Will Nakamba revive under Unai Emery?

Aston Villa announced the appointment of their new coach Unai Emery on Monday on a long term contract.

The former Villarreal gaffer replaced Steven Gerrard, who was sacked last Thursday for failing to produce convincing results.

Emery will officially begin his reign on November 1 after completing all the formalities of his work permit.

Coaching Style

Emery has earned a reputation for building teams with both limited and near-limitless budgets.

The 50-year-old prefers to use the 4-4-2 – double 6 and the 4-2-3-1 formations.

Both formations have two central midfielders – the traditional number 6s but their roles are split to balance the defence and the attack.

One of the “number sixes” is more offensively oriented and is often unmarked in the midfield, and is responsible for creating the play if his team is in possession of the ball.

The other “number six” is responsible for the holding midfielder’s role and is actively involved when his side is fighting to winning possession.

However, the two players are supposed to swap their roles in the system of play time and time again, in order to become less predictable.

Can Marvelous Nakamba revive under Unai Emery?

Marvelous Nakamba has struggled under previous coaches since his arrival at the Villa Park in 2019.

Under Dean Smith, the Zimbabwean international was initially a regular in the Villa first XI but dropped behind Douglas Luiz, who took the central midfield role.

Smith preferred the double-6 system which would require a creative central midfield to get involve in the attack and defence.

When Steven Gerrard took over the reins, Nakamba started enjoying regular game time again but a long-term injury saw him losing his first team berth.

Gerrard’s style suited Nakamba as the player’s would play as a defensive midfielder where he could provide protection for the back four as a holding midfielder without swapping to the attacking role anytime in the game.

When he recovered from the injury, the Warriors international failed to dislodge new signing Boubacar Kamara, while Luiz would stand as the second option in that position.

Since his arrival at Villa Park three years ago, Nakamba has often received criticism for lacking the attacking ability and would always stay behind the ball.

This has proven to be his biggest weakness and the new coach’s system could affect his output like what happened during Dean Smith’s tenure.

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