Aston Villa in Premier League: Can Unai Emery End in Top Four?
After finishing 7th in the Premier League last season, Aston Villa have emerged as one of the most prolific clubs in the Premier League. They have had one of the best finishes in the English championship and have continued in the same manner this season. Led spectacularly by Unai Emery, the Villans have the potential to finish in the top four.
Aston Villa in Premier League currently ranks third, which is something that nobody ever thought would happen. Can they keep things up in the same manner and finish at least a step further than last season? Or do they really have the potential to upset the top clubs in England?
It All Started with Gerrard Leaving
Liverpool legend Stephen Gerrard was a tremendous player. But he has yet to prove himself in the top flight of English football. He had success in Scotland with Rangers, as he not only managed to upset the long-term champion and rival Celtic, but he also managed to reach the 2022 Europa League final.
But the Premier League is a different beast. After being appointed as Aston Villa’s manager, he really did not have a lot of success and was let go after winning only two of their 12 opening games during the 2022/23 Premier League season.
In stepped Unai Emery, the former Arsenal and Villarreal coach, who did not have the success everyone expected him to have with the Gunners during his first spell in England. But the Basque coach managed to transform the Villans into a lethal force.
He would win 15 out of 25 games with Villa, amassing 49 points out of a possible 75. He would finish 7th, which is Aston Villa’s best record since the 2009/10 season when they ended in 6th place.
Aston Villa Premier League History
Aston Villa have never won the Premier League. But they have seven First Division titles, with the latest coming in 1980/81. Since the establishment of the EPL, Villa have finished 2nd only once. They have had only a single top-four finish since then, namely in 1998/99.
Since then, Villa were mainly a mid-level club in the Premier League. Aston Villa in league table was seen in the upper part a few times, but it did not last for very long. The downfall came in the 2015/16 season, when they finished dead last and were relegated to the Championship.
After spending three seasons in the Championship, they came back to the top flight. But essentially played for survival each time. That is until the last season when they surpassed expectations and ended up in 7th place. The Villans also managed to qualify for the Europa Conference League, becoming one of the favourites to win the competition.
Can Villa Finish in the Top Four?
After the recent Aston Villa Premier League fixtures, the club has climbed to third place. They only have a single loss in their last 11 fixtures and have most recently defeated Manchester City by 1:0.
Even though Villa had a stellar preseason and showed great potential from the start, they lost two important players very early. Emiliano Buendia hasn’t played a single game this season. While Tyrone Mings got injured in the opening game of the season. It didn’t help that they lost their opening game against Newcastle by 5-1.
But something clicked and Villa started rolling. Olie Watkins continued where he left in the previous season, and began adding assists as well. Ezri Konsa filled in Mings’ shoes, while Douglas Luiz became one of the best-scoring defensive midfielders in the league.
If the season were to end today, Villa would be the best team in the league. Nevertheless, we still believe that they have the strength to finish as high as number four. Also, potentially go to the Champions League.