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Aston Villa appoint Unai Emery as head coach

Danny Higginbotham and Robbie Earle share their instant reactions to Aston Villa's decision to tab Unai Emery as Steven Gerrard's successor.

Following the departure of Steven Gerrard last Thursday, Aston Villa named former Arsenal and current Villarreal boss Unai Emery the club’s new manager on Monday, effective Nov. 1.

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Emery had been at Villarreal since July 2020, eight months after he left Arsenal and was replaced by Mikel Arteta. Since returning to Spain Emery has added another Europa League trophy to his honors list, having beaten Manchester United on penalty kicks in the 2022-21 final in Gdansk, Poland.

Per the club, Unai Emery is set to take over on Nov. 1 after his work permit formalities are completed.

Aston Villa sit 14th (12 points) in the Premier League after 12 games. Gerrard was fired after a 3-0 defeat to newly promoted Fulham. With assistant manager Aaron Danks installed as interim manager for Sunday’s game against Brentford, Aston Villa won 4-0 on the back of three goals in the opening 15 minutes. It was just the second time all season Aston Villa had scored multiple goals in a game (and the first since matchweek 2, on Aug. 13).

Danks will remain in charge for Saturday’s clash with 5th-place Newcastle at St. Jame’s Park, before Emery resumes total control of the first-team squad ahead of his debut on Nov. 6, at home against Manchester United.

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