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Orange's football trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

Dwight Preston, Motherwell – 29 August 2014

Are Arsenal the team who have played the most Champions League play-off matches and if so who is second on the list? Cheers Gaffa!

The Gaffer says:

Champions League PA

Arsenal are joint second on the list with Celtic. Both British sides have featured in four of the six Champions League play-off rounds since they were introduced in the 2009-10 season. However, Danish side Copenhagen have been in five play-offs, with their only win coming against Rosenborg in 2010-11.

Davey Ochiltree, Paraguay – 29 August 2014

Is Jovetic the first player to score more than one goal in their first game against Liverpool since the Premier League started?

The Gaffer says:

Firstly, while that was Stevan Jovetic's first Premier League game versus Liverpool, he previously played against the Reds for Fiorentina in the Champions League, scoring a brace on 29 September 2009. But back to your question, two players have actually scored FOUR goals in their first appearance against Liverpool in the Premier League. Mark Viduka netted all of Leeds' goals in a 4-3 win over the Reds at Elland Road in 2000 during the Australian's first season in England. Andrey Arshavin matched that feat in a 4-4 draw at Anfield towards the end of the 2008-09 season, just a few months after arriving at Arsenal from Zenit St Petersburg.

Phill, Chesterfield – 28 August 2014

What and when were the most number of London clubs in one division?

The Gaffer says:

Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea, Wimbledon, QPR, Crystal Palace, Charlton and Millwall fans didn't clock up too many miles in away trips during the 1989/90 season as they were all in the top flight - that's 56 London derbies in one division in a single season! (N.B. Luton were in Division One that season too, which admittedly isn't too far away, but they're certainly not "a London club" despite the name of their airport!)

Hammy Stockbrad, San Jose – 28 August 2014

What is the highest number of Americans (USA) starting an English Premiership game?

The Gaffer says:

Welcome aboard to the world of British football trivia, Hammy! Sorry it's taken me a couple of weeks to answer your question. I've got a big backlog so thanks for your patience. I reckon the most American players to be involved in a Premier League game was back in 2007/08, when Fulham beat Everton 1-0 at Craven Cottage. Fulham had Kasey Keller, Eddie Johnson and Brian McBride (who scored the game's only goal) in their starting line-up, with Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey both coming on as subs. USA national hero Tim Howard started in goal for Everton that day, making it a total of six Americans involved (Landon Donovan didn't join Everton until the following season).

Gerry, Burslem – 28 August 2014

How many times have Port Vale players scored 2 or more hat-tricks in the same match?

The Gaffer says:

I think I know what you're getting at with this one. In their first home league game of the 1993/94 season, the Valiants played host to Barnet. It didn't necessarily look promising when Vale defender Peter Billing was sent off in the 10th minute. However, astonishingly, the ten men went on to win 6-0 with Bernie Slaven and Martin Foyle BOTH scoring hat-tricks. Vale were promoted from Division Two (modern League One) that season and you may not be surprised to hear that Barnet finished bottom, winning only five games. But that's not the only time two hat-tricks have been scored by different Vale players in the same match. More recently, Louis Dodds and Justin Richards both hit trebles as Port Vale destroyed Morecambe 7-2 towards the end of the 2010-11 season in League Two.

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.

Steve Brown, Borneo – 30 May 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. Edit (3): And another! Conor from Dubai is correct with his assumption of Tony Cascarino, who turned out for Aston Villa, Celtic, Chelsea and Marseille.

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!

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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