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Orange's football trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

Damien Glenburn, Chile – 4 September 2014

What is the head-to-head record between English and Spanish teams in the Champions League?

The Gaffer says:

There have been an increbible 115 matches between English and Spanish clubs in the Champions League era and it's Spain who just edge the head-to-record. Spanish sides boast 41 wins compared to England's 35, while there have been 39 draws.

Danny Inverness, Yemen – 2 September 2014

How many different Asian teams have qualified for the World Cup? My mate from Dubai says it's less than eight...

The Gaffer says:

It's 12 in total, but three of those are slightly complicated! The simple ones are South Korea (nine times in all, including every World since since 1986),  Japan (five), Iran, Saudi Arabia (both four), North Korea (two), UAE, Iraq, China and Kuwait (one each), who have all qualified from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). In addition, Australia have qualified four times, but only two of those (2010 and 2014) were as members of the AFC. Indonesia have qualified just once (by default in 1938), when they were known as the Dutch East Indies. The other anomaly is Israel, who these days are part of the Uefa (European) system, but were part of the AFC between 1954 and 1974, during which time they qualified for the 1970 World Cup finals via a play-off system.

Harry Klinsman, Hull – 2 September 2014

Has any team ever won back to back League Cups?

The Gaffer says:

Hi Harry. Three teams have won the League Cup in successive years. Liverpool actually won it four seasons in a row between 1981 and 1984 (the first three under Bob Paisley and the last under Joe Fagan). Nottingham Forest have won it two years in a row on two separate occasions (1978 and 1979 as well as 1989 and 1990 - managed by Brian Clough on all four occasions). The other successful defenders of the trophy are Manchester United, who beat Spurs in the 2009 final and Aston Villa in 2010.

Andy, Wolverhampton – 2 September 2014

How many Liverpool players have played in 16 consecutive seasons?

The Gaffer says:

Elisha Scott PA

I reckon seven players have spent 16 or more consecutive seasons at Anfield. Two of them - Elisha Scott (18 competitive seasons in a row - 1912/13-1933/34) and Donald Mackinlay (16 in a row - 1909/10-1928/29) - had their careers interrupted by World War I, and Billy Liddell's (17 - 1939/40-1960/61) first competitive appearance was delayed for seven years by World War II (although he played regularly during unofficial war-time friendlies). Scott holds the record for Liverpool's longest-serving player (21 years, 51 days, including the hiatus for WWI). If war hadn't got in the way, those three players would have clocked up more consecutive seasons of competitive football for the Reds, but it's Ian Callaghan who holds that record with 19 between 1959/60 and 1977/78 (he was still on the books in 1978/79 but played no games). Jamie Carragher (1996/97-2012/13) and Steven Gerrard (1998/99-present) have both played for 17 straight seasons and Tommy Smith clocked up 16 (1962/63-1977/78).

Steve, Scarborough – 1 September 2014

What's the highest shirt number ever worn in the Premier League?

The Gaffer says:

Sam Hutchinson (51) and Nicklas Bendtner (52) immediately came to mind, but the record belongs to former Manchester City midfielder Adbul Razak who wore shirt number 62 during his five appearances for the club. The Ivorian was highly-rated but at 21, he now finds himself plying his trade in the Greek Superleague for OFI Crete.

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.

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.

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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