Emery has ninth-best start in the Premier League in 35 games at Villa

REVEALED: Unai Emery has had the ninth-best start in Premier League history after 35 games at Aston Villa… with Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Arsene Wenger not even in the top 10

  • Unai Emery took over from Steven Gerrard at the end of October in 2022
  • In his first 35 games at Aston Villa he picked up a hugely impressive 71 points
  • Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Kicking Off!’ 

Unai Emery’s arrival at Aston Villa has evidently precipitated a transformation in not just the success of the club, but their stature on the European stage despite his thus far short tenure – but perhaps we underestimate quite the impact he has had. 

Emery inherited an ailing Villans side from Steven Gerrard, with the threat of relegation dangling agonisingly in front of them after two wins by the end of October 2022, needing immediate results to kickstart their revival. 

You need only look at the numbers to see that is just what Emery has done. Not only did he save them from demotion but he took them all the way up the table into the UEFA Conference League, just a point off Europa League Brighton. 

Seagulls boss Roberto de Zerbi received plenty of plaudits himself for his own start on the South Coast, but Emery has in fact picked up the more points since starting his tenure – leading the Italian by four. 

Here Mail Sport take a look at where Emery’s start ranks against other managers in Premier League history, with some huge absentees that have gone on to achieve unfathomable feats in the top-flight.

Unai Emery’s start at Aston Villa has been transformative taking the Villans up into Europe

Emery’s side finished seventh at the end of last term having won just twice by the time he joined at the end of October 2022

Your browser does not support iframes.

Many could be forgiven for underestimating Emery; his reputation in England had taken a sizeable hit with his failed spell at Arsenal, which crumbled towards the end with communication issues thought to be a key issue at the Emirates. 

Yet the Basque manager went away, won the Europa League with Villarreal and put together a strong Champions League run with the perennial LaLiga under-achievers, and returned with his stock largely rebuilt. 

It was a sizeable job that he returned to the Premier League to do, but he has excelled himself in the last year, picking up an astonishing 71 points in his first 35 games in charge at the club. 

That translates to 2.02 per/game – which would have been enough to win the Premier League in two of the 31 campaigns to date – which is extraordinarily impressive when you consider the comparative squads and finances of Villa.

There will be many a Villa fan wondering just how high their club could have finished in 2022-23 had Emery been in the dugout for the whole season, and taking his points-per-game tally into account, they may have notched a third-place finish – 1.76 points ahead of Man United’s 75 points last term. 

In fact, it’s enough to rank Emery as ninth on the list of the 10 managers to have the most points after the 35-game mark in their Premier League careers, with five of the eight above him going on to win the league that year. 

Perhaps surprisingly, the top three managers all came from Chelsea – with five of the 10 Blues bosses – with Jose Mourinho leading the way by four clear points on 88 after his first spell at Stamford Bridge brought instant success. 

Mourinho is followed by fellow league-topping coaches Antonio Conte (84) – who is the only manager to feature twice from two different spells at two clubs – and Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti on 77. 

Ancelotti is tied with Manuel Pellegrini with the Chilean having an equally impressive start in his first term at Manchester City after arriving from Malaga, with the ‘Tinkerman’ himself Claudio Ranieri (76) making up the top five with that campaign of campaigns he orchestrated at Leicester in 2015-16. 

Emery’s points-per-game ratio would have seen Villa finish third in last season’s league standings

Jose Mourinho leads the way after his stunning introduction to the Premier League at Chelsea with Claudio Ranieri finishing fifth

Antonio Conte’s start at Chelsea ranks him second, with his first 35 games at Tottenham enough to make the list a second time in eighth

Behind the Foxes legend comes Avram Grant, who had only 32 games in charge of Chelsea but still racked up a creditable 32 points, with Thomas Tuchel seventh on 74, with his run in charge curtailed by Todd Boehly’s axe at the start of 2022-23. 

Conte’s start with Tottenham was strong enough to rank eighth in the standings with 73 points – although as impressive the beginning of his reign was, the climax was just as explosive. 

Emery’s 71 are enough to rank him ninth, one point ahead of fellow Villa manager John Gregory, who managed a surprising 70 points in his opening salvo of 35 games at Villa Park. 

As a result, the likes of Pep Guardiola (65), Arsene Wenger (60), and Jurgen Klopp (58) who all miss out, despite the undeniable success they managed at each of Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool respectively. 

Arsene Wenger went on to become the only manager to win the Premier League unbeaten but won just 60 points in his first 35 games

Jurgen Klopp ended Liverpool’s 30-year wait for a top-flight title after a trying start picking up 58 points in his 35 first games in charge

At this rate Pep Guardiola might go down as the best the league has ever seen, but misses out on the top 10 with only 68 points


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

Your browser does not support iframes.

Source: Read Full Article