Wolverhampton Wanderers’ manager, Gary O’Neil, recently made an appearance on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football. During his appearance, he acknowledged the formidable nature of local rivals Aston Villa under the guidance of manager Unai Emery. This acknowledgment followed Villa’s impressive 4-1 victory over West Ham United, which positioned them just two points behind the Premier League leaders, Manchester City and Arsenal. O’Neil provided insights into their performance.
Wolves managed to secure a 1-1 draw against Villa at Molineux during the international break. However, O’Neil stressed the challenges posed by Emery’s team to any opposing side. He specifically noted Villa’s ability to draw defenders into their own penalty area, a strategic move that creates space for players like Ollie Watkins to exploit on the flanks. Additionally, O’Neil highlighted their adaptability, which allows them to either play through their opponents or utilize players such as Moussa Diaby and Watkins to exploit spaces behind the defense. This multifaceted offensive strategy makes it a challenging task to impede their attacking prowess.
Despite Villa’s strong position in the league, Wolves have also displayed resilience in their recent matches. They secured an unexpected victory against the reigning champions, Manchester City, followed by a draw against Villa and a 2-1 victory over O’Neil’s former club, Bournemouth, on the subsequent Saturday.