Season | 2001-02 |
Matchday | #24 |
League Game | #14 |
Premier League Match-week | #14 |
Manager Game | #180 |
Saturday, 1 December 2001
Premier League | Home | Leicester City | Villa Park | 26,526 |
Manager | John Gregory |
KO | 15.00 |
Referee | Steve Bennett |
HT Score | 0-1 |
FT Score | 0-2 |
FT Result | Lost |
Last 5 Games | LDDLL |
League Position | 6th | -1 |
Line Up |
GK Peter Schmeichel |
LB Alan Wright |
FB Mark Delaney |
CB Olof Mellberg |
CB Alpay Özalan | SUB OFF | 60' |
M George Boateng |
M Paul Merson |
M Steve Stone |
M Lee Hendrie | SUB OFF | 61' |
F Darius Vassell | SUB OFF | 72' |
CF Juan Pablo Ángel |
LB Steve Staunton for CB Alpay Özalan | 60’ |
W David Ginola SENT OFF | 85' | FINAL | for M Lee Hendrie | 61’ |
CF Dion Dublin for F Darius Vassell | 72’ |
Unused Substitutes |
GK Peter Enckelman
F Boško Balaban |
Red | David Ginola | 85’ |
Team Stats |
Starting XI Average Age | 28.10 |
Oldest Player | GK Peter Schmeichel | 38.06 |
Youngest Player | F Darius Vassell | 21.48 |
On this day 1 December 2001
Former French international winger David Ginola made his final appearance for Villa aged 34. Ginola was released on a free transfer to Everton in February 2002 having made 41 appearances and scoring 7 goals. Ginola was a classic example of the late-era Ellis strategy of making a single ‘marquee’ signing, regardless of team fit, despite more pressing needs elsewhere in the squad.
Monday, 3 December, 2001
Match report by Adam Sills
Ginola cameo ends in tears
Christmas has come early at Villa Park. Yesterday it hosted the traditional rendition of the home side’s carols - “Are you watching Doug Ellis?” and “We want Ellis out” - the roasting of David Ginola’s chestnuts from the Villa manager’s open fire and even a couple of gift-wrapped goals for Leicester.
The spirit was hardly festive, however, as Villa’s slump since they topped the Premiership in October continued. Since then they have failed to win and Saturday’s defeat to the lowly visitors followed their exit from the Worthington Cup to Sheffield Wednesday.
To compound the frustration Ginola could face the wrath of the Football Association after his petulant reaction to being sent off for kicking out at Dennis Wise on 84 minutes, having only come on in the 61st minute. The Frenchman, banned for three matches automatically, made contact with the fourth official Clive Wilkes with his hand, wagged his finger in his face and had to be dragged away.
“Getting sent off for that was futile,” said John Gregory, who will fine Ginola. “I’ve always prided my team on behaving themselves properly and that was unnecessary.”
Villa’s manager needs more creativity in his side and Ginola’s absence will not help. Ellis has told Gregory that he needs to sell before he buys and Villa’s fans made it perfectly clear what they thought of that on Saturday. Gregory described his side’s performance as embarrassing for the second game in succession.
“I have to keep a level head,” he said. “I didn’t get too carried away when we were sitting on top and I’m certainly not going to start jumping up and down now. I’m hurting, it was a crap result, but it’s our fourth defeat in the last 26 Premiership matches and I’m proud of that record.”
Villa should have taken their lead from Leicester. The visitors were hard but fair; Villa were waspy and uninspired.
Yet Leicester’s goals owed plenty to luck. First, Ade Akinbiyi scored with a far-post header after Peter Schmeichel was left grounded by what he felt was a push by Frank Sinclair. But Villa’s goalkeeper could not shift the blame for the second goal as he failed to deal with a high centre from Lee Marshall, palming the ball softly to James Scowcroft who turned sharply to score his first for the club.
Gregory will hope that this defeat was down to Villa’s dismal record against Leicester - it is now one win in 16 games and 13 years - but the evidence suggests his worries go deeper than that.