Key run now test for Villa to find solution to issue irking Emery

Since the arrival of Unai Emery, there has undoubtedly been clear indications of progress and improvement from Aston Villa from where we were previously.

While the results of course tell the main story coupled with our current position in the Premier League table, it’s obvious that Villa now have an identity and style of play that is being developed and perfected to build sustained and long-term success.

READ MORE: Why Villa ace faces big challenge over place in pecking order

Emery has clear principles and demands of his players, and while there are naturally going to be setbacks and bumps in the road along the way – and there have been – the general feeling is that we’re in a much better, and stronger, place now under the Spaniard with optimism about the future.

However, there is still one key concern that is irking the Villa boss, and he’ll hope we can start putting it right this weekend when we host Crystal Palace at Villa Park.

Under Emery, Villa have won four of five away games along with one defeat, while scoring eight goals and conceding just four – three of which came in the defeat to Man City.

Frustratingly, we haven’t been able to find that level of performance at home thus far, as we’ve won two, drawn one and lost three at Villa Park, scoring 11 goals and conceding 14.

It’s something that is consistently playing on the Spaniard’s mind, as he once again spoke about it during his assessment of our win at Everton last weekend.

“It’s great for our supporters. They are travelling with us and away from home we are giving them more opportunities to be happy than at home,” he told VillaTV. “I want to share with them at home against Crystal Palace the same performances [as away from home], and find out what the difference is between us playing away and at home.

“In this process, we are going to find the solution and share with them our good moments at home.

“I’m very happy today because it was a good performance; everyone was great. Being competitive like we were today, it’s not easy to beat us.”

While 19 points from 11 games is a solid return and as we prepare to face five teams currently below us in the standings in our next six games along with Chelsea, with whom we’re level on points, this run now is crucial in terms of where we can position ourselves heading into the end of the season.

Palace, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest will travel to us in that stretch, and it’s vital we find the solutions to replicate our defensive solidity on the road in front of the Villa faithful, as we’re clearly still creating chances and scoring goals.

14 goals conceded in those six home games is obviously not good enough and so that needs to be addressed, and it comes back to a familiar point that Emery has consistently made in recent weeks and months.

The Spanish tactician has regularly spoken about wanting his side to control games better. To dictate possession and the tempo of a game in order to help us build sustained pressure on the opposition and simultaneously limit their threat.

We saw positive signs of that this past weekend as we showed composure and patience in our build-up play to quieten the home crowd at Goodison Park early on, but we gradually became sloppy and chaotic and lost that element of control to show we’ve still got a long way to go.

Emery no doubt loves the passion, fight and spirit that we show which is part and parcel of the Premier League and the tempo that the football is played at. However, he’s looking to implement new principles and qualities for his players to adopt, and they now face a big test in the coming weeks to show they’re learning and developing at home in the way being demanded and planned for during the week in training.

Leave a Reply