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Orange'sfootball trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

Alistair Butchart, Johannesburg, South Africa – 23 July 2014

Which Premier League player past or present has the longest surname? There have been some real whoppers out there!

The Gaffer says:

Vennegoor of Hesselink PA

That honour goes to Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, who scored three goals in 31 Premier League apparances for Hull City in the 2009-10 season. At a quid a letter, it would have cost you 20 sheets to get the Dutchman's name on the back of your shirt! Vennegoor of Hesselink dates from the 17th century when two farming families from the Enschede region of Holland were united by marriage, but neither would accept the loss of their name. 'Of' in Dutch translates to 'or' in English. Last season, Cardiff defender Kevin Theophile-Catherine led the way with 18 letters, but now the Bluebirds have been relegated, Arsenal and England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has the longest surname at 17 letters long.

Dave, Wardle – 23 July 2014

How many Smiths have played for England? And how many Joneses for Wales? I am asking as these are the names perceived as being most common in the two countries.

The Gaffer says:

Jones PA

There have been 20 different Smiths for England - Alan x2, Albert, Arnold, Bert, Billy, Bobby, Charles, Gilbert, Herbert, Jack, Joe x2, Leslie, Lionel, Reg, Sep, Steve, Tommy and Trevor. However, they are dwarfed in comparison to the amount of Joneses who have been capped by Wales, which include 55 to date - Albert x2, Alexander, Andy, Barrie, Bryn, Charlie, Cliff, David x2, Di, Ernie, Evan, Frederick x2, Gordon, Hugh, Humphrey, Ivor, Jack, Jeffrey, Jimmy, Joe, Joey, John x2, Keith, Lee, Leslie, Lot, Love, Mark, Matt, Owain Tudor, Owen, Paul, Ralph, Richard x4, Robert, Ryan, Samuel x2, Thomas x4, Vinnie (pictured), Wayne, William x3 and Wilson. If you're allowing hyphenated surnames then you can also add Albert and William Pryce-Jones and John Eyton-Jones to the list. No Smith has ever represented Wales, but there have been eight Joneses for England - Alf, Bill, Harry, Herbert, Mick, Phil, Rob and William.

Ehjaz, Islamabad – 23 July 2014

How many Muslim footballers are currently playing in the EPL?

The Gaffer says:

Around 40 at the last count, although this list doesn't include players from recently-promoted trio Leicester, Burnley and QPR: Abou Diaby, Mesut Ozil, Yaya Sanogo, Karim El Ahmadi, Yacouba Sylla, Mohamed Salah, Marouane Chamakh, Adlene Guedioura, Arouna Kone, Ahmed Elmohamady, Mamadou Sakho, Kolo Toure, Samed Yesil, Oussama Assaidi, Samir Nasri, Yaya Toure, Edin Dzeko, Bacary Sagna, Adnan Januzaj, Marouane Fellaini, Massadio Haidara, Hatem Ben Arfa, Cheick Tiote, Moussa Sissoko, Papiss Cisse, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Mehdi Abeid, Asmir Begovic, Modibo Diakite, El-Hadji Ba, Younes Kaboul, Mousa Dembele, Nacer Chadli, Nabil Bentaleb, Youssouf Mulumbu, Adil Nabi, Mohamed Diame, Modibo Maiga.

Colin Robson, Middlesbrough – 23 July 2014

How many players who have won the European Cup or Champions League have played for Middlesbrough

The Gaffer says:

I've got 14: Bobby Murdoch (Celtic 1967), Nobby Stiles (Man Utd 1968), Graeme Souness (Liverpool 1978, 1981, 1984), Viv Anderson (Nottingham Forest 1979, 1980), Pat Heard (Aston Villa 1982), David Hodgson (Liverpool 1984), Craig Johnston (Liverpool 1984), Alen Boksic (Marseille 1993), Michael Reiziger (Ajax 1995), Fabrizio Ravanelli (Juventus 1996), Christian Karembeu (Real Madrid 1998, 2000), Jonathan Greening (Man Utd 1999), Geremi (Real Madrid 2000, 2002), Ross Turnbull (Chelsea 2012).

John, Bromley – 22 July 2014

Hi Gaffer. I know this is a near impossible q but I would really like to find out how many Chelsea players including ex players & managers were at the 2014 World Cup... do your best for me.

The Gaffer says:

John, nothing is impossible!There were 17 players who were on Chelsea's books during the World Cup - David Luiz, Oscar, Ramires, Willian, Samuel Eto'o, Fernando Torres, Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, Frank Lampard (technically his contract didn't expire until June 30), Jon Obi Mikel, Andre Schurrle and Eden Hazard, plus five players who were on loan - Victor Moses, Thibaut Courtois, Romelu Lukaku, Kenneth Omeruo and Christian Atsu. Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa signed for Chelsea during the tournament, so let's add them in too. The ex-Blues in action in Brazil were Arjen Robben, Juan Mata, Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba, Glen Johnson, Daniel Sturridge, Michael Essien, Raul Meireles, Kevin de Bruyne and Yuri Zhirkov. As for the managers, of course we have Luis Felipe Scolari and Didier Deschamps.

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 coachEladio 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).

George, Watford – 10 July 2014

Who is the youngest manager ever in British senior leagues?

The Gaffer says:

Ivor Broadis PA

That record still belongs to Ivor Broadis who, at 91, is currently England's oldest surviving international player. He'd made a handful of appearances for Manchester United before the war, then after flying in the RAF he'd been posted to Crosby-on-Eden, Cumbria, when the war ended. Carlisle United, then in Division Three North, snapped him up as player-manager at the tender age of 23. In January 1949, a bid of 18,000 came in for him from Sunderland and he accepted, becoming the first manager to sell himself to another club. He was succeeded by none other than Bill Shankly. Broadis' playing career continued at Manchester City and Newcastle, before he returned to Brunton Park in 1955 for a four-year spell. He finished his playing career just across the border at Queen of the South. That initial two-and-a-half season spell at Carlisle proved to be his only one as a manager. After hanging up his boots, he began a 45-year career as a journalist.

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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