Unai Emery’s Impressive Nomination Month
When you surveyed the month of April in terms of Aston Villa progressing up the table into the European qualification spots, the fact they had to face seven fixtures in the space of a month looked daunting. Key injuries were mounting up and towards the backend of the month, it was filled with matches against teams in the top-half, all battling for European football.
Fast forward to now and Unai Emery can look back on his April achievements with a sense of pride and has rightly been nominated as a candidate for April’s Premier League Manager of the Month.
Working with a small match day squad, which made up the bench numbers with youth team players and two reserve goalkeepers, Villa won five out of the seven games and only lost away to Champions League bound United (P7 W5 D1 L1 GD+8), whose only home lose this season came on the opening day.
The highlight of the month was undoubtedly the 3-0 win over Newcastle United at Villa Park, which quite easily could have been six or seven. It is also Newcastle’s only defeat in their last nine games.
It was a month that Emery led Villa to 5th in the table and on a 10-game unbeaten run (with eight wins).
Other Premier League Manager of the Month Contenders
Also, nominated for April’s Premier League Manager of the Month is Pep Guardiola with five wins out of five (P5 W5 D0 L0 GD+12) with Manchester City. Ask yourself though, could he have done what Emery did in April with Villa’s squad?
Eddie Howe’s record with Newcastle in the month, produced more points than Villa did, with a record of P7 W6 D0 L1 GD+14. But the fact Howe’s only loss was to Emery, surely raises a question mark of him deserving it more than the man that beat him?
In terms of the context of where their team was before the month of April began, Bournemouth’s Gary O’Neil certainly deserves considering, with his decent record of P7 W5 D0 L2 GD+1 in April. There was an impressive 3-2 win at Spurs in that bunch too, but everybody’s been beating Spurs recently.
The last time four-time winner Roy Hodgson won the award was back in 2010. In terms of context, being nominated at the age of 75-years-old is pretty inspirational for us all. Hats off to him. His April record of P6 W4 D1 L1 GD+6 blasted Crystal Palace away from the relegation zone, but he’s had distinctly easier fixtures than Palace’s previous manager Patrick Veira faced in his final weeks at the club.
Vote for Unai Emery
While MOMS is very wary of the Manager of the Month curse that tends to follow winning the award, you can vote for Emery here.
To be honest with you, I would prefer Villa to win all their four games in May and for Emery to win the Manager of the Month for May instead.