What’s the word?
According to Football Insider, Villa are sounding out former Arsenal manager Unai Emery over the manager’s role, alongside Mauricio Pochettino.
US owners NWSE appear to be keeping their options open when it comes to a managerial change, despite the Englishman being in charge for less than a year.
Pressure has been mounting on Gerrard due to the poor form that Villa are currently in, with just two Premier League wins this season, and the owners could well make a change if this doesn’t improve before the World Cup.
Emery would be a good choice for Villa
The Spaniard, who is currently in charge of La Liga side Villarreal, would be a good appointment for the Midlands club if they did decide on a managerial change.
The 50-year-old came to prominence by leading Sevilla to three successive Europa League titles before joining the PSG juggernaut.
His spell in France, albeit domestically successful with seven trophies won, failed to produce any European trophies and he announced he was leaving in the summer of 2018 due to his contract not being renewed.
Italian midfielder Marco Verratti lavished praise on Emery in 2017 following the French side’s performance against Barcelona in the Champions League, saying: “The coach deserves the praise for this performance, as he made everything work perfectly.”
A move to Arsenal in 2018 led to another Europa League final during his debut campaign, but a defeat to Chelsea plus poor results during the first half of his second season led to his dismissal as head coach in November 2019.
The Spaniard appears to have rejuvenated himself during his spell at Villarreal, leading them to their first-ever major honour by winning the 2021 Europa League and reaching a Champions League semi-final last season.
Emery has a 54.28% win percentage across his managerial career, winning 393 matches which is an excellent statistic, however, it is his ability to guide his teams to success that could convince Villa he would be the right man for the job.
Will Aston Villa sack Gerrard before the World Cup?
Gerrard does have that winning mentality, especially with leading Rangers to their first league title in a decade in 2021, but it is beginning to look like he is out of his depth in the Premier League.
The next six weeks could be pivotal for the 42-year-old and NWSE look like they will be ruthless if results don’t pick up.
And, should Gerrard ultimately get the bullet, Emery very much looks as if he would be a prime candidate to make everything work perfectly at Villa.