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Orange's football trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

Tom, Hull – 16 April 2014

Is it true that only one person has ever scored from a corner in the World Cup finals and if so do you have his name and country for me?

The Gaffer says:

Corner PA

It's true. Former Colombia midfielder Marcos Coll is the only player to have scored direct from a corner at the World Cup after his set-piece went straight in against Soviet Union at the 1962 finals in Chile. It was actually a rubbish corner which should have easily been cleared at the near post, but defender Givi Chokheli inexplicably let the ball bounce past him and into the net, much to the fury of the legendary Lev Yashin who was in goal. It inspired a thrilling Colombia fightback as they came from 4-1 down to snatch a 4-4 draw.

Mike., Hull – 16 April 2014

Russ Wicox has recently broken the record for a newly-appointed manager by going 24 games unbeaten and counting - beating a 125-year Football League record held by William Sudell as manager of Preston North End. Some sources are saying this is a world record. Surely this can't be right? Please help solve this problem.

The Gaffer says:

He's been credited with the world record, although it is unverified. The Scunthorpe boss extended his unbeaten run since replacing Brian Laws as manager on 20 November to 26 matches following Saturday's 2-2 draw against Bury. That result means he has passed the milestone set by former Chelsea and Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas, who went 25 games unbeaten after becoming manager of Porto in 2010.

John, Wirral – 15 April 2014

Which team last scored 100 goals in the Premier League?

The Gaffer says:

Chelsea are the only team to have reached the landmark in the Premier League era with 103 goals in 2009-10. The Blues scored 68 at Stamford Bridge and 35 away from home. Their record is under threat this season, though. Liverpool are currently on 93 goals with four games left, while Manchester City have scored 86 to date with six matches remaining.

Richard Evans, Wellingborough – 15 April 2014

With reference to players playing for two international teams, Diego Costa has two caps for Brazil and recently made his debut for Spain, how is this possible?

The Gaffer says:

Costa's two appearances for Brazil against Italy and Russia were both friendly matches, meaning he was still allowed to switch allegiances as you are not tied to one country until you have played in an official competitive game. Costa is the fifth Brazil-born player to feature for Spain after Heraldo Bezerra, Catanha, Donato and Marcos Senna, although none of the others were capped by the five-time World Cup winners.

Neily Brown, Campbeltown, Argyll, Scotland – 14 April 2014

Gaffer, can you please tell me the 1st..2nd and 3rd placings in the European Footballer of the Year Award in the following years: 1967, 1968, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984. You will notice that this is the years that British clubs won the European Champions Cup!!

The Gaffer says:

Right Neily, here goes (I've put an asterisk next to a player if he played for that season's European Cup winners): 1967 - Florian Albert (Ferencvaros), Bobby Charlton (Man Utd), Jimmy Johnstone* (Celtic). 1968 - George Best* (Man Utd), Bobby Charlton* (Man Utd), Dragan Dzajic (Red Star). 1977 - Allan Simonsen (Borussia Monchengladbach), Kevin Keegan (Hamburg), Michel Platini (Nancy). 1978 - Kevin Keegan (Hamburg), Hans Krankl (Barcelona), Rob Rensenbrink (Anderlecht). 1979 - Kevin Keegan (Hamburg), Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Bayern Munich), Ruud Krol (Ajax). 1980 - Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Bayern Munich), Bernd Schuster (Barcelona), Michel Platini (St Etienne). 1981 - Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Bayern Munich), Paul Breitner (Bayern Munich), Bernd Schuster (Bayern Munich). 1982 - Paolo Rossi (Juventus), Alain Giresse (Bordeaux), Zbigniew Boniek (Juventus). 1984 - Michel Platini (Juventus), Jean Tigana (Bordeaux), Preben Elkjaer (Verona). So, in the nine years you mention, only three European Cup-winning players were voted among the top three players in Europe, and only one of them won it. Seems a bit strange, doesn't it?

Dr Evil, Planet Zorb – 3 April 2014

What significant goal did Moritz Voltz score?

The Gaffer says:

Moritz Volz was the rather unlikely scorer of the Premier League's 15,000th goal when he netted for Fulham against Chelsea in December 2006. Other Prem goalscoring landmarks are as follows: 1000th - Mike Newell (Blackburn v Forest, April 1993), 2000th - Mick Quinn (Coventry v Man City, Feb 1994), 5000th - Chris Sutton and Andy Townsend jointly (Blackburn v Leicester and Aston Villa v Southampton, December 1996), 10,000th - Les Ferdinand (Tottenham v Fulham, December 2001) and 20,000th - Marc Albrighton (Aston Villa v Arsenal, December 2011).

Sam, Suffolk – 31 March 2014

Can you name the player (outfielder) who has played the most Premier League games without scoring?

The Gaffer says:

Kenny Cunningham PA

That particular 'accolade' belongs to Kenny Cunningham, whose personal goal record during his 10-year Premier League career is completely blank. In all he played 335 top-flight matches (starting 334 of them, and coming off the bench just once) for Wimbledon and Birmingham without ever hitting the net. He did score just one goal as a professional - it was for Millwall in Division One (i.e. second tier) in a 2-2 draw away to Portsmouth on 2 April 1994.

Colin Robson, Middlesbrough – 7 March 2014

How many players with the letter x in their surname have full caps for England?

The Gaffer says:

Bit of a 'pub classic' this one, so it's certainly worth repeating - Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Graham Rix, Lee Dixon, Kerry Dixon, Graeme le Saux, Jason Wilcox, Mike Duxbury, Jack Cox, Ronnie Dix, John Dixon, Albert Quixhall, Freddie Fox and George Molyneux.

Ken McKie, Newcastle – 3 March 2014

How many players have scored for both teams in a Premier League game and can you name them?

The Gaffer says:

Excellent question, Ken. There's a lot more than you probably think: 2013-14 - Fabian Delph, James Chester, Vincent Kompany, Phil Bardsley. 12-13 - Wayne Rooney, Gareth Bale, Emmerson Boyce, Jonny Evans. 11-12 - Thomas Vermaelen, Danny Graham. 10-11 - Brede Hangeland, Martin Skrtel. 09-10 - Kamil Zayatte, Carlton Cole, Jody Craddock, Leon Osman, Emmanuel Adebayor. 08-09 - Kevin Davies. 07-08 - William Gallas. 05-06 - George Boateng. 04-05 - James Beattie. 02-03 - Edu, Michael Svensson. 01-02 - Niall Quinn, David Beckham. 00-01 - David Unsworth, Mark Venus. 99-00 - Dion Dublin, Chris Armstrong. 98-99 - Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard. 96-97 - Scott Minto. 94-95 - Neil Maddison. 93-94 - Craig Burley, Chris Sutton. I make that 35 and counting!

Rob H, Norwich – 14 April 2014

There is only 1 team in the football league without any of the letters from the word mackeral in its full name, which team isit??

The Gaffer says:

You can't claim to know anything about football trivia until you know the answer to this pub classic. It's your 'starter for ten', your passcode at the front door of Gaffer Towers. It's Swindon Town.

Rich and Jon, Sunderland – 10 December 2013

Which player has played in the Old Firm derby, Manchester derby and Merseyside derby?

The Gaffer says:

There are actually three - Andrei Kanchelskis (who is the only player to have scored in all of them), Michael Ball and Craig Bellamy.

Patrick Bescoby, Cheshire – 26 September 2013

There are four players who have played in all four divisions of the English football league, name them.

The Gaffer says:

You need to add on a couple of zeroes because there have been hundreds of players who have appeared in all four divisions. Regular readers will know of two players who managed to do it in the same season - Eric Nixon and Tony Cottee.

Chris, Copenhagen – 27 August 2013

Which player has appeared in the first team of Liverpool, Everton, Man Utd and Man City?

The Gaffer says:

Beardsley PA

Old one! Peter Beardsley started his career at Manchester Utd, making just one League Cup appearance before representing Liverpool and Everton with distinction in the 1980s and 90s. He played six games on loan for Man City in the 1997-98 season.

Popodom, Chesterfield – 6 August 2013

Which goalkeeper has played in all four English leagues in the same season?

The Gaffer says:

Bit of an old chestnut this. Eric Nixon achieved the feat in the 1986-87 season when Manchester City loaned him to Southampton, Bradford, Carlisle and Wolves.

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