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Orange'sfootball trivia expert answers your best questions

Ask The Gaffer



Ask The Gaffer
Ask The Gaffer

Ian Robinson, Longton – 30 October 2014

How many of Alan Shearer's goals in the Premier League were from open play?

The Gaffer says:

Of Alan Shearer's 260 Premier League goals, 147 of them were from open play (57%), 55 came from dead ball situations (21%) and 58 were slotted in from the penalty spot (22%). 173 of those 270 goals came in home fixtures, which is a Premier League record, and Shearer has also scored the most away goals (87) in Premier League history too. He scored 68 match-winners (again, another record) and scored just two as a sub. 195 of his Premier League goals were booted in with his right peg (75%), 46 were headed in (18%) and 19 came from his left foot (7%). 170 (65%) were scored from inside the area, 55 (21%) from inside the six-yard box and 38 (15%) were blasted in from range.

Ralph, Ilfracombe – 30 October 2014

Gaff can you tell me who was the first manager to lose his job in the Premier League ?

The Gaffer says:

He is best remembered for scoring the winning goal in Sunderland's shock FA Cup final win against Leeds in 1973, but Ian Porterfield was also the first Premier League manager to be sacked after a run of 11 league games without a win whilst manager of Chelsea. His managerial career path went on a long and winding road after his spell at the Blues, managing Zambia, Zimbabwe, Oman, Trinidad and Tobago, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, Busan I'Park and Armenia.

Martin Burns, Glasgow – 28 October 2014

Hi Gaff, I'm not usually the biggest fan of this kind of question, but: I have been a team mate of Peter Schmeichel, Stefan Effenberg, Jean-Pierre Papin, Gabriel Batistuta, Duncan Ferguson, Marcel Desailly and Tijani Babangida, who am I?

The Gaffer says:

Laudrup PA

Well I think it's a cracking question, Martin. You are... Brian Laudrup! He played with Schmeichel for Denmark and at Brondby, Effenberg at Bayern Munich and Fiorentina, Papin at AC Milan, Batistuta at Fiorentina, Ferguson at Rangers, Desailly at Chelsea and Babangida at Ajax.

Sam Toshack, Madrid – 28 October 2014

How many players have played for both teams in an El Clasico?

The Gaffer says:

I make it 17: Ronaldo, Alfonso Perez, Albert Celades, Luis Figo, Dani Garcia Lara, Luis Enrique, Robert Prosinecki, Michael Laudrup, Fernando 'Nando' Munoz, Gheorghe Hagi, Luis Milla, Bernd Schuster, Lucien Muller, Justo Tejada, Joaquin Navarro Perona, Juan Hilario Marrero Perez and Josep Samitier. A further 16 players, including Samuel Eto'o and Javier Saviola, have featured for Real Madrid and Barcelona but they didn't play in El Clasico for both teams.

Nathanial, Oswestery – 27 October 2014

Which defender has the most amount of assists in the Premier League era?

The Gaffer says:

Leighton Baines ticked over to 43 Premier League assists after his cross for Samuel Eto'o's header in the 3-1 win against Burnley. The only defender with more (but not for much longer you would imagine) is former Chelsea, Blackburn and Southampton full-back Graeme Le Saux who recorded 44.

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.

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.

Harry, Torpoint – 9 December 2010

What's the most amount of goals scored in an English league match?

The Gaffer says:

Seventeen, set on Boxing Day 1935 when Tranmere spanked Oldham 13-4.

Paul Eastwood, UK – 9 December 2010

Name the footballer who has scored a goal in the top flight in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s?

The Gaffer says:

Roy Race, from Roy of the Rovers. Next!

Aaron, Leeds – 14 February 2011

Which is the biggest stadium in the world?

The Gaffer says:

May Day Stadium

The Rungrado May Day Stadium in North Korea can seat 150,000, making it the largest non-racing stadium capacity in the world. The Maracana in Rio seats 88,992, but reputedly housed a whopping 199,854 spectators for the 1950 World Cup final.

Taffy, UK – 9 December 2010

Is it true that West Auckland in County Durham won the first World Cup?

The Gaffer says:

West Auckland were the winners of the Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy, one of the first international footballing competitions, in its two initial years (1909 and 1911). It is sometimes referred to as 'The First World Cup' but is predated by the Torneo Internazionale Stampa Sportiva, which was hosted in 1908, as the first international competition.

Nick, Weymouth – 9 December 2010

Can you tell me the players and scorers in the first FA Cup final?

The Gaffer says:

Wanderers beat the Royal Engineers 1-0 in the first FA Cup final at The Oval in 1872. The goal was scored by Betts, who strangely played under the pseudonym 'A H Chequer'. The full Wanderers line-up was: Welch, Alcock, Betts, Bonsor, Bowen, Crake, Hooman, Lubbock, Thompson, Vidal, Wollaston. The Royal Engineers' team was Marindin, Merriman, Addison; Creswell, Mitchell, Renny-Tailyour; Rich, Goodwyn, Muirhead, Cotter, Bogle.

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