Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham United 

Saturday, 6th October 2007
by Alex Shilling

As I ticked off the 14th club in the Premiership and Football League’s groundhopper's list I gazed around before I entered the stadium to get a more accurate view of Birmingham as a city. Walking from Whitton station, the old man and I had passed three brothels, four sex shops, countless run-down bookies and greasy takeaways. 'Not as nice as Greenwich then?' was the comment from pater. 'Not even as nice as Millwall,' I murmured back.

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Player Ratings

Robert Green
Dealt with most things comfortably apart from one occasion in the first half where he completely missed a cross. Couldn't do anything about the goal.

Lucas Neill
Has looked completely out of his depth in the last three matches and against Villa's pacy forwards today.

George McCartney
Did well. Looked good going forward, and was tidy and efficient at the back.

Danny Gabbidon
Played very well up until the goal. Maybe Collins would be a better choice for Sunderland in a couple of weeks.

Matthew Upson
Dealt with most things well, but was occasionally beaten to the ball by smaller players. Needs to work hard in training this week.

Lee Bowyer
Good effort, good distribution, improving with every game.

Hayden Mullins
Did everything that was required of him, but you do feel that we would have got more out of the game with Noble on from the start.

Freddie Ljungberg
Was at the heart of most of our attacks but his distribution was poor at times and he clearly needs to work on his final ball.

Matthew Etherington
Not bad. Nothing like his rampaging best that we saw at Reading a few weeks ago but got stuck in.

Henri Camara
Looked dangerous when he was on the pitch. Not entirely sure what he thought he was doing when he punched the ball in though.

Dean Ashton
Didn't see much from him, largely due to the lack of service. Looked a bit tired and eventually did his knee ligaments.


Carlton Cole
(replaced Camara, 36) Best work ethic in the whole squad; he tried and tried. I just wish the fans would get off his back.

Mark Noble
(replaced Mullins, 80) If Curbs was trying to get the best out of him by the stick rather than the carrot, this wasn't the game to do it in.

Luis Boa Morte
(replaced Etherington, 81) Decent when he came on for the last five minutes or so. Put in a great cross for Carlton Cole.

Richard Wright
Did not play.

James Collins
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Robert Green, Lucas Neill, George McCartney, Danny Gabbidon, Matthew Upson, Lee Bowyer, Hayden Mullins, Freddie Ljungberg, Matthew Etherington, Henri Camara, Dean Ashton.

Goals: None.

Booked: Henri Camara 9 George McCartney 73        .

Sent Off: None sent off.     .

Aston Villa: Carson, Mellberg, Laursen, Bouma, Knight, Gardner, Reo-Coker, Barry, Young, Moore, Agbonlahor.

Subs not used: Taylor, Davies, Osbourne.

Goals: Gardner (24).

Booked: Knight (36), Reo-Coker (55), Mellberg (68).

Sent off: None.

Referee: S.Tanner.

Attendance: 40,824.

Man of the Match: Freddie Ljungberg.