ask the gaffer on twitter
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Hi Gaffer. If Arsenal and Chelsea end up with the same number of points, goal difference and goals, are they going to have a play-off?
Yes they are. If, in today's last round of Premier League matches, Chelsea were to draw with Everton and Arsenal were to win by a single-goal margin at Newcastle having scored two more than the Blues, both teams would be level on points, goal difference and goals scored. A play-off game would then be played at Villa Park on 26 May to decide which club enters next season's Champions League at the group stage, and which one must start in the play-off round.
Which is the only side to have a 100% record against Manchester United since Sir Alex Ferguson became manager?
I assume you're referring to the old chestnut about Southend United, who beat Manchester United in a Carling Cup tie at Roots Hall in November 2006 when Freddy Eastwood scored the only goal of the game. It's true that the Shrimpers had a 100% record against Sir Alex, left, but since your question isn't restricted to English football, it's wrong to say that Southend are the only club to boast such a record. They are in fact one of six teams with 100% records against Fergie's United. The others are Athletic Bilbao (two wins), Borussia Dortmund (two wins), Vasco da Gama (one win), Lazio (one win) and Zenit St Petersburg (one win). Southend are, however, the only English club to claim the honour.
Hey Gaff, who was the first player to win Premier League winners' medals with two different clubs?
It was Henning Berg, who won the title with Blackburn in 1994-95, and with Manchester United in 1998-99, and then in 1999-2000.
Hasn't Mark Hughes played under both Alex Ferguson and David Moyes?
No he hasn't. During his post-Manchester United career, Sparky did indeed make 18(3) Premier League appearances for Everton, but that was in the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 seasons. David Moyes didn't arrive at Goodison Park until March 2002. Hughes, by the way, scored just one Prem goal for the Toffees.
Hey Gaff. With four big English names retiring this year, can you please provide honours lists for Scholes, Becks, Owen and Carragher? Thanks.
David Beckham: six Premier League; two FA Cup; one Champions League; one Intercontinental Cup; four Community Shield; one La Liga; one Supercopa de Espana; two MLS Cup; two MLS Supporters' Shield; one Ligue 1. Paul Scholes: 11 Premier League; three FA Cup; two League Cup; two Champions League; five Community Shield; one Intercontinental Cup; one Fifa Club World Cup. Michael Owen: one Premier League; one FA Cup; three League Cup; two Community Shield; one Uefa Cup; one Uefa Super Cup. Jamie Carragher: two FA Cup; three League Cup; one Champions League, one Uefa Cup; two Uefa Super Cup; two Community Shield. I've discounted Youth Cup victories and pre-season international 'friendly' tournaments.
In the light of Jermaine Pennant's potential jail time can you name a jailbird XI (players who've spent time in prison)? I've currently thought of Lee Hughes, Ched Evans and Marlon King...
Fabulous question! The man you're looking for is Les Sealey. He featured regularly in his first spell at Old Trafford, including a 1991 League Cup final defeat to Sheffield Wednesday and the 1991 Cup Winners' Cup final victory against Barcelona. He was then transferred to Aston Villa before returning to Manchester United on a free transfer as understudy to Peter Schmeichel (thanks to Fred the Red and Woody in Swindon for pointing out that Sealey and Mark Bosnich are the only players Sir Alex Ferguson has ever re-signed). In his second spell, Sealey played only two games - coming on in an FA Cup quarter-final against Charlton after Schmeichel was sent off, and starting the 1994 League Cup final, which United lost 3-1 to Villa.
Name three post-war England players with 3 letter o in their surnames.
Superb question Kev - a cracking bit of trivia! The three men in question are Peter Osgood, Tony Woodcock and Ian Storey-Moore.
Who won league titles in three consecutive seasons with three different clubs?
Hail Eric Cantona, winner of titles with Marseille in 1991, with Leeds in 1992, and with Manchester United in 1993. In all, the flamboyant Frenchman won seven league championship medals, four of them with United. Another, and less obvious, player to achieve the feat is Alexei Mikhailichenko, who won titles with Dynamo Kiev, Sampdoria and Rangers from 1990-92 (thanks Martin from Doncaster).
Who are 9 players who have played for two of the Big Four (ManU, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal) plus a Spanish club??
This old chestnut eh? I get this one a lot and in previous years there were seven - Michael Owen, Lassana Diarra, Boudewijn Zenden, Mark Hughes, Nicolas Anelka, Emmanuel Petit and Jermaine Pennant. More recently we can of course add Fernando Torres and Yossi Benayoun to the list to make it nine.
Why do Boca Juniors wear a blue and yellow kit?
Until 1907 Boca Juniors wore white shirts with vertical dark blue or black stripes. However, rivals Club Boedo had the same colours so a game was played, with the losers having to change colours. Boca were beaten and after the match some of the players went down to the local harbour. They decided that they would choose the colours of the flag of the first ship to arrive in the harbour. The Swedish vessel Drottning Sophia duly arrived so Boca decided that the club should adopt the blue and yellow of the Swedish flag.
Has the score of Forfar 4 East Fife 5 ever happened?
East Fife have never beaten Forfar by that infamous scoreline. However, in the 1963/1964 season, Forfar did beat East Fife 5-4 in a Scottish Division Two match.
Who sung You'll Never Walk Alone first? Liverpool or Celtic?
Although there is no clear evidence, most claim Liverpool sung the anthem before Celtic. The song is actually taken from the musical Carousel composed by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, and only became a terrace favourite after it was covered by Gerry and the Pacemakers in November 1963. Liverpool supporters adopted it which footage from Panorama in 1964 shows, however there is no concrete evidence that is was before or after Celtic. As an aside, the song was first heard in a footballing capacity at the 1958 memorial service for the Munich Air Disaster, but Man Utd didn't adopt it as an anthem, unlike Liverpool, Celtic, Feyenoord, FC Twente and FC Tokyo to name but five.
Who is the oldest person to play league football?
John Ryan (pictured), the owner of Doncaster Rovers, who brought himself on as substitute in the last minute of a game in 2003 aged 52 years, 11 months. Aside from that cameo appearance, the real accolade should go to Sir Stanley Matthews, who played his final game for Stoke on 6 February 1965. He was 50 years and 4 days old.
Why are Hartlepool called the Monkey Hangers?
During the Napoleonic wars a French ship was wrecked off the coast of Hartlepool and amongst its wreckage was the ship's pet monkey. Thinking the animal could be a French spy, the residents of Hartlepool held a trial and sentenced it to death by hanging.
What is the highest number you can have on the back of your shirt?
It depends entirely on the league in question, and whether they entertain such nonsense - Mido requested 99 when he joined Tottenham, but the Premier League refused. Looking further afield, Rogerio Ceni wore number 618 during his record-breaking 618th appearance for Sao Paolo, which is believed to be the highest shirt number ever worn during a professional match. Vitor Baia wore 99 for Porto in the 2003 Uefa Cup final, which is the highest number in a European match.