Unai Emery was pictured taking his first Aston Villa training session on Wednesday morning

Unai Emery takes his FIRST training session as Aston Villa manager ahead of his side’s home clash against Man United on Sunday after being forced to wait for a work permit

  • Unai Emery was pictured taking his first training session as Aston Villa manager
  • Emery officially started the position on Tuesday due to work permit formalities 
  • The Spaniard took over from Steven Gerrard who was sacked by Villa last month 
  • His first match as boss will be against Manchester United at Villa Park on Sunday

Unai Emery took his first training session as Aston Villa manager on Wednesday morning ahead of the club’s weekend clash against Manchester United at Villa Park.

The Spaniard, who left Villarreal to join the west Midlands club following Steven Gerrard’s departure last month, was not able to take over until November 1 due to work permit formalities. 

Emery and his coaching team held a training session at Bodymoor Heath on Wednesday, eager to begin preparations ahead of Sunday’s home clash against the Red Devils.

Unai Emery was pictured taking his first Aston Villa training session on Wednesday morning

Unai Emery was pictured taking his first Aston Villa training session on Wednesday morning

The 50-year-old manager only took charge of Villa on Tuesday due to work permit formalities

The 50-year-old manager only took charge of Villa on Tuesday due to work permit formalities

Although most of the training seemed to involve Emery addressing his Aston Villa players from the sidelines, the 50-year-old also got involved with some ball-playing of his own during the session, pictured passing the ball with his left foot while striker Ollie Watkins watched on intently. 

Aston Villa, who suffered a miserable 4-0 defeat by high-flyers Newcastle on Saturday, axed former boss Gerrard after a series of disappointing results in the Premier League.

His reign ended soon after Aston Villa were thrashed 3-0 by Premier League newcomers Fulham on October 20.

Emery was appointed just four days after Gerrard’s departure but was unable to take over straight away, handing Aaron Danks the role on a caretaker basis.

Emery - pictured alongside Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins - too training at Bodymoor Heath

Emery – pictured alongside Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins – too training at Bodymoor Heath

The former Villarreal head coach takes over from Steven Gerrard who was sacked last month

The former Villarreal head coach takes over from Steven Gerrard who was sacked last month

The former Arsenal manager enjoyed a successful spell at Villarreal after returning to LaLiga in 2020, leading the Spanish side to Europa League glory in 2021 and the Champions League semi-finals in the following year.

After hosting Manchester United in the Premier League this weekend, Aston Villa travel to Old Trafford to face Erik ten Hag’s side again in the third round of the EFL Cup next Thursday.  

Centre-back Tyrone Mings, who was stripped of captaincy and then axed by Gerrard for the first match of the season, admitted Emery’s appointment was ‘exciting’.

He said to The Athletic last week: ‘It’s unnerving because it’s not as easy as saying everything is going to be amazing now there’s a new manager.

Tyrone Mings admitted that Aston Villa's decision to appoint the Spanish boss was 'exciting'

Tyrone Mings admitted that Aston Villa’s decision to appoint the Spanish boss was ‘exciting’

Gerrard was axed by Aston Villa after the club's miserable 3-0 defeat by Fulham last month

Gerrard was axed by Aston Villa after the club’s miserable 3-0 defeat by Fulham last month

‘You also have to prove yourself again. But it’s exciting because of what he has done with the Villarreal players and the big results he has achieved.

‘That to me is the sign of a manager… that he can really squeeze every last bit of motivation, emotion, energy and enthusiasm out of the players he’s working with. 

‘He must be doing something very well between Monday to Friday to make the players really want to play for him and believe in what he is doing, and every 90 minutes, really go to the well for him.’

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