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Orange's football trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

Peter McCafferty, Jarrow – 23 February 2015

Which team holds the record for fielding the same team in consecutive Premier League games?

The Gaffer says:

McLeish PA

No doubt your question is prompted by Burnley boss Sean Dyche's recent run of 10 Premier League matches with the same starting XI. That sequence ended in the away game at Manchester United on February 11 when he replaced Dean Marney with Michael Kightly. The Premier League record run for matches without any line-up tinkering is 12 in succession, held by Birmingham City between November 21, 2009 and February 7, 2010. Manager Alex McLeish played the same starting XI (Hart, Carr, Ridgewell, R Johnson, Dann, Bowyer, Larsson, B Ferguson, McFadden, C Jerome, C Benitez) and it paid off handsomely. Blues won the first five games of that sequence and in all lost only one of those 12 games (3-0 at Chelsea), winning seven and drawing four.

Steve A, Glasgow – 20 February 2015

Alrighty Gaff. Since 1993, which 12 players have won the Champions League specifically two times and on each occasion with a different team? E.g. Cristiano Ronaldo for Man Utd and Real Madrid.

The Gaffer says:

Ronaldo PA

I'm with you, Steve. Along with Ronaldo, the other 11 are: Edwin van der Sar (Ajax, Man Utd); Thiago Motta (Barcelona, Inter); Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich, Man Utd); Paulo Sousa (Juventus, Borussia Dortmund); Xabi Alonso (Liverpool, Real Madrid); Didier Deschamps (Marseille, Juventus); Marcel Desailly (Marseille, AC Milan); Christian Panucci (AC Milan, Real Madrid); Deco (Porto, Barcelona); Jose Bosingwa (Porto, Chelsea); Paulo Ferreira (Porto, Chelsea). Of course, as you've only asked for players who have specifically won the Champions League twice, I've not included Clarence Seedorf - the only man to win it with three different clubs (twice with AC Milan, once with Ajax and Real Madrid), Samuel Eto'o (twice with Barcelona, once with Inter Milan), Gerard Pique (twice with Barcelona, once with Man Utd) and Fernando Redondo (twice with Real Madrid, once with AC Milan).

Mat, Yeovil – 20 February 2015

When was the last time there were no Scottish managers in the English Premier League?

The Gaffer says:

Following Paul Lambert's sacking at Aston Villa, this is the first time the Premier League has been without a Scottish manager. Just for years ago, there were seven Scots managing in the top flight: Lambert (Norwich), Sir Alex Ferguson (Man Utd), Alex McLeish (Aston Villa), David Moyes (Everton), Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool) and Steve Kean (Blackburn) - plus Scottish-born Owen Coyle (Bolton), although he was capped by the Republic of Ireland. Pre-Premier League, there has always been at least one Scottish manager in the top division since Don Mackay took over at Coventry City in December 1984.

John, Liverpool – 4 February 2015

How many players have scored perfect hat tricks in the Premier League and who are they?

The Gaffer says:

There have been 31 perfect hat-tricks (i.e. left foot, right foot, header) scored in the Premier League, the latest by Stoke's Jonathan Walters in their 3-1 win over QPR last Saturday (January 31). Robbie Fowler holds the personal record with three (all for Liverpool - W4-2 v Southampton in October 1993, W3-1 v Arsenal December 1995 and W7-1 v Southampton in January 1999). Yakubu also got two (one for Everton - W3-0 v Fulham in December 2007 and one for Blackburn - W4-2 v Swansea December 2011). Here's the full list: Jonathan Walters, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Nolan, Jordi Gomez, Pavel Pogrebnyak, Yakubu (twice), Demba Ba, Edin Dzeko, Louis Saha, Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Mikael Forssell, Peter Crouch, Thierry Henry, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Les Ferdinand, Emile Heskey, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Robbie Fowler (three), Gianluca Vialli, Andrew Cole, Tommy Johnson, Chris Sutton, Matthew Le Tissier, Efan Ekoku, Mark Robins. (list courtesy of Opta).

Scott, Stirling – 30 January 2015

Hey, Gaffer. Got a brain teaser for you: I'm an English striker. I've represented my country at youth level, played in all four professional divisions and in non-league. I've played in an FA Cup final at the old Wembley, scored 42 goals in the Premier League and was top scorer for my club during a season in which they finished 6th in the top flight. I once appeared in a Ridley Scott film, and I'm still playing today aged 40. Who am I?

The Gaffer says:

Joachim PA

Here he is....out from behind the smoke and the back-stage curtain.... Julian Joachim! He's still playing deep down in the English non-league system with Shepshed Dynamo, his 11th non-league side in the last seven years! His career began way back in 1992 of course, at Leicester City, when his impishness and pace terrorised Premier League defences. He scored the Foxes' first ever Premier League goal on the opening day of the 1994/95 season. Around that time he played for England U18s, U19s and U21s. He soon moved to Aston Villa where he was part of the side that lost the 2000 FA Cup final to Chelsea at the old Wembley. After 42 goals in 156 Prem games he dropped down the divisions with Coventry, Leeds, Walsall and Boston United and Darlington, before beginning his sojourn in English football's nether regions in 2008 with King's Lynn. He did initially retire in 2011 but came out of retirement in summer 2013 to sign for Holbeach United, from whence he has since transferred to Oadby Town and now Shepshed.

John, Liverpool – 4 February 2015

How many players have scored perfect hat tricks in the Premier League and who are they?

The Gaffer says:

There have been 31 perfect hat-tricks (i.e. left foot, right foot, header) scored in the Premier League, the latest by Stoke's Jonathan Walters in their 3-1 win over QPR last Saturday (January 31). Robbie Fowler holds the personal record with three (all for Liverpool - W4-2 v Southampton in October 1993, W3-1 v Arsenal December 1995 and W7-1 v Southampton in January 1999). Yakubu also got two (one for Everton - W3-0 v Fulham in December 2007 and one for Blackburn - W4-2 v Swansea December 2011). Here's the full list: Jonathan Walters, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Nolan, Jordi Gomez, Pavel Pogrebnyak, Yakubu (twice), Demba Ba, Edin Dzeko, Louis Saha, Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou, Emmanuel Adebayor, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Mikael Forssell, Peter Crouch, Thierry Henry, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Les Ferdinand, Emile Heskey, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Robbie Fowler (three), Gianluca Vialli, Andrew Cole, Tommy Johnson, Chris Sutton, Matthew Le Tissier, Efan Ekoku, Mark Robins. (list courtesy of Opta).

Jeff, Cardiff – 20 January 2015

Name 2 players that have been capped by England for 5 different Premier League clubs

The Gaffer says:

Scott Parker PA

I reckon there are three players, Jeff. David James's 53-cap England career spanned his time at five different Premier League clubs - Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City and Portsmouth. Emile Heskey also won caps whilst at five Prem clubs - Leicester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Wigan and Aston Villa. The final man is Scott Parker, whose first four England caps were, quite remarkably, earned while representing four different clubs (Charlton, Chelsea, Newcastle and West Ham). He later earned further caps as a Tottenham player.

Harry Roberts, Glasgow – 24 December 2014

How many father and son combinations have played for the same team at the same time? And can you name them?

The Gaffer says:

There have been a couple of examples in England. Ian Bowyer, who won two European Cups with Nottingham Forest, and his son Gary, the current Blackburn Rovers manager, played one game together for Hereford against Scunthorpe in April 1990. They became the first father and son to play in English League football since Alec and David Herd for Stockport County in 1951. In Northern Ireland, George Eastham, a non-playing member of England's 1966 World Cup-winning squad, appeared for Ards alongside his father George Sr, who was player-manager of the club during the 1950s. Recent examples outside of the UK include Rivaldo and Henrik Larsson, who played alongside their sons, Rivaldinho and Jordan, for Mogi Mirim and Hogaborg respectively. Eidur Gudjohnsen and his father Arnar almost joined the elite club in 1996. Both played in Iceland's international friendly against Estonia in Tallinn but they weren't on the pitch at the same time as debutant Eidur replaced his father as a second-half substitute. Apparently, coach Logi Olafsson was under strict orders not to play them together as the Icelandic FA wanted it to happen on home turf in a World Cup qualifier later in the year. However, Eidur broke his ankle and by the time he recovered his old man had retired.

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.

Popodom, Chesterfield – 6 August 2013

Which goalkeeper has played in all four English leagues in the same season?

The Gaffer says:

Bit of an old chestnut this. Eric Nixon achieved the feat in the 1986-87 season when Manchester City loaned him to Southampton, Bradford, Carlisle and Wolves.

Chum, London – 13 April 2011

Which was the last team to win the FA Cup with an all-English side?

The Gaffer says:

The 1975 West Ham team who beat Fulham 2-0 in the final. The line-up was: Mervyn Day, John McDowell, Frank Lampard, Billy Bonds (c), Tommy Taylor, Kevin Lock, Billy Jennings, Graham Paddon, Alan Taylor, Trevor Brooking, Pat Holland.

Imran, Manchester – 22 March 2011

Which players have won the Premier League, that are the only players from their country to do so. Eg Dwight Yorke with Man Utd who comes from Trinidad & Tobago.

The Gaffer says:

This is one of my 'classic questions', so apologies to long-term readers who may have seen it on the old site or on Orange World. Here's the full list: Alex Manninger (Austria), Dimitar Berbatov (Bulgaria), Peter Schmeichel (Denmark), Michael Essien (Ghana), Eidur Gudjohnsen (Iceland), Park Ji-Sung (Korea), Christopher Wreh (Liberia), Tomasz Kuszczak (Poland), Dwight Yorke (Trinidad and Tobago), Oleg Luzhny (Ukraine), Diego Forlan (Uruguay). N.B. Quinton Fortune (South Africa) didn't play enough games in one season to win a title while at Manchester United.

Darren Stow, Boston – 28 February 2011

Who played in the Premiership and was also on the plane of the Munich air crash but obviously survived?

The Gaffer says:

Lukic PA

A horrible urban myth this one. The answer is supposedly the unborn John Lukic in his mother's womb, but it's untrue. Lukic was born in December 1960, nearly three years after the tragedy - that's one long pregnancy! There was at least a passenger called Lukic on the flight, which is where the myth stems from.

Zac Bearshaw, Rochdale – 16 February 2011

Which Football League team is closest to the River Mersey?

The Gaffer says:

Edgeley Park PA

Stockport County's Edgeley Park. The River Mersey starts where the River Goyt and River Tame - which run off the Derbyshire hills - meet under the MerseyWay Shopping Centre in the centre of Stockport.

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