Aston Villa boss Unai Emery was hugely disappointed and frustrated with our performance in a 4-2 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday.
Despite twice taking the lead, Villa conceded four goals at home for the second game running, while that’s now 11 goals conceded in our last three outings.
READ MORE: Villa player ratings vs Arsenal: Trio impress but disappointment in defeat
Beyond the mistakes and poor defensive play though, the Villa boss shared his frustration with our general performance, as he is clearly looking for more control in games and a consistent way of playing, as opposed to putting together decent moves sporadically and hurting teams in transition.
Villa did show quality in our creative play at times, but we never really gained a foothold in the game to control possession and dictate the tempo, and that is ultimately where Emery’s main frustration likely lies.
Add to that the defensive mistakes we continue to make to gift soft goals to the opposition, and it’s clear that we’re not playing the way the Villa boss wants us to, and that has to be corrected in the upcoming games as we have a favourable run ahead of us on paper.
“I’m really frustrated,” Emery told Villa TV, as per the video below. “It’s embarrassing to do the same in two matches, each goal (4-2), at home here with our supporters.
“I don’t know exactly, but we are not playing, being competitive at home. And we are not playing, really, in the idea I want in the team. I don’t know exactly why.
“I think we are playing with intensity, we are playing with passion, running, scoring goals quickly. But we are not playing football controlling the ball, the game, controlling the positioning, of the time in the 90 minutes.
“We are scoring one goal quickly and we are waiting in the 90 minutes, pass as soon as possible and don’t play the match in the way we were preparing – being consistent and being confident in the 90 minutes in our ideal style.
“And, really, I’m disappointed because I think the reaction will be quick and being very, very different like we have shown in the last two matches against Leicester and today.”
Villa have an opportunity to put it right against Everton at Goodison Park next Saturday, and Emery will hope that an away game can help rediscover the positive things that we were doing when he first arrived given how strong we’ve generally been on the road.
It’s a big test for the individuals involved now though too, as if they continue to struggle to execute the gameplan and can’t provide Emery with what he is demanding on the pitch, then it will lead to scrutiny and pressure over their respective places in the side.
The Spaniard has spoken about this being a process and learning more about his players, and while there were certainly positives to take from our performance on Saturday as we deserved to take something from the game, there is still much that Emery isn’t happy with based on his reaction this week.
It’s the first time that his frustration and disappointment has been obvious, and he’ll hope to find solutions this week to ensure we bounce back next Saturday.
Unai Emery's thoughts following #AVLARS… pic.twitter.com/gYpuEn8kpt
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) February 18, 2023
"I've NEVER told my goalkeeper to go score one goal in 90th minute."
Safe to say Unai Emery wasn't best pleased with Emi Martínez this afternoon 😳 pic.twitter.com/xeMhgJdOhD
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 18, 2023