Villa Know They Have A Lot To Learn After Brentford Misstep

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Aston Villa manager Unai Emery basically had a dream impact upon his arrival at Villa Park, with the former European Champions and one time Premier League ever presents looking destined for relegation again, following their ill fated gamble on Steven Gerrard.

Despite not having the full 2022/23 campaign to work with as he took the job on in November, he took the Villans swiftly from 16th place in the table, with two wins in their first eleven matches, straight into Europe for the first time in a donkey’s age. 15 straight wins from 25 league matches was a phenomenal turn in form, and only Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool secured more points following his arrival.

The Gerrard gamble was costly, and the club owners rightly threw their weight behind Emery’s judgement with a complete restructure off the pitch to further enable his vision, and it has proven to be the right decision.

The Midlands side are currently sat in fourth place in the table, and not long ago they were tipped as very unexpected potential title challengers. The title talk was nonsense as everyone in the wider world of football would have acknowledged, but being sat in fourth place in April is nothing short of incredible given how far their have come under the Spaniard and the improvement that they have shown.

Champions League would be a dream result for them this year and few could argue they were not deserving given their results throughout the season so far, but this weekend’s match against Brentford just serves to show how far they still need to go when it comes to being genuine challengers, which is undoubtedly their owners aim given their expenditure so far.

Whilst it does not change their progress, England striker Ollie Watkins summed up the Brentford draw perfectly – when it comes to really competing, they are inexperienced, often naive, and they still have a lot to learn.

Having established a comfortable two goal lead, a mental ten minutes saw the side capitulate and fall 3-2 down as they failed to regroup and calm themselves. Villa fans will note they rallied to get the point, but it really should have been all three.

“It’s frustrating. We lacked that big-team mentality where they kill games off which is really disappointing.”

Fans would point to their injury situation right now, but Watkins is right, if Villa are to take the next step they now know the additional lessons they need to learn. Whether or not they learn them remains to be seen.

But if we can judge Emery’s impact so far, if players do not learn quickly, they will not be around for long.

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