Aston Villa defender Matty Cash has revealed insight into what it has been like working under Unai Emery thus far.
The 51-year-old arrived earlier this month as Steven Gerrard’s successor, and less than a fortnight later he has guided us to back-to-back Premier League wins.
While there was disappointment in the Carabao Cup sandwiched in between our two league outings, it’s fair to say that there has been an immediate improvement under Emery and there are certainly promising signs that he will continue to take us in the right direction moving forward.
With an impressive CV along with pedigree, experience and success at the top level in his previous jobs, the Spanish tactician was undoubtedly our most ambitious and exciting managerial appointment in some time, and Cash has shared what it’s been like adapting to Emery in the past two weeks.
“It’s been really good,” he told talkSPORT, as quoted by BirminghamLive. “Really intense, every day learning. We have really long meetings about tactical stuff, how he wants us to play. Today it shows really, we defended the box really well, we looked hard to break down and in this league you need to do that to get results.
“It’s still early days, only a couple of weeks, but I’m sure that in the next few coming months, the gaffer has got time to implement exactly what he wants which he has done anyway, but a couple of weeks it’s difficult to do it all. I think we’re seeing a new side out there really, really hard to beat and good on the counter attack, it’s really nice to play in.”
Given the heavy criticism aimed at his predecessor for our apparent lack of tactical awareness and structure, it seems that this is a major point that Emery has focused on and got across to the players to improve performances.
We can see the difference he has made in both phases of the game, as Cash rightly points out that we’ve become defensively organised and structured while also showing more direction and style in the way we attack and so a pivotal balance has been found.
Naturally, there have been bumps in the road as we saw in the 4-2 defeat to Man Utd in the Carabao Cup, while there will have been moments in both league games that Emery will have seen which he knows requires more work to improve.
Nevertheless, whether it has been the impressive defensive line that we’ve maintained throughout to catch opposition forwards offside countless times, or the way in which our midfield is now capable of dictating the tempo and possession in a game to how we’re utilising – and playing to – the strengths of our attacking players, there have been so many positive signs after just a fortnight.
As Cash notes, with Emery now able to work with the majority of his players during the World Cup break to perfect some of the key principles and fundamentals of his management and style of play, it’s hoped that we look even better in late December.
🗣 Matty Cash on Unai Emery…
— Talk Villa (@thetalkvilla) November 14, 2022