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Orange'sfootball trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

Danny, London – 19 March 2013

Just wonderin' Gaff, who's scored most winning goals in the Prem this season? RVP?

The Gaffer says:

Robin van Persie, with five, has indeed scored most winning goals in the Premier League so far this season. Six players have come up with three winners apiece: Javier Hernandez, Wayne Rooney, Edin Dzeko, Mikel Arteta, Gareth Bale and Romelu Lukaku. As for turnaround goals, van Persie and Dzeko are tops with three apiece.

Paul, UK – 19 March 2013

Who has scored the most goals after coming on as a sub this season?

The Gaffer says:

As far as the Premier League is concerned, the answer is Reading's Adam Le Fondre, who has scored six goals as a substitute. Le Fondre is also the league's most used sub, having come off the bench 18 times so far this season.

Darren, Chichester – 19 March 2013

Hey Gaff! I was wondering how many goals Steven Gerrard has clocked up over the years. Thanks.

The Gaffer says:

steven gerrard /PA

Gerrard's grand total for Liverpool is 158 goals in 624 competitive appearances (57 as sub); 97 of those goals have been in the league, 12 in the FA Cup, nine in the League Cup, 40 in Europe/others. He's scored 19 goals in 101 (3) England appearances, and one goal in his four games for the Under-21s. His Premier League tally so far this season is eight goals in 30 appearances.

Kenny, Middleton – 19 March 2013

Youngest manager in the Football League?

The Gaffer says:

lee johnson pa

As of 18 March, it's Oldham's new boss Lee Johnson, left, who has succeeded Paul Dickov at Boundary Park. Lee is aged 31 and nine months younger than MK Dons manager Karl Robinson. Latics' home League One clash with Yeovil on 16 April should be interesting because Lee's father Gary is in charge of the Glovers. Apart from Johnson junior and Robinson, English football's other managerial bright young things include 33-year-old Leam Richardson at Accrington, 35-year-olds Eddie Howe (Bournemouth) and Andre Villas-Boas (Tottenham), and 36-year-old Jim Bentley (Morecambe).

Jamie, London – 18 March 2013

Gaff, what are the stats on ticket prices across Europe's top leagues? Best place for a bargain game?

The Gaffer says:

When it comes to value for ticket money, forget the much-touted hype about the Premier League being the best league in the world. Head instead for Germany, where you can buy a matchday ticket in the Bundesliga for as little as 6. That's what Werder Bremen charge for their cheapest matchday ticket. And the club's cheapest season tickets for this season cost a mere 141, a real bargain when you consider the quality of football being played in the Bundesliga. Wolfsburg is another place to go for a bargain Bundesliga game: 7 matchday, 174 for a season ticket. If you fancy a Serie A match in sunny Sicily, take a trip to Palermo: 7 matchday, 141 season ticket. The cheapest matchday ticket in La Liga is Valencia's 8.31 (197 for a season ticket). And consider these numbers: whereas the Premier League charge an average of almost 30 for their cheapest matchday tickets, the Bundesliga average is 10.33.

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.

Cymru_lad, Croesyceiliog – 21 October 2014

Why did the old Division One have an odd number of teams in the league in the late 80s? How did this work and why did this happen!?

The Gaffer says:

You're right, the top flight of English football did have 21 clubs in 1987/88. It's still the only year in history that the top flight has had an odd number of teams. The reason was that the Football League were coming under pressure to reduce the amount of games per season in order to benefit the international side. In 1986/87 the First Division consisted of 22 teams and it was proposed that it was whittled down to 20 over the course of two seasons. In the first of those two seasons, Division One was slimmed to 21 clubs and Division Two had 23. At the end of 1987/88, four teams went down from the top flight and only three came up (including Middlesbrough in a relegation/promotion play-off against First Division Chelsea), thus evening things out again.

Martin Burns, Glasgow – 14 October 2014

Hi Gaff, I saw last week that John Terry had played 100 games in the Champions League, all for Chelsea. Have many other players played 100 or more games in the Champions League all for just one club? I guess Ryan Giggs would be one, and Xavi.

The Gaffer says:

Not including qualifying games, Terry is the 13th player to join the 100 club following Giggs (145 games for Manchester United), Xavi (143 for Barcelona)*, Iker Casillas (142 for Real Madrid)*, Paolo Maldini (135 for AC Milan), Raul (130 for Real Madrid), Paul Scholes (124 for Manchester United), Carles Puyol (115 for Barcelona), Gary Neville (109 for Manchester United), Roberto Carlos (107 for Real Madrid), Victor Valdes (106 for Barcelona), Oliver Kahn (103 for Bayern Munich) and Frank Lampard (102 for Chelsea). If you did count qualifiers, then Roar Strand (Rosenborg), Oleksandr Shovkovskiy (Dynamo Kiev)* and Javier Zanetti (Inter Milan) would also make the cut. *Active player at that club.

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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