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Orange's football trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

Arthur D, Donemana, Ulster – 17 April 2014

Since the inception of the SPL, how many different teams have played in it and who are they please? Thanks Gaffer

The Gaffer says:

19 teams played in SPL before it folded 2013. Here are teams in order of how many seasons they played in the SPL; Celtic, Hearts, Motherwell, Kilmarnock, Aberdeen, Dundee United (15 seasons), Rangers and Hibernian (14), Dunfermline (9), Inverness, St Johnstone, Dundee and St Mirren (8), Falkirk and Livingston (5), Hamilton (3), Partick Thistle (2), Ross County and Gretna (1).

Roger, Watford – 17 April 2014

When was the last time Everton finished above Man United?

The Gaffer says:

Everton have not finished above Manchester United in the Premier League era (yet!), although they did come relatively close in the 2004-05 season. You have to go back to the 1989-90 First Division campaign to find the last time. The Toffees finished 6th with the Red Devil all the way down in 13th.

Jon, Edinburgh – 17 April 2014

How many under 19's have played in the Premier League this season?

The Gaffer says:

The tally currently stands at 22. Moussa Dembele and Patrick Roberts (both Fulham, Adam Armstrong (Newcastle), Serge Gnabry and Chuba Akpom (both Arsenal), Sam Gallagher and Luke Shaw (both Southampton), Milos Veljkovic (Tottenham), Declan John (Cardiff), Hiram Boateng (Crystal Palace) and Jordon Ibe (Liverpool) are the current crop of U19 players. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Adnan Januzaj (Man United), Mats Moller Daehli (Cardiff), Nabil Bentaleb (Tottenham), James Ward-Prowse, Calum Chambers and Harrison Reed (all Southampton), Cauley Woodrow and Muamer Tankovic (both Fulham), John Stones (Everton), Josh Murphy (Norwich) and Elliott Lee (West Ham) all turning 19 during the season.

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, Dublin – 15 November 2013

Is it possible to name a team solely from players who have served time in prison?

The Gaffer says:

I'll give it a go, John! There's a few square pegs in round holes here in terms of the formation, but here are XI footballing jailbirds: Rene Higuita (kindapping and extortion); Gary Charles (various drink-related offences), Tony Adams (drink driving), Peter Storey (running a brothel, stealing cars, involvement in counterfeit coins racket and importing illegal porn videos!), Mark Ward (possession of cocaine with intent to supply), Jermaine Pennant (drink driving), Jan Molby (reckless driving), Joey Barton (assault); George Best (drink driving and assault), Lee Hughes (death by dangerous driving), Marlon King (receiving stolen goods and sexual assault, assault and ABH).

Ian Neary, Dublin – 10 November 2013

Hello again Gaffer, can you name the 10 players to play and lose in a World Cup and European/CL Cup Final both in the same year?? (i.e Robben 2010)

The Gaffer says:

Love the question! Here goes - Nils Leidholm (Sweden and AC Milan 1958), Wolfgang Dremmler, Paul Breitner and Karlheinz Rummenigge (Bayern Munich and West Germany 1982), Carsten Ramelow, Bernd Schneider and Oliver Neuville (Germany and Bayer Leverkusen 2002), Thierry Henry (France and Arsenal 2006) and Arjen Robben and Mark van Bommel (Bayern and Netherlands 2010).

Rob Bardsley, Manchester – 8 November 2013

Which 4 Champions League managers have managed five or more different clubs in the competition?

The Gaffer says:

Nice question Rob! Here they are - Ronald Koeman (Feyenood, AZ Alkmaar, Valencia, PSV, Ajax), Carlo Ancelotti (Real, PSG, Chelsea, Milan, Juve, Parma), Rafa Benitez (Napoli, Chelsea, Inter, Liverpool, Valencia), Claudio Ranieri (Inter, Roma, Juventus, Valencia, Chelsea).

Adam Davey, London – 28 October 2013

Gaffer, one you might find quite tough. Since the second tier of English football was re-branded as The Championship in 2004, who is its top goalscorer? I would imagine Sylvain Ebanks-Blake and Michael Chopra would be somewhere near the top of the list?

The Gaffer says:

King PA

Nice question, Adam. You're right about Ebanks-Blake and Chopra being near the top of the list. Ebanks-Blake has scored 72 Championship goals to date, while Chopra has 76. However, I've found one player with more goals than both of them - Marlon King on 79 (Nottingham Forest 5, Watford 33, Coventry 12, Birmingham 29).

George Ballantine, Weston Super Mare – 16 October 2013

How many football clubs have won all their fixtures in 1 league season

The Gaffer says:

Not many! At least not at professional level and in leagues which contain a decent number of games. Let's take 18 as an arbitrary marker, mainly because the only British club to have completed a 'perfect season' is Rangers, who in 1898/99 won all 18 of their league fixtures. Further afield, Sparta Prague won every league game for four seasons in a row between 1920 and 1923, a run which encapsulated 104 consecutive league wins! Dresdner SC of Germany won 23 out of 23 in 1942-43, Ferencvaros of Hungary won 22/22 in 1931-32 and Nacional won all 20 in Uruguay in their 1941 campaign. Every heard of Sunrise Flacq United? They have in Mauritius, where they won all 22 league games in 1995-96. There may well be more examples of clubs winning all their season's league games, but those listed above are the most high-profile examples.

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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