UNAI EMERY’s plan to beat Manchester United was so top secret that he didn’t even tell his own players until just before kick-off.
Aston Villa forward Ollie Watkins revealed new boss Emery left them in the dark on Sunday – by only naming his team on the day of the game.
Ex-Arsenal manager Emery took charge for the first time – and watched Villa score a comfortable 3-1 win over Manchester United.
The Spaniard set up a 4-2-2-2 formation he’d never used before – and United caught a nap.
But Watkins admitted the Spaniard kept the squad in the dark until the last minute.
He said: “No one had any idea who was playing.
“It was a guessing game, but everyone got into it and we all got involved.
“We got to know the team at our team meeting, which took place around 11:30 am.
“Some people leave it late, but usually previous managers did it the day before or let you know in some way.
“But no matter what team he fielded, it would be the same result at the end of the day.
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“Everyone worked hard, was willing to work hard and bought into the game plan.”
According to Watkins, Emery’s style of football differs from what they played before.
Steven Gerrard was sacked last month after a poor start to the season.
Watkins added: “Before that there was a lot of long balls for me and Danny Ings and we struggled with the defenders.
“We spent a lot of energy fighting.
“Now when the ball comes into us because the defenders take time on the ball and we make more passes, it’s easier for us because we have more time.
“It was more like taking your time on the ball, sucking it in, then giving others time on the ball.
“It was 4-4-2 and we weren’t overwhelmed with information.
“Against the big teams, I don’t know why, we seem to be performing well. But we have to do that every week.”
“We didn’t just win on Sunday, we won in style and it wasn’t one of the ones where we made it.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6624356/unai-emery-aston-villa-top-secret-plan-man-utd/ Unai Emery’s plan to beat Man Utd was so top secret he only told Aston Villa players just before kick-off