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Orange's football trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

Alistair Butchart, Johannesburg, South Africa – 23 July 2014

Which Premier League player past or present has the longest surname? There have been some real whoppers out there!

The Gaffer says:

Vennegoor of Hesselink PA

That honour goes to Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, who scored three goals in 31 Premier League apparances for Hull City in the 2009-10 season. At a quid a letter, it would have cost you 20 sheets to get the Dutchman's name on the back of your shirt! Vennegoor of Hesselink dates from the 17th century when two farming families from the Enschede region of Holland were united by marriage, but neither would accept the loss of their name. 'Of' in Dutch translates to 'or' in English. Last season, Cardiff defender Kevin Theophile-Catherine led the way with 18 letters, but now the Bluebirds have been relegated, Arsenal and England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has the longest surname at 17 letters long.

 

Dave, Wardle – 23 July 2014

How many Smiths have played for England? And how many Joneses for Wales? I am asking as these are the names perceived as being most common in the two countries.

The Gaffer says:

Jones PA

There have been 20 different Smiths for England - Alan x2, Albert, Arnold, Bert, Billy, Bobby, Charles, Gilbert, Herbert, Jack, Joe x2, Leslie, Lionel, Reg, Sep, Steve, Tommy and Trevor. However, they are dwarfed in comparison to the amount of Joneses who have been capped by Wales, which include 55 to date - Albert x2, Alexander, Andy, Barrie, Bryn, Charlie, Cliff, David x2, Di, Ernie, Evan, Frederick x2, Gordon, Hugh, Humphrey, Ivor, Jack, Jeffrey, Jimmy, Joe, Joey, John x2, Keith, Lee, Leslie, Lot, Love, Mark, Matt, Owain Tudor, Owen, Paul, Ralph, Richard x4, Robert, Ryan, Samuel x2, Thomas x4, Vinnie (pictured), Wayne, William x3 and Wilson. If you're allowing hyphenated surnames then you can also add Albert and William Pryce-Jones and John Eyton-Jones to the list. No Smith has ever represented Wales, but there have been eight Joneses for England - Alf, Bill, Harry, Herbert, Mick, Phil, Rob and William.

Ehjaz, Islamabad – 23 July 2014

How many Muslim footballers are currently playing in the EPL?

The Gaffer says:

Around 40 at the last count, although this list doesn't include players from recently-promoted trio Leicester, Burnley and QPR: Abou Diaby, Mesut Ozil, Yaya Sanogo, Karim El Ahmadi, Yacouba Sylla, Mohamed Salah, Marouane Chamakh, Adlene Guedioura, Arouna Kone, Ahmed Elmohamady, Mamadou Sakho, Kolo Toure, Samed Yesil, Oussama Assaidi, Samir Nasri, Yaya Toure, Edin Dzeko, Bacary Sagna, Adnan Januzaj, Marouane Fellaini, Massadio Haidara, Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiote, Moussa Sissoko, Papiss Cisse, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Mehdi Abeid, Asmir Begovic, Modibo Diakite, El-Hadji Ba, Younes Kaboul, Mousa Dembele, Nacer Chadli, Nabil Bentaleb, Youssouf Mulumbu, Adil Nabi, Mohamed Diame, Modibo Maiga.

Colin Robson, Middlesbrough – 23 July 2014

How many players who have won the European Cup or Champions League have played for Middlesbrough

The Gaffer says:

I've got 14: Bobby Murdoch (Celtic 1967), Nobby Stiles (Man Utd 1968), Graeme Souness (Liverpool 1978, 1981, 1984), Viv Anderson (Nottingham Forest 1979, 1980), Pat Heard (Aston Villa 1982), David Hodgson (Liverpool 1984), Craig Johnston (Liverpool 1984), Alen Boksic (Marseille 1993), Michael Reiziger (Ajax 1995), Fabrizio Ravanelli (Juventus 1996), Christian Karembeu (Real Madrid 1998, 2000), Jonathan Greening (Man Utd 1999), Geremi (Real Madrid 2000, 2002), Ross Turnbull (Chelsea 2012).

John, Bromley – 22 July 2014

Hi Gaffer. I know this is a near impossible q but I would really like to find out how many Chelsea players including ex players & managers were at the 2014 World Cup... do your best for me.

The Gaffer says:

John, nothing is impossible!There were 17 players who were on Chelsea's books during the World Cup - David Luiz, Oscar, Ramires, Willian, Samuel Eto'o, Fernando Torres, Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, Frank Lampard (technically his contract didn't expire until June 30), Jon Obi Mikel, Andre Schurrle and Eden Hazard, plus five players who were on loan - Victor Moses, Thibaut Courtois, Romelu Lukaku, Kenneth Omeruo and Christian Atsu. Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa signed for Chelsea during the tournament, so let's add them in too. The ex-Blues in action in Brazil were Arjen Robben, Juan Mata, Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba, Glen Johnson, Daniel Sturridge, Michael Essien, Raul Meireles, Kevin de Bruyne and Yuri Zhirkov. As for the managers, of course we have Luis Felipe Scolari and Didier Deschamps.

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.

Neil Vaughan, Rhondda – 16 January 2014

Name 10 Michaels who have played 100 or more Premiership games.

The Gaffer says:

I actually make it 13! Here's the full rundown in order of appearances - Carrick (395), Owen (326), Silvestre (275), Gray (234), Dawson (225), Hughes (197), Brown (194), Ball (169), Essien (168), Duberry (161), Turner (153), Thomas (108), Ballack (105). P.S. I'm not counting any Mikes, nor Maik Taylor or Mikael Forssell!

Wally Thomson, Norwich – 9 June 2014

Who is the youngest player ever to play at a World Cup?

The Gaffer says:

An old one but as it's that time of the year... Norman Whiteside, aged 17 years and 41 days, for Northern Ireland against Yugoslavia in 1982. Pele is the youngest to play in the final. He was 17 years and 249 days old when he scored twice in Brazil 5-2 victory against Sweden in 1958.

Frederick Gillespie, Nottingham – 15 May 2014

Gaffer, my wife informs me that this season has seen a record number of managers leaving their posts in the Premiership? when was the previous record set and what was it?

The Gaffer says:

I wish my wife casually dished out football trivia over the dinner table! She's spot on. There were 10 managerial departures during the 2013/14 Premier League season, and 12 if you count Tim Sherwood and Pepe Mel, who technically left after the season had ended. The previous record was in 2008/09, when there were nine, but again 12 if you count the proceeding summer. They were, in chronological order, Alan Curbishley (resigned at West Ham), Kevin Keegan (quit Newcastle), Juande Ramos (sacked by Spurs), Harry Redknapp (left Portsmouth for Spurs), Roy Keane (resigned from Sunderland), Paul Ince (sacked by Blackburn), Tony Adams (sacked by Portsmouth), Luiz Felipe Scolari (sacked by Chelsea) and Joe Kinnear (stepped down at Newcastle). Then after the season had finished Guus Hiddink left as interim manager of Chelsea, Ricky Sbragia resigned at Sunderland and Steve Bruce left Wigan to replace him on Wearside.

Richard, St Helens – 15 May 2014

Which nine players have scored for six different Premier League clubs

The Gaffer says:

Bellamy PA

Craig Bellamy has now scored for seven different Prem clubs, making him the sole the record holder. He's netted for Coventry, Newcastle, Blackburn, Liverpool, West Ham, Man City and Cardiff. The others are: Andrew Cole (Newcastle, Man Utd, Blackburn, Fulham, Man City and Portsmouth), Les Ferdinand (QPR, Newcastle, Tottenham West Ham, Leicester, Bolton), Robbie Keane (Coventry, Leeds, Tottenham, Liverpool, West Ham and Aston Villa), Nicolas Anelka (Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City, Bolton, Chelsea and West Brom), Darren Bent (Ipswich, Charlton, Tottenham, Sunderland, Aston Villa and Fulham), Marcus Bent (Crystal Palace, Ipswich, Leicester, Everton, Charlton and Wigan), Peter Crouch (Aston Villa, Southampton, Liverpool, Portsmouth, Tottenham and Stoke) and Nick Barmby (Tottenham, Middlesbrough, Everton, Leeds, Liverpool and Hull).

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.

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