Emery claims he ‘had to take’ Aston Villa role as he looks for a ‘sports challenge’

New Aston Villa manager Unai Emery insisted he had to take the job after bidding farewell to Spanish side Villarreal.

The former Arsenal boss will officially start work at Villa Park on November 1, once he has finalised a work permit, after agreeing to leave Villarreal.

He had spent two years with the Yellow Submarine, winning the Europa League in 2021, but believes Villa was too good a chance to turn down.

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He told a final press conference in Spain: “Here I have felt something of heart again, but the profession is within me.

“This one, I have considered that I had to take it, as a sports challenge, as a different project.

“It is a personal and professional decision. I left home at the age of 24 and opened myself up to the professional world of football with all the consequences.”

Emery joins Villa with the club 15th in the Premier League after they sacked manager Steven Gerrard last week.

Caretaker Aaron Danks guided the side to a 4-0 win over Brentford on Sunday and is due to be in charge again for Saturday’s trip to Newcastle.

Emery rejected a move to St James’ Park last year as he wanted to continue Villarreal’s Champions League journey.

But his appointment has not convinced everyone with former Rangers striker Ally McCoist insisting that Emery “doesn’t excite” him.

McCoist told talkSPORT: “I’m not [convinced] and it’s wrong because he’s a good manager and a good coach, but it just doesn’t excite me.

“I don’t know why I’m saying that, it might be a little bit unfair because he’s got a great record and I’d be interested to hear the Arsenal fans’ opinions on him because he can clearly manage and he can certainly coach and he’s successful, I’m just not sure that it excites me for the Villa fans.

“I hope they go on and do well, I really do. Is it a good move? Probably. Is it an exciting move? No.”

Fellow pundit Danny Murphy added: “In the Premier League he had a little spell at Arsenal where it all went well and then the wheels came off and I saw a very tactically ill-disciplined Arsenal team in that no one seemed to know what they were doing and they were all over the place.

“The one thing that I would say I’ve seen in his teams with Villarreal, Sevilla and his Arsenal team at times, they do play good football and they do try to win games.

“I don’t think that Villa fans have to worry about that, they’ll play the right way and he’ll try to win football matches. He’s not the pragmatic type and so that’s a positive in terms of a spectacle, but maybe he has learned.

“We’ve seen Marco Silva this year at Fulham produce a team that’s adaptable compared and has learned from times during previous spells in this league so I’ll give anybody a fair crack of the whip.

“I just thought that it was a little bit left-field to get somebody whose last job in this league was deemed a failure.”

READ MORE: Emery never stood a chance at Arsenal. And England have to take Maddison to Qatar…