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Orange's football trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

James, Woking – 15 February 2013

Is it true Messi, Xavi, Iniesta etc voted Paul Scholes player of the decade?

The Gaffer says:

paul scholes pa

It's true that after Barcelona had beaten Manchester United 3-1 at Wembley in the 2011 Champions League final, Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and Pedro wanted to swap shirts with Paul Scholes. The honour eventually went to Iniesta, apparently after the five Barca stars had drawn lots. Iniesta, like his fellow Spaniards, views Scholes as a midfield pioneer who was ahead of his time in the way he shaped the pattern and pace of play. That's some tribute to the player, and a view shared by many people in the game, not least by Sir Alex Ferguson.

William, Oxford – 14 February 2013

Re Prem Player of the Month, who's won it most times - players and clubs please?

The Gaffer says:

Wayne Rooney /PA

Wayne Rooney, left, and Steven Gerrard lead the way, having each won the Premier League player of the month award five times. The following are four-time winners: Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry, Frank Lampard, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Scholes, Alan Shearer and Robin van Persie. Robbie Keane, Peter Odemwingie, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Dwight Yorke and Ashley Young have won it on three occasions. As far as clubs are concerned, here's the top 10: Manchester United have, predictably, had most winners with 31, followed by Arsenal 26, Liverpool 16, Chelsea 15, Tottenham 10, Aston Villa 8, Everton and Newcastle 7, Leeds and Southampton 6, Blackburn 5, Manchester City 4. It's worth noting that only seven of the 172 winners since 1992-93 have been goalkeepers, compared with 84 forwards, 69 midfielders and 12 defenders.

Rob, UK – 14 February 2013

Hi Gaff. How many successive seasons has Gerrard scored in the Prem?

The Gaffer says:

Steven Gerrard has scored in 14 consecutive Premier League seasons. His first league goal - and his only one of the 1999-2000 campaign - came in Liverpool's 4-1 defeat of Sheffield Wednesday at Anfield in December 1999. Gerrard had failed to score in his 12 appearances of the previous season at the start of his league career.

Ross, Dundee – 14 February 2013

Hi Gaffer. Reading's Adam Le Fondre recently won Player of The Month without starting a single Premier League match. Has this ever happened before?

The Gaffer says:

adam le fondre pa

I reckon Adam Le Fondre's achievement is unique in the Premier League. He scooped the award for January despite playing a total of only 85 minutes as a sub in four games. The former Rotherham striker had five shots on target during the month and scored five goals, including a double in Reading's 2-2 draw with Chelsea. He became the first Royal to be voted player of the month in the Premier League.

Terry, Chester – 14 February 2013

How many players have scored for and against Man Utd in the Champions League?

The Gaffer says:

When Cristiano Ronaldo headed Real Madrid's equaliser at the Bernabeu this week, he became the third player to have scored both for and against Manchester United in the Champions League. The other two are Dimitar Berbatov and Robin van Persie.

Jonathan, Cornwall – 6 August 2014

Gaffer, here's a very interesting one for you - which of the 92 English League clubs broke their transfer record the longest time ago?

The Gaffer says:

Buckley PA

Love the question, Jonathan! After scanning through the record books of all 92 clubs, the longest-standing transfer record belongs to Walsall who paid Birmingham City £175,000 to re-sign Alan Buckley as player-manager in June 1979. It was Buckley's second spell as a player at the club and the transfer sum remains a Saddlers record. He's also their all-time leading scorer with over 200 goals.

Steve, Wiral – 30 July 2014

Hello Gaffa. Here`s one for you. Which was the last club to win the FA Cup, knocking out a previous winner of the trophy in every round?

The Gaffer says:

Good one! It was actually Arsenal in 1978/79. They beat Sheffield Wednesday (winners in 1896) in round three, Notts County (1894) in round four, Nottingham Forest (1898) in the fifth round, Southampton (1976) in the quarter-finals, Wolves (1893) in the semis and Manchester United (1909) in the final. Arsenal almost repeated the feat last season, playing previous winners Spurs, Coventry, Liverpool, Everton and Wigan, but their win in the final was against first-time finalists Hull City.

Thomas, Derby – 30 July 2014

Hi Gaffer, who is the longest serving international manager ever, either still managing them now or in the past?

The Gaffer says:

Josef Herberger PA

The legendary Bora Milutinovic holds the world record for taking charge of most international matches as a coach. The exact figure differs slightly depending on the source, but he has at least 287 games under his belt with Mexico, Costa Rica, USA, Nigeria, China, Honduras, Jamaica and Iraq. He is Yugoslav-born, married to a Mexican, lives in Qatar and retired in 2009. If, however, you're asking me who is the longest serving international manager in one job, the answer is Josef "Sepp"Herberger (pictured). He was coach of Germany/West Germany from 1936-1964, spanning 167 games, four World Cups and even an eight-year break during and after World War II!

Paul Debman, Ipswich – 29 July 2014

How many players have played for more than one country at the World Cup finals?

The Gaffer says:

Prosinecki PA

Seven. Luis Monti and Attilio Demaria (both Argentina 1930 and Italy 1934), Ferenc Puskas (Hungary 1954 and Spain 1962), Jose Santamaria (Uruguay 1954 and Spain 1962), Mazzola (Brazil 1958, Italy 1962 when known as Jose Altafini), Robert Prosinecki and Robert Jarni (both for Yugoslavia in 1990 and for Croatia in 1998 and 2002). Monti is the only player to appear in two finals for different nations, while Prosinecki (pictured) is the only one to score for two separate teams.

Jacko, Merseyside – 28 July 2014

Which team in the World Cup has had managers of 13 different nationalities?

The Gaffer says:

Great stat! It's Costa Rica. Since their first coach Eladio Rosabal Cordero (who was actually Costa Rican!) in 1921, they've had managers arriving from all across the globe. The full list is - Costa Ricans, El Salvadorian (Ricardo Saprissa 1935-38), an Englishman (Randolph Galloway in 1946 - a former Derby, Nottingham Forest, Luton, Coventry and Spurs striker who managed clubs in Spain and South America), several Spaniards, eight Brazilians (most recently Rene Simoes in 2009), four Uruguayans, a Chilean (Hugo Tassara Olivares in 1960), three Argentinians (most recently Ricardo La Volpe 2010-11), a Czech (Ivan Mraz in 1980), a Yugoslavian who became a naturalised Mexican (the famous Bora Milutinovic), a Hungarian/Brazilian (Americo Brunner), an American (Steve Sampson 2003-04) and three Colombians (including current boss Jorge Luis Pinto).

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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