Interim Aston Villa boss Aaron Danks spoke to the media on Friday and offered some interesting insight on John McGinn and Unai Emery in particular.
The 37-year-old led the team to a 4-0 win over Brentford last weekend as we secured three crucial points following the departure of Steven Gerrard.
Having done a fantastic job in preparing the group for that encounter in what would have been a very difficult 48-hour period, Danks will now get a chance to build on that and hopefully pick up another positive result at Newcastle Utd on Saturday.
However, it will be his final game in the top job after Villa confirmed Unai Emery’s appointment and start date next Tuesday, and so he’ll no doubt hope to leave the squad in a healthier position and feeling more confident as the new coach gets ready to take charge.
Danks was widely – and rightly – praised for his decision to switch to a 4-2-3-1 system last weekend, and for making some big decisions which included dropping Villa captain McGinn.
After coming off the bench and helping us secure that result last time out, Danks had special praise for the Scottish international this week as he lauded his attitude and professionalism even despite his decision.
Danks on McGinn
“John’s a super professional and more importantly, he’s a super human being and a great person,” he told the media, as per VillaTV. “John’s reaction has been nothing but positivity. He came into the game excellently, as we envisioned he would.
“He contributed to us finishing the game really strongly and finishing with the energy that we started with. Training this week, he’s been absolutely fantastic with no issues whatsoever.
“I knew that with John. That’s why he’s contributed what he’s contributed to this club for a long time; that’s why the fans respect him the way they do and that’s why his teammates respect him so highly.”
Danks on Emery
Meanwhile, Danks was also asked about Emery ahead of his arrival at the club, and he spoke just as glowingly about the Spanish tactician as he did McGinn.
Following successful spells with Valencia, Sevilla, Paris Saint-Germain and Villarreal as well as a key learning curve during his time at Arsenal which some could rightly deem a success too in difficult circumstances, Emery arrives with experience, pedigree and a list of achievements as a coach that make him a stand-out and exciting appointment.
Danks echoed those thoughts when discussing him, and also revealed that there hasn’t been any contact between the pair as he’ll also have to wait and see whether or not there’s a place for him in the new coaching staff set up or if the new Villa boss intends to bring an entirely new team with him.
“You just have to look at his pedigree, what he’s done and where he’s worked to know he is a top coach. He is a high performer,” Danks also noted, according to BirminghamLive. “I really enjoyed watching his Villarreal team in the Champions League, like many supporters and coaches did. We’re just really excited to welcome him to the club.
“There’s been no contact, for me it’s been head down and full focus on preparing the team for the game.”