Unai Emery hits the ground running with Aston Villa in the Premier League

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Unai Emery arrived in November at an Aston Villa side in crisis. Fifth from bottom, one point above the relegation zone, Villa's inconsistency saw Steven Gerrard lose his job and seemed to end any hope of getting towards the top six.

The sale of Jack Grealish (117.5 million euros) to Manchester City in 2021 had injected cash into a historic club that invested 200m euros in Emiliano Buendia (38.4m euros), Leon Bailey (32m euros), Diego Carlos (31m euros), Lucas Digne (30m euros), Danny Ings (29.42m euros), Philippe Coutinho (20m euros), Leander Dendoncker (15m euros) and Boubacar Kamara (free).

However, they did not compete until the former Villarreal man arrived.

"My challenge is to create a team, to build an idea of the game at this club," said Emery, who since his arrival at Villa Park has turned the seven-time English League and 1982 European Cup winners around.

"I said to the players that we have to be patient and calm."

"We are on the right path to build the team I want. If you want to beat the top six clubs you have to be disciplined in defence and effective in front of goal."

Aston Villa's positive numbers

The win over Spurs was Villa's third in four games under their new manager. Before that, they had beaten Manchester United (3-1) and Brighon (1-2) and only lost to Liverpool (1-3).

The nine points from a possible 12 under Emery are only bettered in this period by Arsenal and Liverpool (12) and Newcastle (10).

They are Champions League numbers for a Spanish coach who has achieved the same number of wins (three) in four games as Gerrard did in 13.

They have gone from being on the verge of relegation to being seven points above the drop zone and another seven points away from the European places.

With a January in which they will likely improve their squad, the horizon has cleared for Villa.

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