Season #119 

| 2007-08 |

Games #4976 - #5016 

2007-08 Club Summary

​​

President Emeritus | Herbert Douglas Ellis

Chairman | Randolph Lerner

Manager | Martin O'Neill

Secretary | Sharon Barnhurst

2007-08 Season Summary 


Manager | Martin O’Neill | 
Games | #4976 - #5016 
Top Scorer | 13 | #802 John Carew | 13 League | Goals |

 Most Appearances |  40 | #728 Gareth Barry | 37 League | 1 FA Cup | 2 League Cup | Appearances
Final League Position | 6th Premier League | 
FA Cup Progress | 3rd Round | 

League Cup Progress | 3rd Round |     
Biggest Win | 6-0 | Derby County (a) | 
Highest Home Attendance | 42,640 | Wigan Athletic | Sunderland | Newcastle United | Manchester United | Liverpool | 

 2007-08 Premier League Table 

| 4 | Liverpool | P38 | W21 | D13 | L4 | F67 | A28 | GD39 | Pts 76 |
| 5 |
Everton | P38 | W19 | D8 | L11 | F55 | A33 | GD22 | Pts 65 |
| 6 | Aston Villa | P38 | W16 | D12 | L10 | F71 | A51 | GD20 | Pts 60 |
| 7 |
Blackburn Rovers | P38 | W15 | D13 | L10 | F50 | A48 | GD2 | Pts 58 |
| 8 |
Portsmouth | P38 | W16 | D9 | L13 | F48 | A40 | GD8 | Pts 57 |

 

 2007-08 Results 

| 1 | 11 Aug | h | Liverpool | L | 1-2 | Match Report

| 2 | 18 Aug | a | Newcastle United | D | 0-0 | Match Report

| 3 | 25 Aug | h | Fulham | W | 2-1 | Match Report

| 4 | 28 Aug | a | Wrexham (LC R2) | W | 5-0 | Match Report

| 5 | 2 Sep | h | Chelsea | W | 2-0 | Match Report

| 6 | 16 Sep | a | Manchester City | L | 0-1 | Match Report

| 7 | 23 Sep | h | Everton W | 2-0 | Match Report

| 8 | 26 Sep | h | Leicester City (LC R3) L | 0-1 | Match Report

| 9 | 1 Oct | a | Tottenham Hotspur D | 4-4 | Match Report

| 10 | 6 Oct | h | West Ham United W | 1-0 | Match Report

| 11 | 20 Oct | h | Manchester United L | 1-4 | Match Report

| 12 | 28 Oct | a | Bolton Wanderers D | 1-1 | Match Report

| 13 | 3 Nov | h | Derby County W | 2-0 | Match Report

| 14 | 11 Nov | a | Birmingham City W | 2-1 | Match Report

| 15 | 24 Nov | a | Middlesbrough W | 3-0 | Match Report

| 16 | 28 Nov | a | Blackburn Rovers W | 4-0 | Match Report

| 17 | 1 Dec | h | Arsenal L | 1-2 | Match Report

| 18 | 8 Dec | h | Portsmouth L | 1-3 | Match Report

| 19 | 15 Dec | a | Sunderland D | 1-1 | Match Report

| 20 | 22 Dec | h | Manchester City D | 1-1 | Match Report

| 21 | 26 Dec | a | Chelsea D | 4-4 | Match Report

| 22 | 29 Dec | a | Wigan Athletic W | 2-1 | Match Report

| 23 | 1 Jan | h | Tottenham Hotspur W | 2-1 | Match Report

| 24 | 5 Jan | h | Manchester United (FAC R3) L | 0-2 | Match Report

| 25 | 12 Jan | h | Reading W | 3-1 | Match Report

| 26 | 21 Jan | a | Liverpool D | 2-2 | Match Report

| 27 | 26 Jan | h | Blackburn Rovers D | 1-1 | Match Report

| 28 | 3 Feb | a | Fulham L | 1-2 | Match Report

| 29 | 9 Feb | h | Newcastle United W | 4-1 | Match Report

| 30 | 24 Feb | a | Reading W | 2-1 | Match Report

| 31 | 1 Mar | a | Arsenal D | 1-1 | Match Report

| 32 | 12 Mar | h | Middlesbrough D | 1-1 | Match Report

| 33 | 15 Mar | a | Portsmouth L | 0-2 | Match Report

| 34 | 22 Mar | h | Sunderland L | 0-1 | Match Report

| 35 | 29 Mar | a | Manchester United L | 0-4 | Match Report

| 36 | 5 Apr | h | Bolton Wanderers W | 4-0 | Match Report

| 37 | 12 Apr | a | Derby County W | 6-0 | Match Report

| 38 | 20 Apr | h | Birmingham City W | 5-1 | Match Report

| 39 | 27 Apr | a | Everton D | 2-2 | Match Report

| 40 | 3 May | h | Wigan Athletic L | 0-2 | Match Report

| 41 | 11 May | a | West Ham United D | 2-2 | Match Report

 2007-08 Season Review 

6th place, the first time in 4 years, suggested a genuine resurgence under Lerner and O’Neill. In truth however Villa were a massive 16 points behind 4th placed Liverpool as the transition continued.

A strange season, losing the legend that was Mellberg, like a number of others far too early, losing promising Villa players such as Gary Cahill and replacing them although not directly with Nigel Reo-Coker, Zat Knight, Moustapha Salifou, Wayne Routledge, Marlon Harewood and Curtis Davies. Not necessarily bad players nor uncommitted to the Villa cause but certainly no improvement on the existing squad. 

That said, such was the honeymoon period for O’Neill and Lerner that the aberrations barely caused a murmur and the belief in O’Neill's motivation skills was such that any player, however ostensibly average, could become a world beater in claret and blue.

A small squad - with just 18 players making 5 or more appearances - and a lack of consistent quality across positions meant a 6th placed finish fully justified the O’Neill motivational legend.

 

That said this was now O’Neill’s squad and could and should have been much better constructed.

 

 2007-08 Season Statistics 


Games | 41 |

Won | 17 | 42% |   
Drew |
 12 | 29% |  
Lost |
12 | 29% |

Unbeaten | 29 | 71% |


Goals Scored | 76 | 1.85 Goals per game |
Goals Conceded | 54 | 1.32 Goals per game |
Clean Sheets | 10 | 24% |

Average Home Attendance | 39,340 |

Longest winning run | 4 Games |

League winning run | 4 Games |
Longest unbeaten run | 5 Games |
Longest losing run | 3 Games |

Games without a win | 3 Games |

 

 2007-08 Transfers

1 July 2007 - 30 June 2008


Incoming | 9 |

#804 Nigel Reo-Coker | West Ham United | £11,250,000 | Jul 07 | 23 |

#806 Marlon Harewood | West Ham United | £4,950,000 | Jul 07 | 27 |

#829 Andreas Weimann | SK Rapid Wien | Free | Jul 07 | 15 |

#831 Eric Lichaj | Chicago Magic | Free | Jul 07 | 18 |

#805 Scott Carson | Liverpool | Loan | Aug 07 | 21 |

#807 Zat Knight | Fulham | £4,230,000 | Aug 07 | 27 |

#808 Curtis Davies | West Bromwich Albion | Loan | Aug 07 | 22 |

#809 Moustapha Salifou | FC Wil 1900 | £450,000 | Aug 07 | 24 |

#810 Wayne Routledge | Tottenham Hotspur | £1,530,000 | Jan 08 | 23 | 

Outgoing | 12 |

#745 Jlloyd Samuel | Bolton Wanderers | Free | Jul 07 | 26 |

#776 Gavin McCann | Bolton Wanderers | £1,350,000 | Jul 07 | 29 |

#781 Steven Davis | Fulham | £5,310,000 | Jul 07 | 22 |

#783 Eric Djemba-Djemba | Qatar SC | Free | Jul 07 | 26 |

#784 Aaron Hughes Fulham | £1,350,000 | Jul 07 | 27 |

#797 Chris Sutton | Retired | Released | Jul 07 | 34 |

Bobby Olejnik | Falkirk | Free | Jul 07 | 20 |

#740 Mark Delaney | Retired | Released | Aug 07 | 31 |

#772 Liam Ridgewell | Birmingham City | £2,700,000 | Aug 07 | 23 |

#790 Gary Cahill | Bolton Wanderers | £5,400,000 | Jan 08 | 22 | 

#808 Curtis Davies | West Bromwich Albion | End of Loan | May 08 | 23 |

#805 Scott Carson | Liverpool | End of Loan | Jun 08 | 22 |

 2007-08 Squad Changes 


Debut Appearances | 7 |

#804 Nigel Reo-Coker | Saturday, 11 August 2007 | Liverpool (h) | 23 |

#805 Scott Carson | Saturday, 18 August 2007 | Newcastle United (a) | 21 |
#806 Marlon Harewood | Saturday, 25 August 2007 | Fulham (h) | 28 |
#807 Zat Knight | Sunday, 2 September 2007 | Chelsea (h) | 27 |
#808 Curtis Davies | Wednesday, 26 September 2007 | Leicester City (h), League Cup | 22 |
#809 Moustapha Salifou | Saturday, 12 January 2008 | Reading (h) | 24 |
#810
 Wayne Routledge | Saturday, 5 April 2008 | Bolton Wanderers (h) | 23 | 

Final Appearances | 6 |
#790 Gary Cahill | Tuesday, 28 August 2007 | Wrexham (a), League Cup | 21 | 
#778
 Luke Moore | Saturday, 5 January 2008 | Manchester United (h), FA Cup | 21 |  

#803 Shaun Maloney | Saturday, 29 March 2008 | Manchester United (a) | 25 | 

#787 Patrik Berger | Saturday, 3 May 2008 | Wigan Athletic (h) | 34 | 
#805
 Scott Carson | Sunday, 11 May 2008 | West Ham United (a) | 22 | 

#760 Olof Mellberg | Sunday, 11 May 2008 | West Ham United (a) | 30 | 

 2007-08 Squad Statistics 

Squad Size | 23 | (-10) |
Average Age | 25.4 | (-0.5) |

Average 1st XI Age | 25.99 | -0.05 |

Youngest 1st XI | 24.00 | Wrexham (a), League Cup | -0.28 |

Oldest 1st XI | 26.90 | West Ham United (h) | -1.41 |

Youngest Player(s) | 20 | 

 Isaiah Osbourne | 5-Nov-1987

Oldest Player(s) | 34 | 

Patrik Berger | 10-Nov-1973

 2007-08 Scorers 

Goals Scored | 76 | League Goals | 71 | FA Cup Goals | 0 | League Cup Goals | 5 | 

| 13 |

John Carew | Goals | 13 | League | 13 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 |

| 12 |
Gabby Agbonlahor | Goals | 12 | League | 12 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 |

| 9 |
Gareth Barry | Goals | 9 | League | 9 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 |
Ashley Young | Goals | 9 | League | 9 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 | 

| 7 |
Martin Laursen | Goals | 7 | League | 7 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 |

| 6 |
Shaun Maloney | Goals | 6 | League | 4 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 2 |

| 5 |
Marlon Harewood | Goals | 5 | League | 4 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 1 | 

| 4 |
Own Goal | Goals | 4 | League | 4 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 |

| 3 |
Craig Gardner | Goals | 3 | League | 3 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 |

| 2 |
Olof Mellberg | Goals | 2 | League | 2 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 |

| 1 |
Luke Moore | Goals | 1 | League | 0 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 1 |
Nigel Reo-Coker | Goals | 1 | League | 0 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 1 |
Zat Knight | Goals | 1 | League | 1 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 |
Curtis Davies | Goals | 1 | League | 1 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 | 
Wilfred Bouma | Goals | 1 | League | 1 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 |
Stiliyan Petrov | Goals | 1 | League | 1 | FA Cup | 0 | League Cup | 0 |

 2007-08 First Team Squad 

#728 | 6 | Gareth Barry | 26 |
#760
 | 4 | Olof Mellberg | 29 |

#775 | - | Thomas Sörensen | 31 |
#77
| 8 | Luke Moore | 21 |
#779 | 5 | Martin Laursen | 30 |
#787 | 23 | Patrik Berger | 33 |
#788
 | 3 | Wilfred Bouma | 29 |

#790 | 21 | Gary Cahill | 21 | LEFT JANUARY 2008

#792 | 13 | Stuart Taylor | 26 | 
#7
93 | 26 | Craig Gardner | 20 |
#7
94 | 11 | Gabby Agbonlahor | 20 |
#7
95 | 19 | Stiliyan Petrov | 28 |
#7
98 | 27 | Isaiah Osbourne | 19 |
#801 | 7 | Ashley Young | 22 |
#802
 | 10 | John Carew | 27 |

#803 | 28 | Shaun Maloney | 24 |
#804
 | 20 | Nigel Reo-Coker | 23 |

#805 | 22 | Scott Carson | 21 | 
#806 | 9 | Marlon Harewood | 27 |
#807 | 16 | Zat Knight | 27 |
#808 | 15 | Curtis Davies | 22 |
#809 | 17 | Moustapha Salifou | 24 |
#810
 | 23 | Wayne Routledge | 22 | 

 2007-08 Appearances 

| 40 |

#728 Gareth Barry | Appearances | 40 | League | 37 (0) | FA Cup | 1 (0) | League Cup | 2 (0) | . Player Profile

#794 Gabby Agbonlahor | Appearances | 40 | League | 37 (0) | FA Cup | 1 (0) | League Cup | 2 (0) | . Player Profile

| 39 |

#788 Wilfred Bouma | Appearances | 39 | League | 38 (0) | FA Cup | 1 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

#779 Martin Laursen | Appearances | 39 | League | 38 (0) | FA Cup | 1 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

#804 Nigel Reo-Coker | Appearances | 39 | League | 36 (0) | FA Cup | 1 (0) | League Cup | 2 (0) | . Player Profile

#801 Ashley Young | Appearances | 39 | League | 37 (0) | FA Cup | 1 (0) | League Cup | 0 (1) | . Player Profile

| 37 |

#760 Olof Mellberg | Appearances | 37 | League | 33 (1) | FA Cup | 1 (0) | League Cup | 2 (0) | . Player Profile

| 36 |

#805 Scott Carson | Appearances | 36 | League | 35 (0) | FA Cup | 1 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

| 33 |

#802 John Carew | Appearances | 33 | League | 32 (0) | FA Cup | 1 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

| 31 |

#795 Stiliyan Petrov | Appearances | 31 | League | 22 (6) | FA Cup | 1 (0) | League Cup | 1 (1) | . Player Profile

| 28 |

#807 Zat Knight | Appearances | 28 | League | 25 (2) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 1 (0) | . Player Profile

| 25 |

#793 Craig Gardner | Appearances | 25 | League | 15 (8) | FA Cup | 0 (1) | League Cup | 1 (0) | . Player Profile

#803 Shaun Maloney | Appearances | 25 | League | 11 (11) | FA Cup | 0 (1) | League Cup | 2 (0) | . Player Profile

#806 Marlon Harewood | Appearances | 25 | League | 1 (22) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 2 (0) | . Player Profile

| 18 |

#778 Luke Moore | Appearances | 18 | League | 8 (7) | FA Cup | 0 (1) | League Cup | 1 (1) | . Player Profile

| 14 |

#808 Curtis Davies | Appearances | 14 | League | 9 (3) | FA Cup | 1 (0) | League Cup | 1 (0) | . Player Profile

| 10 |

#798 Isaiah Osbourne | Appearances | 10 | League | 1 (7) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 2 (0) | . Player Profile

| 9 |

#787 Patrik Berger | Appearances | 9 | League | 0 (8) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (1) | . Player Profile

| 6 |

#792 Stuart Taylor | Appearances | 6 | League | 3 (1) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 2 (0) | . Player Profile

| 4 |

#809 Moustapha Salifou | Appearances | 4 | League | 0 (4) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

| 2 |

#790 Gary Cahill | Appearances | 2 | League | 0 (1) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 1 (0) | . Player Profile

| 1 |

#810 Wayne Routledge | Appearances | 1 | League | 0 (1) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

| 0 |

#775 Thomas Sörensen | Appearances | 0 | League | 0 (0) | FA Cup | 0 (0) | League Cup | 0 (0) | . Player Profile

 

 

 2007-08 'Keepers

Stuart Taylor | Appearances | 6 | Conceded | 6 | Ratio | 1.00 | 

Scott Carson | Appearances | 36 | Conceded | 48 | Ratio | 1.33 | 

 

 2007-08 Managerial Record 

Martin O’Neill’s second season as Villa boss saw a much improved 6th placed finish but early exits from both cups once again.

O’Neill’s Villa had achieved a win rate of 36%, losing 29% of their 83 League and Cup matches under his leadership.

As a result O’Neill had returned 1.43 points per game* across his 83 games in charge of Villa. In doing so O’Neill was ahead of his predecessors Billy McNeill (1.05 in 42), Tommy Cummings (1.06 in 67), Graham Taylor Mk 2 (1.17 in 60), Tommy Doherty (1.20 in 55), Graham Turner (1.23 in 107), Dick Taylor (1.23 in 146), Villa’s first professional manager Jimmy McMullan (1.24 in 99), Jozef Vengloš (1.29 in 49) and Eric Houghton (1.31 in 250), David O'Leary (1.35 in 131) and George Martin (1.42 in 119).

However O'Neill remained behind his predecessors Brian Little (1.51 in 154), Joe Mercer (1.51 in 282), Ron Atkinson (1.53 in 180), Tony Barton (1.56 in 137), Alex Massie (1.56 in 227) and John Gregory (1.57 in 190), Jimmy Hogan (1.59 in 124), Graham Taylor Mk 1 (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.

Martin O’Neill was worshipped by fans but in truth his figures weren’t particularly strong and his predecessor David O’Leary had a point when he, somewhat caustically, said he had achieved results as good as O’Neill in a less financially beneficial time - that is if you consider only his performance in his first season. That said hope and confidence was still high in MON’s ability to take the club forward.

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

 2007-08 Kits 

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 2007-08 Season Results 

 Game | #4976 | 

Matchday | #1 |
League Game | #1 |
Manager Game | #43 |
Saturday, 11 August 2007
Premier League | Home | Liverpool | Villa Park | 42,640 |

Manager | Martin O’Neill |

Referee | Mike Riley |
FT Result | Lost |

FT Score | 1-2 |

Last 5 Games | DWWDL |

League Position | 14th | - |

Scorers | Gareth Barry | 85’ pen |

Line Up |

GK Stuart Taylor |
RB Wilfred Bouma |
BOOKED | 58' | SUB OFF | 71' |
CB Martin Laursen | SUB OFF | 46' | 
CB Olof Mellberg | BOOKED | 26' | 
M Gareth Barry | BOOKED | 67' | GOAL | 85' |
M Craig Gardner |
W Ashley Young |
M Stiliyan Petrov |
BOOKED | 89' | 
M Nigel Reo-Coker | DEBUT |
F Gabby Agbonlahor |
CF John Carew |

Substitutes |

CB Gary Cahill for CB Martin Laursen | 46’ | 
F Luke Moore for RB Wilfred Bouma | 71’ |

Cards | 

 Yellow | Olof Mellberg | 26’ |

 Yellow | Wilfred Bouma | 58’ |

 Yellow | Gareth Barry | 67’ |

 Yellow | Stiliyan Petrov | 89’ |

Match Report

 On this day 11 August 2007 

Midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker made his Villa debut aged 23 after joining from West Ham United for a fee of £11,250,000 in July 2007.

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 Game #4977

Matchday | #2 |
League Game | #2 |
Manager Game | #44 |
Saturday, 18 August 2007
Premier League | Away | Newcastle United | St James’ Park | 51,049 |

Manager | Martin O’Neill |

Referee | Howard Webb |
FT Result | Drew |

FT Score | 0-0 |

Last 5 Games | WWDLD |

League Position | 17th | -3 |

Line Up |

GK Scott Carson | DEBUT |
RB Wilfred Bouma |
CB Martin Laursen |
CB Olof Mellberg |
M Gareth Barry |
M Craig Gardner |
BOOKED | 68' |
W Ashley Young |
M Stiliyan Petrov |
M Nigel Reo-Coker |
BOOKED | 87' |
F Gabby Agbonlahor |
CF John Carew |
SUB OFF | 66' |

Substitutes |

F Luke Moore for CF John Carew | 66’ |

Cards | 

 Yellow | Craig Gardner | 68’ |

 Yellow | Nigel Reo-Coker | 87’ |

Match Report

 On this day 18 August 2007 

Goalkeeper Scott Carson made his Villa debut aged 22 after joining on a season long loan from Liverpool in August 2007.

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 Game #4978

Matchday | #3 |
League Game | #3 |
Manager Game | #45 |
Saturday, 25 August 2007
Premier League | Home | Fulham | Villa Park | 36,638 |

Manager | Martin O’Neill |

Referee | Steve Bennett |
FT Result | Won |

FT Score | 2-1 |

Last 5 Games | WDLDW |

League Position | 11th | +6 |

Scorers | Ashley Young | 50’ | Shaun Maloney | 90’+1 |
Assists | Nigel Reo-Coker | 50’ | Ashley Young | 90’+1 |

Line Up |

GK Scott Carson |
RB Wilfred Bouma |
BOOKED | 50' | SUB OFF | 83' |
CB Martin Laursen |
CB Olof Mellberg |
M Gareth Barry |
M Craig Gardner |
W Ashley Young |
GOAL | 50' | ASSIST | 90'+1 |
M Stiliyan Petrov | SUB OFF | 45' | 
M Nigel Reo-Coker | ASSIST | 50' | 
F Gabby Agbonlahor |
CF John Carew |
SUB OFF | 77' | 

Substitutes |

F Luke Moore for M Stiliyan Petrov | 45’ | 
CF Marlon Harewood
DEBUT | for CF John Carew | 77’ | 
M Shaun Maloney
GOAL | 90'+1 | for RB Wilfred Bouma | 83’ |

Cards | 

 Yellow | Wilfred Bouma | 50’ |

Match Report

 On this day 25 August 2007 

Centre forward Marlon Harewood made his Villa debut aged 28 after joining from West Ham United for a fee of £4,950,000 in July 2007.

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 Game | #4979 | 

Matchday | #4 |
Manager Game | #46 |
Tuesday, 28 August 2007
League Cup | 2nd Round | Away | Wrexham | Racecourse Ground, Wrexham | 8,221 |

Manager | Martin O’Neill |

Referee | Graham Laws | 
FT Result | Won |

FT Score | 5-0 |

Last 5 Games | DLDWW |

Scorers | Shaun Maloney | 30’ | 72’ | Luke Moore | 52’ | Nigel Reo-Coker | 62’ | Marlon Harewood | 78’ |

Line Up |

GK Stuart Taylor |
CB Olof Mellberg |
CB Gary Cahill |
FINAL |
M Gareth Barry |
M Craig Gardner |
M Nigel Reo-Coker | 
GOAL | 62' | SUB OFF | 67' | 
M Shaun Maloney | GOAL | 30' | 72' | 
M Isaiah Osbourne |
F Gabby Agbonlahor |
F Luke Moore |
GOAL | 52' |
CF Marlon Harewood | GOAL | 78' |

Substitutes |

M Stiliyan Petrov for M Nigel Reo-Coker | 67’ |

Match Report

 On this day 28 August 2007 

Centre back Gary Cahill made his final appearance for Villa at the age of 22 before being sold to Bolton Wanderers for a fee of £5,400,000 in January 2008. Cahill, like Crouch, Davis and Hitzlsperger before him was clearly of the class to make a long term career with Villa but Martin O'Neill deemed him surplus to requirements with Martin Laursen and Olof Mellberg as his first choice centre back pairing. Given the injuries Laursen carried and the expectation that Mellberg would leave the club at his contract end, O'Neill's decision was even more purplexing and worrying. To the surprise of nobody Cahill went on to be a Premier League winning captain. 

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 Game #4980

Matchday | #5 |
League Game | #4 |
Manager Game | #47 |
Sunday, 2 September 2007
Premier League | Home | Chelsea | Villa Park | 37,714 |

Manager | Martin O’Neill |

Referee | Mark Clattenburg |
FT Result | Won |

FT Score | 2-0 |

Last 5 Games | LDWWW |

League Position | 10th | +1 |

Scorers | Zat Knight | 47’ | Gabby Agbonlahor | 88’ |

Assists | Gareth Barry | 47’ | Ashley Young | 88’ |

Line Up |

GK Scott Carson |
RB Wilfred Bouma |
CB Martin Laursen |
CB Olof Mellberg |
CB Zat Knight |
DEBUT | GOAL | 47' | 
M Gareth Barry | ASSIST | 47' | BOOKED | 66' |
M Nigel Reo-Coker | BOOKED | 56' | 
W Ashley Young | ASSIST | 88' |
F Gabby Agbonlahor | BOOKED | 71' | GOAL | 88' | 
F Luke Moore |
CF John Carew |
BOOKED | 71' | SUB OFF | 79' |

Substitutes |

M Stiliyan Petrov for CF John Carew | 79’ |

Cards | 

Yellow | Nigel Reo-Coker | 56’ |

Yellow | Gareth Barry | 66’ |

Yellow | Gabby Agbonlahor | 71’ |

Yellow | John Carew | 71’ |

Match Report

 On this day 2 September 2007 

Centre back Zat Knight made his Villa debut aged 27 after joining from Fulham for a fee of £4,230,000 in August.

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 Game #4981

Matchday | #6 |
League Game | #5 |
Manager Game | #48 |
Sunday, 16 September 2007
Premier League | Away | Manchester City | City of Manchester Stadium | 38,363 |

Manager | Martin O’Neill |

Referee | Martin Atkinson | 
FT Result | Lost |

FT Score | 0-1 |

Last 5 Games | DWWWL |

League Position | 11th | -1 |

Line Up |

GK Scott Carson |
RB Wilfred Bouma |
SUB OFF |  82' |
CB Martin Laursen |
CB Olof Mellberg |
CB Zat Knight |
M Gareth Barry |
M Nigel Reo-Coker |
SUB OFF | 82' |
W Ashley Young |
F Gabby Agbonlahor |
F Luke Moore |
BOOKED | 78' |
CF John Carew | SUB OFF | 66' | 

Substitutes |

M Shaun Maloney for CF John Carew | 66’ | 
M Craig Gardner for RB Wilfred Bouma | 82’ | 
M Stiliyan Petrov for M Nigel Reo-Coker | 82’ |

Cards | 

 Yellow | Luke Moore | 78’ |

Match Report

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 Game #4982

Matchday | #7 |
League Game | #6 |
Manager Game | #49 |
Sunday, 23 September 2007
Premier League | Home | Everton | Villa Park | 38,235 |

Manager | Martin O’Neill |

Referee | Lee Probert |
FT Result | Won |

FT Score | 2-0 |

Last 5 Games | WWWLW |

League Position | 8th | +3 |

Scorers | John Carew | 14’ | Gabby Agbonlahor | 61’ |
Assists | Scott Carson | 61’ |

Line Up |

GK Scott Carson | ASSIST | 61' | 
RB Wilfred Bouma |
CB Martin Laursen |
CB Olof Mellberg |
CB Zat Knight |
M Gareth Barry |
M Nigel Reo-Coker |
W Ashley Young |
F Luke Moore |
SUB OFF | 80' |
CF John Carew | GOAL | 14' | SUB OFF | 53' |
F Gabby Agbonlahor | GOAL | 61' | BOOKED | 62' |

Substitutes |

M Craig Gardner for CF John Carew | 53’ | 
CF Marlon Harewood for F Luke Moore | 80’ |

Cards | 

 Yellow | Gabby Agbonlahor | 62’ |

Match Report

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 Game #4983

Matchday | #8 |
Manager Game | #50 |
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
League Cup | 3rd Round | Home | Leicester City | Villa Park | 25,956 |

Manager | Martin O’Neill |

Referee | Lee Mason |
FT Result | Lost |

FT Score | 0-1 |

Last 5 Games | WWLWL |

Line Up |

GK Stuart Taylor |
CB Olof Mellberg |
CB Zat Knight |
CB Curtis Davies |
DEBUT | SUB OFF | 80' |
M Gareth Barry |
M Nigel Reo-Coker |
M Stiliyan Petrov |
M Shaun Maloney |
M Isaiah Osbourne |
SUB OFF | 71' |
CF Marlon Harewood |
SUB OFF | 77' |
F Gabby Agbonlahor |

Substitutes |

W Ashley Young for M Isaiah Osbourne | 71’ | 
F Luke Moore for CF Marlon Harewood | 77’ | 
W Patrik Berger for CB Curtis Davies | 80’ | 

Match Report

 On this day 26 September 2007 

Centre back Curtis Davies made his debut appearance for Villa after joining on a season long loan from West Bromwich Albion in August 2007.

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 Game #4984

Matchday | #9 |
League Game | #7 |
Manager Game | #51 |
Monday, 1 October 2007
Premier League | Away | Tottenham Hotspur | White Hart Lane | 36,094 |

Manager | Martin O’Neill |

Referee | Mike Dean |
FT Result | Drew |

FT Score | 4-4 |

Last 5 Games | WLWLD |

League Position | 9th | -1 |

Scorers | Martin Laursen | 22’ | 33’ | Gabby Agbonlahor | 40’ | Craig Gardner | 59’ |
Assists | Zat Knight | 33’ |

Line Up |

GK Scott Carson | BOOKED | 85' | 
RB Wilfred Bouma |
CB Martin Laursen |
GOAL | 22' | 33' |
CB Olof Mellberg |
CB Zat Knight |
ASSIST | 33' | 
M Gareth Barry |
M Nigel Reo-Coker |
BOOKED | 10' |
M Craig Gardner | BOOKED | 13' | GOAL | 59' | SUB OFF | 73' |
W Ashley Young |
F Gabby Agbonlahor |
GOAL | 40' | 
F Luke Moore | SUB OFF | 66' | 

Substitutes |

CF Marlon Harewood for F Luke Moore | 66’ | 
M Stiliyan Petrov for M Craig Gardner | 73’ | 

Cards | 

Yellow | Nigel Reo-Coker | 10’ |

Yellow | Craig Gardner | 13’ |

Yellow | Scott Carson | 85’ |

Match Report

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 Game #4985

Matchday | #10 |
Lea