At Aston Villa, Unai Emery has been a revelation. It feels like an eternity ago when he was appointed in November, with the club just three points above the relegation zone. Under Steven Gerrard, the club floundered, and while Dean Smith’s effort in getting them promoted to the Premier League and then maintaining them there was remarkable, Emery has converted the sleeping giant into a European contender.
Aston Villa, the new offside trap champions in the Premier League!
It’s time for great European coaches to seize teams by the scruff of the neck. Instill their mentality, and get them punching above their weight. Consider Mikel Arteta and Roberto De Zerbi.The high defensive line has been an intriguing cornerstone of Villa’s recovery. A tactical attempt to press up the pitch and catch teams offside as much as possible. In the last 14 games, Villa has caught the opposition offside 63 times.
Villa has won more offsides than the opposition in every league game since Emery’s arrival, except two (Arsenal and Manchester City). This is not by chance. Aston Villa caught Tottenham Hotspur offside nine times three weeks ago. A high defensive line’s function prevents you from relying on defensive actions as the ball approaches the goal.