Indeed, things looked to be going to plan when Morgan Sanson gave Villa a first-half lead. However, Leander Dendoncker was then shown a straight red card late on as Jamie Reid equalised from the resulting penalty before Dean Campbell scored a 90th-minute winner.
While speaking about the result on BBC Radio Show 606, Sutton questioned Emery for his team lineup and said it was a ‘damaging’ loss for the new manager.
He explained: “Were you happy about the change of personnel? I mean, Villa weren’t the only team to do it but, I don’t know, it always disappoints me, that.
“I mean, Villa haven’t been flying this season, of course. Unai Emery [now] in the door. But this is a damaging defeat for him, isn’t it?”
Emery has done fairly well since taking over at Aston Villa shortly before the break for the winter World Cup. Indeed, he has managed the club for five Premier League games, winning three, drawing one and losing one.
However, tasting defeat in the FA Cup to League Two opposition certainly will not help win over any supporters who were on the fence about his appointment.
In his starting team, the Spaniard opted to start backup players such as Robin Olson, Calum Chambers, Jan Bednarek and Morgan Sanson. While the likes of Emi Martinez, Tyrone Mings, and Ollie Watkins were all benched.
Clearly, he underestimated Stevenage and his plan to rotate the team backfired. Villa last won the FA Cup in 1957 and they’ll have to wait another year now before they can challenge for the title again.