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VUSA Pod #73: Allen and Sid review the final

Villarreal CF UEFA Europa League Final Victory Parade Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Well, we recorded this at the end of a long day, so I’m not sure there was a lot of structure to this pod (not that structure is ever our strong point) but...what can you say. Sr. Roig hired Unai Emery less than a year ago—Javi Calleja’s last match in charge was July 19, his dismissal was announced on July 20, Unai Emery’s hiring was announced on July 23.

The league started in early September, the Europa League in October. And now, here we are, Europa League Champions.

Unai Emery comprehensively outcoached Ole Solskjær in this one—for those of us used to watching Villarreal (which apparently included exactly no one in he English-language coverage in the UK, not sure about the US as I watched the Spanish feed) the fact that we couldn’t create many counterattacks was frustrating—had Samu Chukwueze been healthy, he would have played a big role for sure—but overall, it went almost as well as Emery could have imagined it would.

There will be departures, of course—some of the lesser-used players like Jaume Costa, especially, seemed especially overcome with emotion when presented with their medals—but all of the players in this season’s Villarreal edition will always be remembered. What a game, what a victory, what a triumph for Villarreal.