Season #109

| 1997-98 |

Games #4514 - #4564 |

 

1997-98 Club Summary

​​

President | John Alderson

Chairman | Herbert Douglas Ellis

Manager | Brian Little to 21 February 1998, John Gregory from 28 February 1998

Secretary | Steve Stride

 1997-98 Season Summary 


Manager | Brian Little | John Gregory |
Games | #4514 - #4564 |

Captain(s) | #710 Gareth Southgate |
Top Scorer | 16 | #672 Dwight Yorke | 12 League | 2 FA Cup | 2 UEFA Cup | Goals |

Most Appearances | 48 | #680 Ugo Ehiogu | #709 Alan Wright | 37 League | 4 FA Cup | 1 League Cup | 6 UEFA Cup | Appearances |
Final League Position | 7th Premier League |
FA Cup Progress | 5th Round |

League Cup Progress | 3rd Round |

UEFA Cup Progress | Quarter Final |
Biggest Win | 4-0 | West Bromwich Albion (h), League Cup |
Highest Home Attendance | 39,372 | Arsenal | West Ham United | Liverpool | Manchester United | West Bromwich Albion (FA Cup) | Chelsea |

 

 1997-98 Premier League Table 

| 5 | Leeds United | P38 | W17 | D8 | L13 | F57 | A46 | GD11 | Pts 59 |
| 6 |
Blackburn Rovers | P38 | W16 | D10 | L12 | F57 | A52 | GD5 | Pts 58 |
| 7 | Aston Villa | P38 | W17 | D6 | L15 | F49 | A48 | GD1 | Pts 57 |
| 8 |
West Ham United | P38 | W16 | D8 | L14 | F56 | A57 | GD-1 | Pts 56 |
| 9 |
Derby County | P38 | W16 | D7 | L15 | F52 | A49 | GD3 | Pts 55 |

 

 1997-98 Results 

| 1 | 9 Aug | a | Leicester City | L | 0-1 | 

| 2 | 13 Aug | h | Blackburn Rovers | L | 0-4 | 

| 3 | 23 Aug | a | Newcastle United | L | 0-1 | 

| 4 | 27 Aug | a | Tottenham Hotspur | L | 2-3 | 

| 5 | 30 Aug | h | Leeds United | W | 1-0 | 

| 6 | 13 Sep | a | Barnsley | W | 3-0 | 

| 7 | 16 Sep | a | FC Girondins de Bordeaux (UEFA R1 L1) | D | 0-0 | 

| 8 | 20 Sep | h | Derby County | W | 2-1 | 

| 9 | 22 Sep | a | Liverpool | L | 0-3 | 

| 10 | 27 Sep | h | Sheffield Wednesday | D | 2-2 | 

| 11 | 30 Sep | h | FC Girondins de Bordeaux (UEFA R1 L2) | W | 1-0 | 

| 12 | 4 Oct | a | Bolton Wanderers | W | 1-0 | 

| 13 | 15 Oct | a | West Ham United (LC R3) | L | 0-3 | 

| 14 | 18 Oct | h | Wimbledon | L | 1-2 | 

| 15 | 21 Oct | a | Athletic Bilbao (UEFA R2 L1) | D | 0-0 | 

| 16 | 26 Oct | a | Arsenal | D | 0-0 | 

| 17 | 1 Nov | h | Chelsea | L | 0-2 | 

| 18 | 4 Nov | h | Athletic Bilbao (UEFA R2 L2) | W | 2-1 | 

| 19 | 8 Nov | a | Crystal Palace | D | 1-1 | 

| 20 | 22 Nov | h | Everton | W | 2-1 | 

| 21 | 25 Nov | a | Steaua Bucharest (UEFA R3 L1) | L | 1-2 | 

| 22 | 29 Nov | a | West Ham United | L | 1-2 | 

| 23 | 6 Dec | h | Coventry City | W | 3-0 | 

| 24 | 9 Dec | h | Steaua Bucharest (UEFA R3 L2) | W | 2-0 | 

| 25 | 15 Dec | a | Manchester United | L | 0-1 |  

| 26 | 20 Dec | h | Southampton | D | 1-1 | 

| 27 | 26 Dec | h | Tottenham Hotspur | W | 4-1 | 

| 28 | 28 Dec | a | Leeds United | D | 1-1 | 

| 29 | 3 Jan | a | Portsmouth (FAC R3) | D | 2-2 | 

| 30 | 10 Jan | h | Leicester City | D | 1-1 | 

| 31 | 14 Jan | h | Portsmouth (FAC R3 Replay) | W | 1-0 | 

| 32 | 17 Jan | a | Blackburn Rovers | L | 0-5 | 

| 33 | 24 Jan | h | West Bromwich Albion (FAC R4) | W | 4-0 | 

| 34 | 1 Feb | h | Newcastle United | L | 0-1 | 

| 35 | 7 Feb | a | Derby County | W | 1-0 | 

| 36 | 14 Feb | h | Coventry City (FAC R5) | L | 0-1 | 

| 37 | 18 Feb | h | Manchester United | L | 0-2 | 

| 38 | 21 Feb | a | Wimbledon | L | 1-2 | 

| 39 | 28 Feb | h | Liverpool | W | 2-1 | 

| 40 | 3 Mar | a | Atlético Madrid (UEFA QF L1) | L | 0-1 | 

| 41 | 8 Mar | a | Chelsea | W | 1-0 | 

| 42 | 11 Mar | h | Barnsley | L | 0-1 | 

| 43 | 14 Mar | h | Crystal Palace | W | 3-1 | 

| 44 | 17 Mar | h | Atlético Madrid (UEFA QF L2) | W | 2-1 | 

| 45 | 28 Mar | a | Everton | W | 4-1 |

| 46 | 4 Apr | h | West Ham United | W | 2-0 |

| 47 | 11 Apr | a | Coventry City | W | 2-1 |

| 48 | 18 Apr | a | Southampton | W | 2-1 |

| 49 | 25 Apr | h | Bolton Wanderers | L | 2-3 | 

| 50 | 2 May | a | Sheffield Wednesday | W | 3-1 |

| 51 | 10 May | h | Arsenal | W | 1-0 | 

 1997-98 Season Review 

Brian Little's fourth season as Villa boss ended prematurely as he surprisingly left his role after 38 games. Admittedly the club were in 15th place at the time of his departure but given his success on the pitch and the exciting team he had built it was the most unexpected departure of a Villa manager since Ron Saunders walked 16 years earlier. Little's replacement came from his backroom staff and was another ex Villa player, the charismatic John Gregory, Gregory immediately reversed the relative decline in results under Little and a new legend was born however still to this day the loss of Brian Little is one of the greatest what if's in the club's history.

The season itself was much less dramatic than circumstances would suggest. An opening run of 4 consecutive losses didn't create a strong foundation for the rest of the campaign however Villa responded and were already in the UEFA Cup Quarter Final at the point that Little left. Villa were however languishing in an uncharacteristic 15th place.

Gregory's arrival almost immediately changed Villa's fortunes however and a run of 3 losses in 13 and 10 wins saw them rise to an ultimate finish of 7th in the table.

Gregory's initial 13 game run brought excitement aplenty as this most unique of personalities delivered an astonishing 77% win rate boding well for the coming season.

 

 1997-98 Season Statistics 


Games | 51 |

Won | 23 | 45% |   
Drew |
9 | 18% |  
Lost |
19 | 37% |

Unbeaten | 32 | 63% |


Goals Scored | 64 | 1.25 Goals per game |
Goals Conceded | 61 | 1.20 Goals per game |
Clean Sheets | 15 | 29% |

Average Home Attendance | 35,752 |

Longest winning run | 6 Games |

League winning run | 4 Games |
Longest unbeaten run | 6 Games |
Longest losing run | 4 Games |

Games without a win | 5 Games |

 

1997-98 Transfers

1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998

Incoming | 10 |

#724 Stan Collymore | Liverpool | £9,450,000 | Jul 97 | 26 |

#725 Simon Grayson | Leicester City | £1,350,000 | Jul 97 | 27 |

#728 Gareth Barry | Brighton & Hove Albion | Tribunal | Jul 97 | 16 |

Michael Standing | Brighton & Hove Albion | Free | Jul 97 | 16 |

Paul Crichton | West Bromwich Albion | Loan | Aug 97 | 28 |

Matthew Ghent | Youth Team | Signed professional forms | Aug 97 | 16 |

Ben Petty | Youth Team | Signed professional forms | Aug 97 | 20 |

David Curtolo | Västerås SK | £30,000 | Nov 97 | 17 |

#732 Fabio Ferraresi | A.C. Cesena | Free | Jun 98 | 19 |

#729 Alan Thompson | Bolton Wanderers | £6,480,000 | Jun 98 | 24 |

Outgoing | 5 |

#714 Gareth FarrellyEverton | £945,000 | Jul 97 | 21 |

#697 Andy Townsend | Middlesbrough | £500,000 | Aug 97 | 34 |

#708 Franz Carr | Reggiana | Free | Oct 97 | 31 |

#720 Scott Murray | Bristol City | £203,000 | Dec 97 | 23 |

#721 Saša Ćurčić | Crystal Palace | £1,350,000 | Mar 98 | 26 |

 

 

 1997-98 Squad Changes 


Debut Appearances | 5 |

#724 Stan Collymore | Saturday, 9 August 1997 | Leicester City (a) | 26 |

#725 Simon Grayson | Wednesday, 13 August 1997 | Blackburn Rovers (h) | 27 |

#726 Darren Byfield | Sunday, 28 December 1997 | Leeds United (a) | 21 |

#727 Richard Walker | Sunday, 28 December 1997 | Leeds United (a) | 20 |

#728 Gareth Barry | Saturday, 2 May 1998 | Sheffield Wednesday (a) | 17 |

Unused Substitutes | 3 |

Paul Crichton | Saturday, 9 August 1997 | Leicester City (a) | 28 |

Matthew Ghent | Saturday, 1 November 1997 | Chelsea (h) | 17 |

Lee Collins | Saturday, 6 December 1997 | Coventry City (h) | 20 |

Final Appearances | 5 |

#697 Andy Townsend | Wednesday, 27 August 1997 | Tottenham Hotspur (a) | 34 |

#721 Saša Ćurčić | Saturday, 6 December 1997 | Coventry City (h) | 25 |

#674 Steve Staunton | Saturday, 25 April 1998 | Bolton Wanderers (h) | 29 |

#712 Savo Milošević | Saturday, 25 April 1998 | Bolton Wanderers (h) | 24 |

#722 Fernando NélsonSunday, 10 May 1998 | Arsenal (h) | 26 |

 1997-98 Squad Statistics 

Squad Size | 30 | +5 |
Average Age | 24.0 | -0.4 |

Average 1st XI Age | 26.37 | +0.43 |

Youngest 1st XI | 25.19 | Arsenal (h) | +0.04 |

Oldest 1st XI | 27.12 | Tottenham Hotspur (a) | +0.47 |

Youngest Player(s) | 16 |

Gareth Barry | 23-Feb-1981

Oldest Player(s) | 34 | 

Andy Townsend | 23-Jul-1963

 1997-98 Scorers 

Goals Scored | 64 | League Goals | 49 | FA Cup Goals | 7 | League Cup Goals | 0 | UEFA Cup Goals | 8 |

| 16 |

Dwight Yorke | Goals | 16 | League | 12 | FA Cup | 2 | League Cup | 0 | UEFA Cup | 2 | 

| 10 |

Savo Milošević | Goals | 10 | League | 7 | FA Cup | 1 | League Cup | 0 | UEFA Cup | 2 | 

| 9 |

Ian Taylor | Goals | 9 | League | 6 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 | UEFA Cup | 3 | 

| 8 |

Stan Collymore | Goals | 8 | League | 6 | FA Cup | 1 | League Cup | 0 | UEFA Cup | 1 | 

Julian Joachim | Goals | 8 | League | 8 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 | UEFA Cup | 0 | 

| 3 |

Mark Draper | Goals | 3 | League | 3 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 | UEFA Cup | 0 | 

Lee Hendrie | Goals | 3 | League | 3 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 | UEFA Cup | 0 | 

| 2 |

Ugo Ehiogu | Goals | 2 | League | 2 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 | UEFA Cup | 0 | 

Steve Staunton | Goals | 2 | League | 1 | FA Cup | 1 | League Cup | 0 | UEFA Cup | 0 | 

Simon Grayson | Goals | 2 | League | 0 | FA Cup | 2 | League Cup | 0 | UEFA Cup | 0 | 

| 1 |

Gary Charles | Goals | 1 | League | 1 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 | UEFA Cup | 0 | 

  1997-98 First Team Squad

#672 | 10 | Dwight Yorke | 25 |

#674 | 3 | Steve Staunton | 28 |

#680 | 5 | Ugo Ehiogu | 24 |

#692 | 1 | Mark Bosnich | 25 | 

#697 | 6 | Andy Townsend | 34 | LEFT AUGUST 1997

#703 | 13 | Michael Oakes | 23 | 

#705 | 7 | Ian Taylor | 29 |

#707 | 2 | Gary Charles | 27 |

#708 | - | Franz Carr | 30 | LEFT OCTOBER 1997

#709 | 14 | Alan Wright | 25 |

#710 | 4 | Gareth Southgate | 26 |

#711 | 8 | Mark Draper | 26 |

#712 | 9 | Savo Milošević | 23 |

#713 | 20 | Riccardo Scimeca | 22 |

#716 | 17 | Lee Hendrie | 20 |

#717 | 12 | Julian Joachim | 22 |

#718 | - | Neil Davis | 24 |

#720 | - | Scott Murray | 23 | LEFT DECEMBER 1997

#721 | 18 | Saša Ćurčić | 25 | LEFT MARCH 1998

#722 | 15 | Fernando Nélson | 25 |

#723 | - | David Hughes | 19 |

#724 | 11 | Stan Collymore | 26 |

#725 | 16 | Simon Grayson | 27 |
#726
 | 25 | Darren Byfield | 20 |

#727 | 27 | Richard Walker | 19 |

#728 | 24 | Gareth Barry | 16 |

| - | Paul Crichton | 28 |

| - | Matthew Ghent | 16 |

| - | Lee Collins | 19 |

#730 | - | Darius Vassell | 17 |

#736 | - | Adam Rachel | 21 | 

 

  1997-98 Appearances 

| 50 |

#709 Alan Wright | Appearances | 50 | League | 35 (2) | FA Cup | 4 (0) | League Cup | 1 (0) | UEFA Cup | 8 (0) | . Player Profile

| 48 |

#680 Ugo Ehiogu | Appearances | 48 | League | 37 (0) | FA Cup | 4 (0) | League Cup | 1 (0) | UEFA Cup | 6 (0) | . Player Profile

| 44 |

#705 Ian Taylor | Appearances | 44 | League | 30 (2) | FA Cup | 3 (0) | League Cup | 1 (0) | UEFA Cup | 8 (0) | . Player Profile

#725 Simon Grayson | Appearances | 44 | League | 28 (5) | FA Cup | 4 (0) | League Cup | 0 (1) | UEFA Cup | 4 (2) | . Player Profile

| 43 |

#710 Gareth Southgate | Appearances | 43 | League | 32 (0) | FA Cup | 3 (0) | League Cup | 1 (0) | UEFA Cup | 7 (0) | . Player Profile

#711 Mark Draper | Appearances | 43 | League | 31 (0) | FA Cup | 4 (0) | League Cup | 1 (0) | UEFA Cup | 7 (0) | . Player Profile

| 42 |

#692 Mark Bosnich | Appearances | 42 | League | 30 (0) | FA Cup | 4 (0) | League Cup | 1 (0) | UEFA Cup | 7 (0) | . Player Profile

| 40 |

#672 Dwight Yorke | Appearances | 40 | League | 30 (0) | FA Cup | 2 (0) | League Cup | 1 (0) | UEFA Cup | 7 (0) | . Player Profile

| 38 |

#674 Steve Staunton | Appearances | 38 | League | 27 (0) | FA Cup | 4 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 7 (0) | . Player Profile

| 37 |

#724 Stan Collymore | Appearances | 37 | League | 23 (2) | FA Cup | 4 (0) | League Cup | 1 (0) | UEFA Cup | 6 (1) | . Player Profile

| 34 |

#722 Fernando Nélson | Appearances | 34 | League | 21 (4) | FA Cup | 1 (0) | League Cup | 1 (0) | UEFA Cup | 5 (2) | . Player Profile

| 32 |

#712 Savo Milošević | Appearances | 32 | League | 19 (4) | FA Cup | 2 (0) | League Cup | 1 (0) | UEFA Cup | 6 (0) | . Player Profile

| 29 |

#713 Riccardo Scimeca | Appearances | 29 | League | 16 (5) | FA Cup | 2 (1) | League Cup | 1 (0) | UEFA Cup | 4 (0) | . Player Profile

| 28 |

#717 Julian Joachim | Appearances | 28 | League | 15 (10) | FA Cup | 1 (1) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 1 (0) | . Player Profile

| 25 |

#707 Gary Charles | Appearances | 25 | League | 14 (4) | FA Cup | 0 (1) | League Cup | 1 (0) | UEFA Cup | 4 (0) | . Player Profile

| 24 |

#716 Lee Hendrie | Appearances | 24 | League | 13 (4) | FA Cup | 2 (2) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 2 (1) | . Player Profile

| 9 |

#703 Michael Oakes | Appearances | 9 | League | 8 (0) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 1 (0) | . Player Profile

#721 Saša Ćurčić | Appearances | 9 | League | 3 (4) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (1) | UEFA Cup | 0 (1) | . Player Profile

| 8 |

#726 Darren Byfield | Appearances | 8 | League | 1 (6) | FA Cup | 0 (1) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

| 3 |

#697 Andy Townsend | Appearances | 3 | League | 3 (0) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

| 2 |

#728 Gareth Barry | Appearances | 2 | League | 1 (1) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

| 1 |

#727 Richard Walker | Appearances | 1 | League | 0 (1) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

| 0 |

Paul Crichton | Appearances | 0 | League | 0 (0) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

#723 David Hughes | Appearances | 0 | League | 0 (0) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

#720 Scott Murray | Appearances | 0 | League | 0 (0) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

Matthew Ghent | Appearances | 0 | League | 0 (0) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

#736 Adam Rachel | Appearances | 0 | League | 0 (0) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

Lee Collins | Appearances | 0 | League | 0 (0) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

#718 Neil Davis | Appearances | 0 | League | 0 (0) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

#730 Darius Vassell | Appearances | 0 | League | 0 (0) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

#708 Franz Carr | Appearances | 0 | League | 0 (0) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | UEFA Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

 1997-98 'Keepers 

Mark Bosnich | Appearances | 42 | Conceded 44 | Ratio | 1.05 | 

Michael Oakes | Appearances | 9 | Conceded 15 | Ratio | 1.67 | 

  

 1997-98 Managerial Record 

Brian Little's final season as Villa boss lasted 38 games and he left the club 15th in the Premier League yet in the Quarter Final of the UEFA Cup.

Little’s Villa had achieved a win rate of 41%, losing 31% of their 154 League and Cup matches under his leadership.

As a result Little had returned 1.51 points per game* across his 126 games in charge of Villa. In doing so Little was level with Joe Mercer (1.51 in 282) but ahead of his predecessors Billy McNeill (1.05 in 42), Tommy Cummings (1.06 in 67), Tommy Doherty (1.20 in 55) Dick Taylor (1.23 in 146) and Villa’s first professional manager Jimmy McMullan (1.24 in 99), Jozef Vengloš (1.29 in 49), Eric Houghton (1.31 in 250), George Martin (1.42 in 119). Little was however behind Ron Atkinson (1.53 in 180), Alex Massie (1.56 in 227), Tony Barton (1.56 in 137), Jimmy Hogan (1.59 in 124), Graham Taylor (1.61 in 150)., Billy Smith’s 1.62 across 364 games, Vic Crowe (1.63 in 222), Ron Saunders (1.64 in 393) and George Ramsay’s performance of 1.69 across his 1,332 games.

Brian Little's replacement, John Gregory, arrived on the scene and motivated the squad Little had built to a superb run of form to finish the season with a win rate of 77%, losing 23%.

As a result Gregory had returned 2.31 points per game* across his 13 games in charge of Villa. In doing so Gregory was way ahead of his most immediate rival as the most successful Villa manager of all time: George Ramsay’s performance of 1.69 across his 1,332 games.

*Rankings based on 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw in all competitions  

 1997-98 Kits 

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1997-98 Season Summary

 Game #4514