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Orange's football trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

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.

Dave, Waltham Abbey – 15 December 2014

Which former Premier League player has been sent off for three different clubs in the Champions League?

The Gaffer says:

That would be Patrick Vieira. He managed to pick up three red cards for three different clubs in the Champions League in three consecutive seasons, beginning with Arsenal in the 2004/05 campaign. The following season he was sent off whilst playing for Juventus and completed the hat-trick with Inter Milan the year after. Vieira also holds the joint-record with Richard Dunne and Duncan Ferguson for the most red cards in the Premier League history (8).

Martin Whittaker, Oldham – 12 December 2014

Who holds the record for most penalties won then taken (by the same player) in a season in English top tier football history?

The Gaffer says:

Francis Lee PA

There are no official recorded statistics for exactly which player have won penalties, but nevertheless it's almost certain that the answer is Manchester City's Francis Lee. He holds the record for scoring the most penalties in an English top-flight season, netting 13 in the league in 1971/72, plus two in cup matches. That season he earned the nickname 'Lee one pen' which fairly quickly morphed into 'Lee won pen' because he was so often the player fouled to win the spot kick in the first place (I say 'fouled' but Lee certainly had a reputation for diving). Similarly, in more recent times, Andrew Johnson was often accused of hitting the deck rather easily during 2004/05 when he recorded the Premier League record of 11 penalties in a season.

Dermot, London – 12 December 2014

Has there ever been a week in the Premier League with all of the results being draws?

The Gaffer says:

In the Premier League the most draws there has ever been over a match weekend is seven out of ten. That's happened on two occasions; firstly over the weekend of December 2 and 3, 1995 - Aston Villa 1-1 Arsenal, Bolton 1-1 Nottm Forest, Liverpool 1-1 Southampton, Man United 1-1 Chelsea, QPR 1-1 Middesbrough, Tottenham 0-0 Everton and Wimbledon 3-3 Newcastle. There were also seven stalemates on September 23 and 24, 2000 - Derby 1-1 Leeds, Ipswich 1-1 Arsenal, Liverpool 1-1 Sunderland, Man United 3-3 Chelsea, Middlesbrough 1-1 Aston Villa, Tottenham 0-0 Man City and Leicester 1-1 Everton. In the pre-Prem days, the record for most draws in one day came on September 18, 1948 when nine out of the 11 matches in Division One were draws - Aston Villa 3-3 Huddersfield, Bolton 2-2 Blackpool, Burnley 2-2 Birmingham, Charlton 0-0 Newcastle, Everton 1-1 Liverpool, Man City 1-1 Portsmouth, Sheffield Utd 2-2 Man United, Sunderland 1-1 Arsenal and Wolves 2-2 Derby.

Derek, Middlesbrough – 10 December 2014

Hi Gaffer, can you tell me which Asian team that gone the furthest in the World Cup? I'm not sure but I think it's Japan can you help me please?

The Gaffer says:

Of course I can help, Derek. Japan have never been beyond the second round, getting knocked out at that stage in 2002 and 2010. South Korea are the only Asian team who have reached the semi-finals, which they did when they co-hosted the World Cup with Japan in 2002. Under Guus Hiddink, they were beaten by Germany in the final four before losing the third-place play-off to Turkey.

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.

Colin Mcloughlin, Liverpool – 12 November 2014

Hi Gaff, heres one to test the old grey matter. What was a little odd about the 1937-38 English League Division One final table?

The Gaffer says:

I know what you're getting at here Colin! It's the extremely curious case of Manchester City's relegation the year after winning the title. City scored 80 goals that season - more than any other team, in fact three more than champions Arsenal - yet still went down, finishing second from bottom. They 'only' conceded 77, losing lots of games fairly narrowly but winning several by big margins (two 7-1s, a 6-1, 6-2 and 5-3). It has to be said, they were very unlucky; 1937/38 produced the closest relegation battle in top-flight history with only four points spanning the bottom 11 clubs. With one game left, Man City were top of a group of six clubs joint-bottom on 36 points, with Huddersfield on 37 and Everton 38. But City lost their final game at Huddersfield and other results conspired against them.

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.

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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