Steve Bruce compares his Aston Villa and Unai Emery's Champions League chasers

Steve Bruce
Villa verdict... Steve Bruce -Credit:PA

Steve Bruce has joined the chorus of admirers for Unai Emery’s top four candidates Aston Villa. The former Claret & Blues boss witnessed Villa dismantle Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday with goals from Leon Bailey and Ollie Watkins sending the visitors on their way to a 2-0 victory and shockwaves around the Premier League.

Villa weathered a storm in the first half then gradually overwhelmed the Gunners on their own patch, securing three points that keeps the final Champions League qualification place in their hands.

And Bruce, who was in charge of Villa when they were struggling to get out of the Championship - a play-off final loss to Fulham was as close as they came - admitted Villa now have better players and a better manager than they did then.

READ MORE: Chris Sutton delivers Golden Boot verdict on Watkins, Palmer and Haaland

READ MORE: Castore founder addresses Aston Villa kit issue and makes admission

Bruce told talkSPORT’S White and Jordan show : “When I watched Aston Villa take on Arsenal at the weekend, how good they were and brave they were to take the ball. This fella is an outstanding manager, you talk about the great big jobs around in the summer, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s on a list – although he’s got a great job now, don’t get me wrong.

“The way they went and took on Arsenal. Four, five years ago there is no the Aston Villa team would be able to go and play like that because they didn’t have the players they have. Some would say they didn’t have the coach either, which I would agree with too. He is outstanding.”

Bruce’s Villa tenure ended in acrimony in October 2018 after a 3-3 home draw with bottom club Preston. He went on to manager Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion. Dean Smith succeeded Bruce at Villa Park and guided the club back into the Premier League a few months later.

What will Villa end up with this season? Have your say in the comments HERE