Aston Villa v Arsenal: the Unai Emery factor



By Bulldog Drummond

So off we go again, trying to see what will happen in the game, a day before it happens.  Our review of Manchester City’s comparatively poor away form this season had suggested in the last match that Arsenal stood a good chance – but as we have seen that was not so.  The poor run outdid the poor away form.

Which suggests we ought to apply more weight to the current form home and away, as well as looking at the relative form of the two teams in each match preview.  So let’s see what happens with the Villa game.  Here’s the last six games table and it is not looking very bright from Arsenal’s point of view.


Premier League Form (Last 6)
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Brentford 6 4 2 0 11 2 9 14
2 Manchester City 6 4 0 2 14 7 7 12
3 Brighton and Hove 6 3 2 1 13 8 5 11
4 Manchester Utd 6 3 2 1 11 8 3 11
5 Nottingham Forest 6 3 2 1 6 4 2 11
6 Fulham 6 3 1 2 5 3 2 10
7 Wolverhampton W 6 3 1 2 7 6 1 10
8 Aston Villa 6 3 1 2 9 9 0 10
9 Tottenham Ho 6 3 0 3 9 10 -1 9
10 Newcastle United 6 1 5 0 3 2 1 8
11 Arsenal 6 2 2 2 7 7 0 8


So yes in terms of the last six games Arsenal are doing better than Liverpool and Chelsea, but that really isn’t good enough for a team aiming to be in the Champions League next season.   Clearly, the club needs to start winning again and quickly.

If we look at the last ten games Arsenal rise up to fifth with Villa in ninth, but it seems that the last six is a better indicator of what might happen, and that doesn’t give too much hope of a resounding victory.

In terms of a home and away analysis across the whole season Arsenal are obviously a fair way ahead of Villa – if only the form across the whole season can be maintained as opposed to the form in recent games…


Team P W D L F A GD Pts
12 Aston Villa home 11 5 2 4 17 15 2 17
1 Arsenal away 11 8 1 2 20 7 13 25


Another clue can come from Aston Villa’s form against the Big Seven teams this season…They have beaten Manchester United – although on 6 November last year Man U were fifth in the league as opposed to third at the moment.  The victory over Tottenham came when Villa were 17th and Tottenham third prior to the game – so they can defeat teams who have been doing ok, even when they have not.


Date Match Result Score
31 Aug 2022 Arsenal v Aston Villa L 2-1
03 Sep 2022 Aston Villa v Manchester City D 1-1
16 Oct 2022 Aston Villa v Chelsea L 0-2
29 Oct 2022 Newcastle United v Aston Villa L 4-0
06 Nov 2022 Aston Villa v Manchester United W 3-1
26 Dec 2022 Aston Villa v Liverpool L 1-3
01 Jan 2023 Tottenham Hotspur v Aston Villa W 0-2
12 Feb 2023 Manchester City v Aston Villa L 3-1


Looking at Villa’s last six home games we find three wins (against Brentford, Manchester United and Leeds United), two defeats (to Liverpool and Leicester) and a draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers.  Villa have scored 13 and conceded 10.

So they are, in all analyses a middle-of-the-table team, by and large performing as a mid-table team.   Arsenal, on the other hand, are a second-in-the-table team performing as a mid-table team, and that of course is what has to change if there is to be any success in this match.  Everything comes down to Arsenal shaking off their form in the last four games….


Date Match Result Score Competition
27 Jan 2023 Manchester City v Arsenal L 1-0 FA Cup
04 Feb 2023 Everton v Arsenal L 1-0 Premier League
11 Feb 2023 Arsenal v Brentford D 1-1 Premier League
15 Feb 2023 Arsenal v Manchester City L 1-3 Premier League


The run will end sooner or later, but the season’s final outcome depends how soon or how late.   Much of the situation is psychological – after seven league and cup games containing six wins and a draw with Newcastle, we have had three defeats and a draw as shown above, in which Arsenal have scored just two goals.

Overall this season Arsenal have scored almost twice as many goals as Aston Villa in the league, and conceded 39% fewer goals than Villa giving Arsenal a goal difference of +26 and Villa a GD of -8.   But the factor our tables and analyses can never show directly is confidence against nervousness, and recent form suggests Villa will see Arsenal as being there for the taking while Arsenal will be nervous about the run continuing.

Unai Emery as a manager does not have a good reputation in England, having been sacked by Arsenal after a run of 11 league games with just one win (and that away to West Ham).  But we shouldn’t forget that in the previous season he took Arsenal on a run of 10 wins, four draws and no defeats from August to December.  He might have a trick or two up his sleeve.

2 Replies to “Aston Villa v Arsenal: the Unai Emery factor”

  1. Unai Emery is clearly an accomplished manager and coach. He was not shown proper respect by English media, who mocked his English speech. This from journalists who probably could not speak a word of any other language, never mind conduct press conferences within a few days of arriving in a new job in an unfamiliar country.

    I wish him success at Aston Villa (starting after this weekend)

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