Season | 2006-07 |
Matchday | #16 |
League Game | #13 |
Premier League Match-week | #13 |
Manager Game | #16 |
Sunday, 19 November 2006
Premier League | Away | Wigan Athletic | JJB Stadium | 18,455 |
Manager | Martin O’Neill |
KO | 13.30 |
Referee | Steve Bennett |
HT Score | 0-0 |
FT Score | 0-0 |
FT Result | Drew |
Last 5 Games | LWLWD |
League Position | 5th | -1 |
Line Up |
GK Thomas Sörensen |
RB Wilfred Bouma |
CB Liam Ridgewell |
CB Olof Mellberg |
CB Gary Cahill |
M Gareth Barry |
M Isaiah Osbourne |
W Peter Whittingham | SUB OFF | 51' | FINAL |
F Gabby Agbonlahor |
CF Juan Pablo Ángel | SUB OFF | 67' |
CF Chris Sutton |
W Didier Agathe FINAL | for W Peter Whittingham | 51’ |
M Steven Davis for CF Juan Pablo Ángel | 67’ |
Unused Substitutes |
GK Stuart Taylor
F Milan Baroš
W Patrik Berger
Team Stats |
Starting XI Average Age | 25.75 |
Oldest Player | CF Chris Sutton | 33.72 |
Youngest Player | M Isaiah Osbourne | 19.05 |
On this day 19 November 2006
Winger Peter Whittingham made his final appearance for Villa aged 22 before moving on to Cardiff City for a fee of £473,000 in January 2007. Whittingham had come through the ranks as a schoolboy and made his debut aged 18 in the 2002-03 season. Over his 5 seasons with Villa, Peter made 66 appearances including 27 as substitute and scored twice. Tragically Whittingham died after a fall at the age of 35 in March 2020.
Winger Didier Agathe made his final appearance for Villa aged 31 before moving on to Saint-Pierroise on a free transfer in January 2007. Didier had joined Villa as a free agent earlier in the 2006-07 season and made 6 substitute appearances for the club.
Monday, 20 November 2006
Match report by Steve Bierley
Jewell and O’Neill find value in noughts
It says much for Martin O’Neill’s organisational and motivational skills that a bunch of players as collectively limited as this Aston
Villa side might have gone into third place in the Premiership had they defeated Wigan Athletic yesterday lunchtime. This was always going to be a tight match, although after Thomas Sorensen saved from Lee McCulloch’s header inside the first minute the
statistical inevitability of a goalless conclusion pressed down like a suffocating pillow.
Wigan, in 49 previous Premiership matches, had never been involved in a 0-0 draw, so if not a cast-iron certainty, the chances of it occurring yesterday were pretty high. Posts were hit and both goalkeepers at times found themselves clutching the ball more in surprise than any certainty of anticipation. That said, genuine openings were few and far between.
Paul Jewell’s team, on the back of four successive victories and seven goals in their previous two home matches, will feel they should have won, given their greater amount of possession, notably in the first half, although they might have had a point snatched away from them in the last 20 minutes or so when Gabriel Agbonlahor, pushed forward where his pace was the most dangerous, almost found a way through, and it took an excellent tackle by the Australian Josip Skoko to halt him.
Such is the inherent discipline of each team that neither are ever likely to lose their shape, unless hell or high water intervenes, so initially there was considerable fascination in observing the thrust and counter-thrust, with Wigan’s quality of crosses the more telling. McCulloch probably should have scored from Henri Camara’s excellent ball from the right, although Sorensen, virtually on his knees, did well to get his body in the way. And he made an even better save in the second half from Paul Scharner.
Jewell thought that in the first half his side played as well as they have ever done in the Premiership, which was perhaps erring on the generous side. “I thought we were terrific, I can’t say how pleased I am. For a 0-0 draw it was a good game, with two very honest teams. There was no diving or time-wasting.” That last point was certainly true, although the standard of Wigan’s play may have been seen by Jewell through glasses tinted by O’Neill’s reputation rather than Villa’s performance on the day.
By half-time the match was already becoming ragged at the edges, epitomised when Camara, his primrose boots flashing in a flailing arc, attempted an overhead kick and skewed the ball away at 90 degrees. He beat both fists into the turf at the frustration of it all, and was barely noticed thereafter. “He can be bothersome,” said O’Neill, with delicious understatement, having managed the Senegal striker at Celtic.
Wigan had two good chances early in the second half, the first when Isaiah Osbourne dived in an attempt to clear Emmerson Boyce’s cross and guided the ball against a post. “He had a good game but would have had no life tomorrow if that one had gone in,” said O’Neill with a smile. Then came Sorensen’s save from Scharner, the Austrian clutching his head in disappointment.
Villa increasingly relied on the quick counter and might have tilted the game in their favour had Gareth Barry rolled the ball inside to Juan Pablo Angel rather than shoot himself.
O’Neill praised the resilience of his side, although admitted it would have been “rather harsh” had they sneaked the game, which was always a possibility as Wigan pressed forward.
So not the worst of goalless draws but certainly one of the more inevitable.