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Orange's football trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

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.

Lee Hartley, Northwich – 23 April 2014

Who were the last top flight team in England to win the league whilst not playing in Europe that season?

The Gaffer says:

Should Liverpool win the title this season, they will be the first English top-flight champions not to have played in Europe in their title-winning season since Leeds United in 1991/92. Even Blackburn in 1994/95 were in the Uefa Cup (knocked out by Trelleborgs in the first round). In the season of Manchester United's first Premier League title in 1992/93, they were knocked out in the first round of the Uefa Cup by Torpedo Moscow. In 1997/98, champions Arsenal also exited the Uefa Cup early, via a first-round defeat to PAOK Salonika.

Sheriff Law, Glasgow – 23 April 2014

I am a Dutch Cup winner, a Bundesliga winner and a La Liga winner. I have a UCL runners up medal to my name, as well as 45 international caps. I have played in the EPL for a current top 6 club. Who am I?

The Gaffer says:

Nuri Sahin PA

This has had me scratching my head all afternoon! I've nailed it though. It's Nuri Sahin, who has packed plenty into his career already despite being only 25. He won the Dutch Cup with Feyenoord in 2008, the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund in 2011, La Liga with Real Madrid in 2012 (making 10 league appearances), he was a Champions League runner-up with Dortmund last season, has 45 caps for Turkey and played 12 games on loan for Liverpool last season.

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.

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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