Read Roberto De Zerbi's Villa programme notes

The Albion head coach reflects on an excellent couple of weeks for his team.

By Roberto De Zerbi • 13 November 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
Roberto De Zerbi's team have won three games on the bounce.

A warm welcome back to the Amex Stadium for this afternoon’s fixture against Aston Villa. 

In my most recent programme notes, I made it a priority to speak about the input the fans have had since my appointment at the club. It was so heartening to hear your support for the team, and for myself and my coaching staff, despite results not going our way. 

It’s therefore been extremely satisfying for me to see that support rewarded with our first victories together. 

To beat Chelsea last time out at the Amex, by such a convincing scoreline, and in front of a record crowd at the stadium, will remain a most vivid and emotive memory for me – as I’m sure it will be for our supporters as well.


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PL Highlights: Albion 4 Chelsea 1

It was important to get those first three points and while we enjoyed the moment as a group, the following day we were already focused on the next challenge. Wolves provided another opportunity to maintain our momentum and I was delighted with the players’ application, both in and out of possession, in what proved to be an intense atmosphere. 

On Wednesday night, our attentions turned to the Carabao Cup at Arsenal and an opportunity to provide game-time to some of our younger players who might not have played as often as they would have liked in the Premier League. It was a game they grew into, a game they will hopefully gain plenty of confidence from, and a game that saw us grow as a team in confidence and personality as it progressed. It was a good victory and now we have an opportunity to go further in the competition. 

To have over 6,000 fans at the Emirates Stadium was outstanding. Thanks to all who travelled to north London, and to Molineux a few days earlier. 

By Paul Hazlewood
De Zerbi was delighted with the confidence and personality of his side at the Emirates.

Today I would like to extend a warm welcome to Unai Emery, who had the perfect start to his time as Aston Villa coach last weekend against Manchester United. Unai is one of the most respected coaches in world football and certainly somebody who I hold in the highest regard. His record in Spain is exemplary and we know that we will have to maintain our levels if we are to take another result into the enforced winter break. 

For me, the World Cup has come as something of a frustration – and not just because Italy will not be playing in Qatar! As a group of players, we are continuing to find our rhythm, our identity, but after today we have to stop until Christmas. It’s not an ideal situation, but we have to look at the positives too. It will provide a period of recuperation for the players not going to Qatar and it will also give us a chance to put in some good hours on the training ground, to keep reiterating the messages we have been instructing the players since we arrived. 

I will, of course, be keeping an eye on the World Cup games and I will be particularly interested to see how England progress now I am working here. It’s a team that will start as one of the favourites and they certainly have a squad of players who can progress far. I also wish our own players going to Qatar all the very best. I urge them to enjoy the experience, to savour every moment, and to do their countries proud. 

Finally, and while it sounds strange to say it, I wish you all a very merry and peaceful Christmas. I look forward to seeing you at Southampton on 26 December and then for the visit of Arsenal before the end of the year.