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Orange's football trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

Peter, Portsmouth – 22 March 2013

What is San Marino's biggest defeat and their stats in games played?

The Gaffer says:

Biggest defeat: 13-0 at home to Germany on 6 September 2006 in a Euro 2008 qualifier at the Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle (attendance 5,019). San Marino's overall record is played 115, won 1 (v Liechtenstein in a friendly), drawn 3, lost 111. Their goal difference is -463. Ahead of their 2014 World Cup qualifier at Serravalle Stadium, England had played and beaten them three times, scoring 18 goals and conceding one.

Darrell, Prague – 22 March 2013

Talking of bookings per game ratio, who has the worst ratio in the Premier League? Tiote must be up there with nearly one every two games.

The Gaffer says:

tiote pa

You're right Darrell. I've had a quick trawl through various stats and of the players who've made at least 50 Premier League appearances, Cheick Tiote seems to be leading the way at the moment. His 31 yellow cards in 69 Prem apps gives him a ratio of 2.2 games per card. And he's also been red-carded once.

John, Maidstone – 22 March 2013

Re San Marino scoring v England in 1993, who scored for the 3 Lions that day and what was our starting line-up?

The Gaffer says:

England's scorers in the 7-1 victory were Paul Ince 2, Ian Wright 4 and Les Ferdinand. The starting line-up was Seaman, L Dixon, Pearce, Ince, Walker, Pallister, Platt, Ripley, L Ferdinand, I Wright, Sinton.

Walt, Sunderland – 22 March 2013

Who's made most appearances as sub since the Prem began? Cheers.

The Gaffer says:

Shola Ameobi is the man, with 122 Premier League appearances as sub. His latest venture off the bench came after 66 minutes of Newcastle's 2-1 defeat at Wigan. In all, the striker has made 264 Prem appearances, scoring 41 goals.

Phill, Weymouth – 22 March 2013

Have just read in the paper about when San Marino scored in 8.9 seconds against England. Was this the quickest goal ever scored against us?

The Gaffer says:

davide gualtieri pa

Davide Gualtieri's famous goal on 17 November 1993 was timed at 8.3 seconds, which is indeed the fastest goal ever scored against England. In fact it remains the fastest in World Cup qualification history. The goal came when Stuart Pearce underhit his back-pass to David Seaman, and Gualtieri, above, pounced. England went on to win 7-1 in Bologna but, like San Marino, failed to qualify for the 1994 World Cup. Gualtieri, by the way, now works as a computer salesman in San Marino.

Jeff, Cardiff – 20 January 2015

Name 2 players that have been capped by England for 5 different Premier League clubs

The Gaffer says:

Scott Parker PA

I reckon there are three players, Jeff. David James's 53-cap England career spanned his time at five different Premier League clubs - Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City and Portsmouth. Emile Heskey also won caps whilst at five Prem clubs - Leicester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Wigan and Aston Villa. The final man is Scott Parker, whose first four England caps were, quite remarkably, earned while representing four different clubs (Charlton, Chelsea, Newcastle and West Ham). He later earned further caps as a Tottenham player.

Harry Roberts, Glasgow – 24 December 2014

How many father and son combinations have played for the same team at the same time? And can you name them?

The Gaffer says:

There have been a couple of examples in England. Ian Bowyer, who won two European Cups with Nottingham Forest, and his son Gary, the current Blackburn Rovers manager, played one game together for Hereford against Scunthorpe in April 1990. They became the first father and son to play in English League football since Alec and David Herd for Stockport County in 1951. In Northern Ireland, George Eastham, a non-playing member of England's 1966 World Cup-winning squad, appeared for Ards alongside his father George Sr, who was player-manager of the club during the 1950s. Recent examples outside of the UK include Rivaldo and Henrik Larsson, who played alongside their sons, Rivaldinho and Jordan, for Mogi Mirim and Hogaborg respectively. Eidur Gudjohnsen and his father Arnar almost joined the elite club in 1996. Both played in Iceland's international friendly against Estonia in Tallinn but they weren't on the pitch at the same time as debutant Eidur replaced his father as a second-half substitute. Apparently, coach Logi Olafsson was under strict orders not to play them together as the Icelandic FA wanted it to happen on home turf in a World Cup qualifier later in the year. However, Eidur broke his ankle and by the time he recovered his old man had retired.

B Glenn, Birmingham – 17 December 2014

Which two men faced each other as both players and managers in FA Cup finals?

The Gaffer says:

You little beauty! That is a belter of a question, even more so because I've just nailed the answer. It's Bob Stokoe and Don Revie. They faced each other in the 1955 FA Cup final when Stokoe was part of the Newcastle side that triumphed 3-1 over Manchester City, for whom Revie was up front. Fast forward to 1973 and Stokoe was again triumphant. His second-division Sunderland side caused one of the biggest FA Cup final shocks of all time by beating Revie's all-conquering Leeds United 1-0 at Wembley.

Masai Graham, West Bromwich – 18 November 2014

Of all the players to have represented more than one nation, who earned the most amount of caps before defecting?

The Gaffer says:

Puskas PA

This accolade belongs to one of the most famous 'dual nationality' international footballers of them all. It's Ferenc Puskas, who played 85 times for Hungary between 1945 and 1956, scoring a ridiculous 84 goals, before defecting to Spain. In 1956, the Hungarian uprising against the Soviets led to several Hungarian players fleeing the country. At the time of the uprising, Puskas' team Honved were in Bilbao playing a European Cup tie. After serving a two-year Fifa ban for refusing to return to his native Budapest, Puskas settled in Spain and was signed by Real Madrid in 1958. He was capped by Spain four times, three of those at the 1962 World Cup, but he never scored for his adopted nation. The next highest number of caps before a 'defection' (and I'm ruling out players who've played for a country which subsequently changed its own identity, such as Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia) is by Michel Platini. He played 72 times for France before coming out of retirement in 1988 aged 33 to turn out for Kuwait. He played 21 minutes of the 2-0 defeat to the Soviet Union in a friendly as something of a publicity stunt organised by the Emir (ruler) of Kuwait.

Colin Mcloughlin, Liverpool – 12 November 2014

Hi Gaff, heres one to test the old grey matter. What was a little odd about the 1937-38 English League Division One final table?

The Gaffer says:

I know what you're getting at here Colin! It's the extremely curious case of Manchester City's relegation the year after winning the title. City scored 80 goals that season - more than any other team, in fact three more than champions Arsenal - yet still went down, finishing second from bottom. They 'only' conceded 77, losing lots of games fairly narrowly but winning several by big margins (two 7-1s, a 6-1, 6-2 and 5-3). It has to be said, they were very unlucky; 1937/38 produced the closest relegation battle in top-flight history with only four points spanning the bottom 11 clubs. With one game left, Man City were top of a group of six clubs joint-bottom on 36 points, with Huddersfield on 37 and Everton 38. But City lost their final game at Huddersfield and other results conspired against them.

Bap, Belfast – 20 November 2014

Hey gaffer. Who holds the Premier League record for most sending offs? I think it's Patrick Vieira but my mate is convinced it's Robbie Savage. Enlighten us Gaffer!

The Gaffer says:

I get this question a lot. The record jointly held by Vieira, Duncan Ferguson and Richard Dunne, with eight red cards apiece. Savage received 89 yellow cards (sixth on the all-time list) but was surprisingly only sent off once during his Premier League career - for Blackburn against Middlesbrough in 2006.

Liam, Buxton – 7 October 2014

With Watford sacking Billy McKinlay after two games, what is the short reign ever by a manager?

The Gaffer says:

Rosenior PA

Undoubtedly Leroy Rosenior's 10 minutes in charge of Torquay during his second spell at the Gulls. Regular readers will be familiar with the tale, but for those that aren't, Rosenior was unveiled as the Conference-bound side's new manager on 17 May 2007. However, just 10 minutes later, chairman Mike Bateson phoned him to say he'd sold the club to a new consortium and the new owners' first act was to relieve Rosenior of his duties. He said afterwards: "I did the press conference, I did all the interviews, and within 10 minutes, Mike called me to let me know he had actually sold the club. It was something that I knew was going to happen but I didn't think it was going to happen after 10 minutes."

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).

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