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New head coaches revealed at Aston Villa and Middlesbrough

New head coaches were revealed at Premier League side Aston Villa in Unai Emery and Michael Carrick at Championship outfit Middlesbrough.

Emery, who had a spell as Arsenal manager between 2018 and 2019, replaces Steven Gerrard, who was sacked last week and will begin his new role from the 1st of November after his work permit formalities are completed.

The former Gunners manager departs Spanish side Villarreal, who he guided to Champions League semi-finals last season and the Europa League title the previous year.

Emery also managed Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla, where he won three consecutive Europa League titles between 2013 and 2016.

His first match in charge will therefore be a home fixture against Manchester United, with caretaker manager Aaron Danks expected to lead the side against Newcastle this weekend.

Under Danks, Villa thrashed Brentford 4-0 on Sunday in their first match since sacking Gerrard, who struggled to improve the side despite significant backing in the transfer market in the last two windows.


Aston Villa is delighted to announce the appointment of Unai Emery as the club’s new Head Coach.

Unai joins from Villarreal, whom he led to Europa League success by beating Manchester United in the final in 2021 as well as the semi-finals of the Champions League last season.

A highly experienced top level coach who has managed over 900 games, Unai has also previously managed in the Premier League during a spell with Arsenal, leading the Gunners to a Europa League final.

He has also enjoyed notable success at Sevilla and at Paris Saint Germain. In Seville, he won three successive Europa League titles between 2013 and 2016 before going on to lift a Ligue 1 championship in France as well as two French Cups, two French League Cups and two Trophée des Champions.

Unai will take over from November 1st after his work permit formalities are completed.

Jamie Carragher speaking on Monday Night Football shortly before Emery was appointed: “I think it would be a fantastic appointment. I’m a huge fan of Unai Emery. He’s had a lot of success with teams just below the elite, almost fighting against the biggest clubs.

“It didn’t go quite so well with him at Arsenal but if you look what he did at Villarreal – Europa League winners and you look at how far they pushed Liverpool in the Champions League. He was brilliant at Valencia, always getting them into the Champions League places.

“I don’t think he’s the type of manager for Barcelona and Real Madrid – and I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way – but for a Valencia and an Aston Villa and for clubs who are trying to compete against teams who have more money, he gets his teams really organised and he’s a super coach.

“Maybe not for the biggest names in the planet but, for Aston Villa right now, I think he’d be a great appointment.”

Meanwhile, Championship strugglers Middlesbrough have brought in former Manchester United and England midfielder Michael Carrick as head coach.

The 41-year-old has been unemployed since leaving Old Trafford after a three-game stint as temporary boss after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal.

They had been without a permanent manager since Chris Wilder was sacked, with Leo Percovich in interim charge.

Carrick’s first game will be at Preston in the Championship on Saturday and had recently said it was not the right time for him to return to football, however has since had a change of heart after a positive second round of talks.

It is also a return to the north-east of England for Carrick, having been born in Newcastle.


The club is delighted to announce the appointment of Michael Carrick as Head Coach.
Michael brings a wealth of experience to the club having spent 12 years as a player at Manchester United before coaching and caretaker managing the Old Trafford club.

The 41-year-old, one of the most decorated English players of all-time, joined Manchester United’s coaching staff in 2018 following his retirement as a player.

He worked with Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before being asked to take on the number one job on a caretaker basis. The 41-year-old’s three games at the helm produced wins against Villareal and Arsenal, and a draw at Chelsea.

“We’re delighted to welcome Michael to the club,” said Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson.

“We had identified a number of potentials for the vacancy who we spoke with, and were impressed by all, but Michael was the outstanding candidate.

“Michael has the same values as the club, and we are very much aligned in our ambitions.

“We see Michael as the perfect fit for us and he believes this is the right club at the right time.”

The former England international is a five-time Premier League winner and also won the Champions League and Europa League while at Old Trafford.

“I’m really excited to be here and to be part of a club with such a deep history and tradition,” said Carrick.

“Middlesbrough was the first professional club I played for as a nine-year old boy, so it’s a very special feeling to be back here as a head coach.

“Growing up in the north-east myself I’m fully aware of what football means to people. It’s a real privilege for me to be in this position and to feel all the passion and enthusiasm you’ve got for the game and for Boro.

“I’ll give everything to help develop the team and keep moving the club forward and make you the supporters proud.

“I can’t wait to get started.”

Michael will be joined by Jonathan Woodgate as First Team Coach with a further appointment expected.

Woodgate was previously the club’s Head Coach after cutting his teeth with the Under-18s and he also guided AFC Bournemouth to the Championship play-offs in 2021.

The club would like to place on record its thanks to Leo Percovich and the staff who worked with him and supported him during the interim period. Leo will now become the club’s Head of Player Pathway and Development.

Fans reacted with new head coaches revealed at Aston Villa and Middlesbrough…


@Rog_FootyMad: @UnaiEmery_ Just want to say a massive welcome to @AVFCOfficial buzzing to see a Manager of your Calibre appointed, very much look forward to you taking over from November 1st. Its about time someone finally put this Club back where it belongs 🤞🏻 #avfc #UTV 💜💙

@Wenkenspiel: Unai Emery’s Claret & Blue Army! NSWE not messing about. Rough first five games to walk into but we’ve hired a manager with an excellent track record #AVFC

@Thejourneyman01: So we have appointed Emery and I think it’s a very good answer to getting someone who knows their stuff. I’m very hopeful and we need to give him time and thankfully his experienced at a high level. #AVFC #AstonVilla #Villa

@Si_AVFC: If you’re not happy with the Villa employing a coach with that CV then I’m not sure what you want with where we are. Bollocks to what other fans are saying. Not our problem. #AVFC

@WhatTheForkLads: Weird how Unai Emery’s not that good now he’s officially been announced as the new Head Coach of Aston Villa, isn’t it? #AVFC

@jonthevillaboy: Wow, wow, wow. Great appointment for #avfc. Was convinced this calibre of manager would turn us down and we would end up with someone like Dyche. Exciting times ahead.

✅ European success
✅ Premier league experience
✅ Recognised winner
✅ Worked with top players/egos
✅ Tactically astute
✅ Elite level manager
As fitting the remit goes very few managers out there that tick those boxes and we’ve got one. #Avfc #Emery

@JoshuaLockdown: Blimey. We don’t mess about. But why did Gerrard need to happen when we can do this?? Ah, never mind. This is the first serious, internationally renowned coach we’ve employed since Houllier, 12 years ago. We never go big for a manager, we always go C grade. This is an A. #avfc

@lukefrxst: Emery is a huge statement of intent. Don’t think he’d have left Villareal for nothing, NSWE must’ve told him we mean business. Hopefully we can have a strong rest of the season and some cup runs. Finally a bit of positivity!! Interested to see what we do in January… #AVFC

@richallen10: Something I very much hope we can ALL get behind. It’s important we are United, this is a serious upgrade and shows great ambition. The owners have found a way again. This must stick. Let’s go 📈 #AVFC #UTV 🦁🙏🏻

@luckysalt: Genuinely over the moon with Emery. Is literally the best appointment we could have made IMO for where we are as a club and where we want to be. If it gets a little rocky, we need to give this guy all the time he needs. A united #AVFC again. Let’s be looking up!



@utdreport: Good luck @carras16 👊

@MerlinUnited: Great choice

@justcalledtosay: Great to have Carrick on board. I am stunned Woodgate has been brought back as 1st team coach. Not the experience I was hoping for. I can only hope there’s more backroom appointments to come.

@Jooky85: Absolutely gobsmacked at that decision.

@MiklosWatson: Leo’s staying ❤️

@_TY_97: Sneaking woodgate in like we wouldn’t notice

@UpTheBoroJ: Welcome to the club @carras16 I look forward to seeing what you can do to help out my club 🔴⚪️ UTFB

@raymondo5266: Brilliant Onwards and upwards.

@RedDevilWazza: What a manager you have there!

@utdrobbo: Treat him well. Best of luck, Carras.

@Kevinhomfc: Why does Gibson love Woodgate so much? And why is Woodgate hanging on? Not feeling this at all

@RobinBoroBobbin: I’ve listened MC ‘s first interview & he talked about’ high standards , good reasons to come into work. Fantastic to be at #Boro. Special club & first club he played for as a 9 year old. A North Easterner through & through. Knows what fans expect. Huge opportunity #UTFB

@diffmj: just wanna get that buzz of an exciting appointment man, need some Cardiff City optimism back to reignite my interest

@eternalmoi: Middlesbrough FC is delighted to announce that they’ve signed the manager who will make them the 23/24 Champions. Let’s goooo

@BillyMu95956577: Good luck to our legend, hope your successful

@Mr_Mavingire: I hope he will be his own manager and not listen to his mates who have all been abject failures in management

@Goatee_Tweets: Excited about Carrick’s journey into management. Had one of the best brains on the pitch and played under some of the greatest managers.

@ItWasJustBanter: Hope he does well & I think he will. Tiny sample size but showed some good traits in his caretaker spell. And has a chairman who has a history of giving backing & time (unless they completely flop) to managers in their first jobs

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