Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Gary O’Neil recently appeared on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, where he acknowledged the formidable nature of local rivals Aston Villa under the leadership of manager Unai Emery. Following Villa’s impressive 4-1 victory over West Ham United, which placed them just two points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and Arsenal, O’Neil commented on their performance.
During the international break, Wolves managed to secure a 1-1 draw against Villa at Molineux. However, O’Neil emphasized the challenges posed by Emery’s team to any opposing side. He noted that Villa’s ability to lure defenders into their own box is a key part of their strategy, creating space for players like Ollie Watkins to exploit on the flanks. He also highlighted their adaptability, with the ability to play through opponents or utilize players like Moussa Diaby and Watkins to exploit spaces behind the defense, making it a tough task to thwart their offensive prowess.
Despite Villa’s strong league position, Wolves have also shown resilience in their recent matches. They secured an unexpected win against reigning champions Manchester City and followed it up with a draw against Villa, along with a 2-1 victory over O’Neil’s former club, Bournemouth, on Saturday.