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Orange's football trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

Andy Gault, Troon – 24 April 2014

Can you tell me Gaffer, when was the last time Man United recorded less than 3 shots on target in a Premier League game before Moyes took charge?

The Gaffer says:

It wasn't actually that long ago, Andy. Man United only managed two shots on target in Sir Alex Ferguson's third-last game in charge, the 1-0 home defeat against Chelsea when a certain Juan Mata netted the winner. Under David Moyes' tenure this season, the Red Devils managed just one shot on target against Liverpool (H), two shots on target against Arsenal (H and A) and three shots on target against Norwich (A), Chelsea (H) and Everton (A). Although there are a couple of wins within those games mentioned, the shots on target stats do coincide with Man United's woeful form against the top six this season.

Colin, Grimsby – 24 April 2014

Hi gaff, if Real and Atletico win their Champions League semi-finals, will that be the first time a European final has been between teams from the same city? And if not what is the closest milage between teams in a European cup final, my mate says it might be Chelsea v Man utd?

The Gaffer says:

Good question, Colin. An Atletico v Real Madrid final would indeed be the first time two teams from the same city have reached the European Cup/Champions League final. In fact, there has only been four occasions where both finalists are from the same country; Real Madrid v Valencia (99/00), AC Milan v Juventus (02/03), Man United v Chelsea (07/08) and last year's final between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. Although your friend is correct in pointing out the Man United v Chelsea final, only 86 miles separate Milan and Juventus, whereas 207 miles separate the Red Devils and the Blues. Between Real and Valencia there's 224 miles and last year's German finalists are 370 miles apart. A mere five miles separate Real Madrid's Bernabeu and Atletico's Vicente Calderon.

David Forster, Co.Durham – 23 April 2014

Hi Gaffer, There is one team in the United Kingdom with a letter in there name that no other club has, what is the letter and who is ths team?

The Gaffer says:

I'm feeling in a good mood this afternoon so I'll indulge you this one old chestnut! It's St Johnstone; the only league team in Great Britain with a J in their name.

Mark, Stoke-on-Trent – 23 April 2014

Hi gaffer, awesome page. Some managers have been replaced to great effect this season (Palace) whereas some have had no effect at all (Cardiff). Of the teams in the Prem that have changed managers this season, how have their teams fared in terms of points per game before and after? Is the grass always greener?

The Gaffer says:

Crystal Palace have certainly seen the most dramatic upturn in fortunes since sacking their manager this season. Here are the relative points per game of each manager at each club that have made a change, in order of success: Crystal Palace - Holloway 0.38 / Pulis 1.63. Sunderland - Di Canio 0.2 / Poyet 0.96. Tottenham - Villas-Boas 1.69 / Sherwood 1.89. Fulham - Jol 0.77 / Meulensteen 0.83 / Magath 1.11. West Brom - Clarke 0.94 / Mel 0.86. Cardiff - Mackay 0.94 / Solskjaer 0.86. So, five changes resulted in improved results (two dramatically and three less so) and two led to a decline in results. (Of the other three sackings, Swansea and Man Utd are yet to appoint permanent successors, and Neil Adams has only had two games in charge of Norwich so the comparison isn't really a fair one).

Hammy Bradstock, Plymouth – 23 April 2014

Gaffer, we all know you are the real "chosen one" but how did David Moyes fare in his first 34 league games with Everton compared to the same period at Man Utd?

The Gaffer says:

David Moyes' record in his first 34 league games at Everton is startlingly similar to his first 34 at Old Trafford. After taking over at Goodison on 14 March 2002, Moyes won 16, drew 7 and lost 11 of his first 34. At Manchester United, his record was won 17, drew 6, lost 11.

Tom, Birmingham – 27 February 2014

Hi Gaff, I wondered which player has played under the most number of different managers in the Premier League?

The Gaffer says:

We've had this one before, but the answer is now different to last time! The 'record holder' used to be Shay Given, with 16 managers played under in the Premier League, including caretakers (Bobby Robson, Graeme Souness, Glenn Roeder, Alex McLeish , Mark Hughes, Ruud Gullit, Kenny Dalglish, Roberto Mancini, Joe Kinnear, Sam Allardyce, Kevin Keegan, Nigel Pearson , Chris Hughton, Tony Parkes, Paul Lambert and John Carver). However, Damien Duff has since equalled Given's record and when Felix Magath picks him for Fulham (the Irishman didn't feature in Magath's first game in charge at West Brom) he will play under his 17th Premier League manager and claim the record as his own! Duff's managers are as follows (numbers in brackets indicate number of games played under those bosses): Roy Hodgson (70),Graeme Souness (58), Jose Mourinho (58), Martin Jol (40), Mark Hughes (24), Claudio Ranieri (23), Glenn Roeder (22), Joe Kinnear (18), Brian Kidd (15), Kevin Keegan (13), Alan Shearer (8), Rene Meulensteen (8), Sam Allardyce (4), Chris Hughton (2), Tony Parkes (2), Nigel Pearson (1).

Habib Basma, Sierra Leone – 19 February 2014

Can a player play for more than one international team (competitively) in his career?

The Gaffer says:

Not any more. Once a player has received a full international cap for one country, they can't then play for another (the exception is when a country disintegrates and changes identity. e.g. When Yugoslavia split into Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia etc. This meant that many players were capped by two countries, such as Robert Prosinecki and Davor Suker). Rules were brought in by Fifa in the 1960s to prevent players swapping nationalities, but before then it was fairly common. Two of the most illustrious names in the game did it, in fact. Ferenc Puskas played for Hungary and Spain, while Alfredo Di Stefano for Argentina, Colombia and Spain. Others include Luisito Monti for Argentina and Italy, James Kennaway for Canada and Scotland, Enrique Guaita for Argentina and Italy, Raimondo Orsi for Argentina and Italy, Laszlo Kubala for Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Spain while in England, John Reynolds (England and Ireland), John Hawley Edwards (England and Wales) and Ken Armstrong (England and New Zealand) all picked up caps for more than one nation.

Masai Graham, West Brom – 14 February 2014

Who holds the record for Premier league goals scored against their former clubs? As Craig Bellamy recently became the first player to score for 7 different Premier league teams, I'm going to guess that it's probably him. Am I right?

The Gaffer says:

Anelka PA

Craig Bellamy has only actually scored five goals against former clubs in the Premier League (two against Norwich and three against Newcastle). The king of Premier League goals against old clubs is surely Nicolas Anelka. He has scored 19 vs ex-employers - three v Bolton, six v Liverpool, three v Man City and seven v Arsenal.

Steve Brown, Borneo – 14 March 2014

Which player has played for 4 clubs who have all won the European Cup, but the teams never won their domestic league nor the European Cup whilst he played for them?

The Gaffer says:

Dean Saunders PA

An oldie, but most definitely a goldie! The answer to this classic pub question is Dean Saunders. He's played for ex-European Cup winners Liverpool, Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Benfica, but never come remotely close to winning it himself. Edit (1): Johnny in York has got in touch with an adendum to this answer: "Gaffer - Pierre Van Hooijdonk! Celtic, Forest, Benfica and Feyernoord." He's right, y'know. Edit (2): Murray in Belfast has also got in touch to throw Robbie Keane into the mix. He's right too! Keane's relevant clubs are Inter Milan, Liverpool, Celtic and Aston Villa.

David Forster, Co.Durham – 23 April 2014

Hi Gaffer, There is one team in the United Kingdom with a letter in there name that no other club has, what is the letter and who is ths team?

The Gaffer says:

I'm feeling in a good mood this afternoon so I'll indulge you this one old chestnut! It's St Johnstone; the only league team in Great Britain with a J in their name.

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.

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