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Orange's football trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer

Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

Masai Graham, West Bromwich – 7 October 2014

Which top division player in world football, currently still playing, has made over 1,000 appearances for his current club, scored over 100 goals for them but not a single strike in open play?

The Gaffer says:

Nice try! It's Brazilian goalkeeper Rogerio Ceni, who made his debut for Sao Paulo in 1993 and has gone on to make over 1,100 appearances for the club. He's scored 121 goals to date - 61 penalties and 60 free-kicks - which is a record for the most goals scored by a goalkeeper.

Scott, Hull – 3 October 2014

Hi Gaff, bit of banter between me and a friend. I couldn't imagine it's been a lot, but who has had the most World Cup winners between Man United and Liverpool?

The Gaffer says:

I take it you mean players who have won the World Cup at any time during their careers, not just those who've won it while they were at United or Liverpool? Let's start with the Red Devils then: Bobby Charlton, Nobby Stiles and John Connelly all won the World Cup with England in 1966 (Connelly, having played only once in the campaign, didn't receive a medal at the time, but was eventually given one in 2009). Fabian Barthez boasted a WC winner's medal from 1998 when he arrived for his ill-fated spell in 2000, and the same applies to Laurent Blanc. The other three are Kleberson (Brazil 2002), Gerard Pique (Spain 2010) and Juan Mata (Spain 2010). Now Liverpool: Roger Hunt, Ian Callaghan and Gerry Byrne were all in the 1966 squad for starters. Ex-Red Karl-Heinz Riedle won it with West Germany in 1990. Bernard Diomede made just four starts for Liverpool and didn't feature from the quarter-finals onwards in France's 1998 World Cup win, but he's got a medal so he's on the list. The remaining four men - Fernando Torres, Pepe Reina, Xabi Alonso and Alvaro Arbeloa - are all Spaniards from the 2010 triumph in South Africa. So the final tally is Man United 8-9 Liverpool.

Glenn, London – 3 October 2014

Who was the last West Ham player to score in four successive games before Daifra Sakho?

The Gaffer says:

Vaz Te PA

It was Ricardo Vaz Te between 27 March to 14 April in 2012. He scored eight goals in five successive Championship games against Peterborough, Reading, Barnsley, Birmingham (2) and Brighton (3). Sakho, though, is the first West Ham player to score in each of his first four starts, beating Leroy Rosenior's 26-year-old club record.

Paul, London – 3 October 2014

How many hat-tricks been scored in the North London derbies between Arsenal and Spurs?

The Gaffer says:

Just three. Terry Dyson became the first and last Spurs player to score a hat-trick on 26 August 1961. Ted Drake on 20 October 1934 and Alan Sunderland on 23 December 1978 are the Arsenal players.

Gary, Surrey – 3 October 2014

There have been 11 British players to play in the Champions League for foreign teams. Can you name them?

The Gaffer says:

Cole PA

Roma's Ashley Cole recently became the 11th ENGLISHMAN to play in the Champions League for a foreign team after Steve McManaman, David Beckham, Michael Owen, Jonathan Woodgate (all Real Madrid), Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich), Joe Cole (Lille), Matt Derbyshire (Olympiacos), Scott Minto, Brian Deane and Michael Thomas (all Benfica). I'll forgive you for forgetting the last four! There are also six other British players - Scotland trio Paul Lambert, Scott Booth (both Borussia Dortmund) and John Collins (Monaco), Welsh duo Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) and Mark Pembridge (Benfica), plus Northern Ireland's Roy Carroll (Olympiacos).

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.

Ali Stirling, Prestwick – 4 September 2014

With Rolando Aarons scoring a goal at the weekend, making him top alphabetically of Premier League scorers, can you tell me gaff, who is bottom of this list? My mate Iain says it must be Zola but I'm sure you can prove him wrong?

The Gaffer says:

I certainly can, Ali! Firstly, you're right that Rolando Aarons' recent goal for Newcastle against Crystal Palace does indeed make him the top all-time Premier League goalscorer if you arrange them all in alphabetical order (taking over from previous incumbent Gary Ablett). Your mate is wrong about Gianfranco Zola being last alphabetically though. It's former Coventry forward Ysrael Zuniga, who scored three goals in his two seasons at Highfield Road between 1999 and 2001. Elsad Zverotic is the last on the list of all-time Premier League appearances, but he didn't score a goal in his six games for Fulham last season (2013/14).

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.

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).

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.

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