Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn has praised the impact and influence that Unai Emery has had on the squad since his arrival at the club.
Villa have secured nine points from a possible 12 in the Premier League since Emery took charge, with impressive wins over Man Utd, Brighton and Tottenham lifting spirits at the club after we found ourselves in a precarious position prior to Steven Gerrard’s departure.
Having moved away from the wrong end of the table, we’ve given ourselves some breathing room to continue to improve and progress, but there is no doubt that there will be no room for complacency under Emery as we look to build on our good form against Wolves on Wednesday night.
McGinn has spoken about the Villa boss and how he has had an immediate impact on the squad, and it’s a fascinating read to understand what kind of change Emery has tried to implement and oversee in the time he has had with the players thus far.
“It comes with confidence and the manager has given us a lot of that,” McGinn said, as per The Express and Star. “There is a clear way of playing. Some players are in positions which are a little bit unfamiliar but he is finding strengths in people’s games we probably didn’t realise ourselves.
“He gives us a clear plan and it’s down to us to implement it properly. He is a top class manager and we just have to take on board what he is saying.
“He has a clear message to stay humble and that is what we will do. If we keep putting in the effort we have quality to hurt teams at the other end. Sunday showed that. He is stressing we have a big game Wednesday now to try and keep this going.”
One of the main criticisms of Gerrard was that we lacked a style of play and identity under him, and question marks were constantly raised over his coaching ability to not only improve individuals, but to put together a gameplan that ultimately puts the team in a position to go out and win games.
That was perhaps the most exciting and intriguing factor after Emery was appointed, as given his track record and reputation for being a great coach, we wanted to see how he would improve this team and get the best out of the players at his disposal.
Again, it’s important not to get too carried away at this early stage as there is still a long way to go, but we’re seeing an identity, a philosophy and a style of play on the pitch already and it’s leading to positive results.
It’s clear from McGinn’s comments that the players now have clarity over what it is they have to do and what their roles are, and even if it’s something that they’re not used to, Emery has a way of communicating what he wants to get the best out of them to ultimately get the job done.
Given our recent results, there is reason to be optimistic and positive. However, the focus is now on Wolves in midweek as we must follow up a brilliant performance and result at Tottenham and show all-important consistency to continue to make progress. That seems to be the message from Emery to his players too, based on McGinn’s insight.