBC following Villa’s latest impressive win, 3-0 at home to Bournemouth.

“We controlled the game with the ball. We conceded some chances to them, but I think it is normal because they are in a good moment. I’m happy today and I want to share it with the players and supporters.

“We have to rest a little bit but now we have a big challenge because we are slowly going up. We are looking up. It’s important to have big ambitions and face big challenges. We have Chelsea in two weeks and we have to try and be consistent.

“Next step is top 10, but if we are ambitious you want to get to something more and look at the teams in the European positions. Of course it is not in our hands to take a European place, but we have to try. We have to take this new challenge.”


To illustrate how good the results have been under Emery, take a look at how the Premier League table shapes up since he was appointed at the start of November.

Note: all teams have played 15 games unless otherwise specified.

1. Arsenal – 35 points, GD +18

2. Manchester City – 32 points, GD +16

3. Brentford – 27 points, GD +12 (played 14)

4. Manchester United – 27 points, GD +5 (played 14)

5. Liverpool – 26 points, GD +10 (played 14)

6. Aston Villa – 26 points, GD +5 (played 14)

7. Brighton – 24 points, GD +11 (played 13)

8. Newcastle United – 23 points, GD +6 (played 13)

9. Tottenham – 23 points, GD +2

10. Fulham – 20 points, GD +5 (played 14)

11. Chelsea – 17 points, GD -1

12. Wolves – 17 points, GD -6

13. Nottingham Forest – 17 points, GD -7 (played 14)

14. Leeds United – 14 points, GD -5

15. Leicester – 14 points, GD -5 (played 14)

16. Everton – 12 points, GD -17

17. Crystal Palace – 11 points, GD -10

18. Bournemouth – 11 points, GD -13 (played 14)

19. Southampton – 11 points, GD -14

20. West Ham – 10 points, GD -8 (played 13)

READ NEXT: The Premier League table during Unai Emery’s reign at Arsenal

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