Monday, October 4, 2010
ESPNsoccernet: October 5, 9:30 AM UK
Ask Norman: American heroes and cup legends
Norman Hubbard is Soccernet's resident anorak. If you have any questions on football facts, statistics or trivia, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and he'll try to answer as many as possible.
I was wondering which American has the most appearances and goals in the Premier League? asked Nathan Roeder
The man with the most appearances to his name is Brad Friedel, who has played 395 times for Liverpool (25), Blackburn (287) and Aston Villa (83). It isn't his most notable record, though: the last 235 of those games have been consecutive and he hasn't missed a league game since May 2004.
The player with most goals, meanwhile, is Brian McBride, who scored four times for Everton and 32 for Fulham. His record should be safe for some time to come; among the current crop of Americans in the Premier League, the closest is Clint Dempsey, whose 23 goals have all come for Fulham.
Who is the leading scorer in the FA Cup? Also, I wanted to know whether there's any player that has ever scored in each round of the FA Cup (including the final)? asked Samuel Tukamushaba
The highest scorer is an otherwise forgotten figure, Henry Cursham, who scored 49 goals - one in the qualifying round and the other 48 in the competition itself - for Notts County between 1877 and 1888.
For your second question, the criteria is to score in every round in which their club participates - ie, a Premier League or Championship player this season could only score from the third round onwards.
Twelve players have scored in every round of the competition. The first was Aston Villa's Archie Hunter in 1886-7, the most recent Chelsea's Peter Osgood in 1969-70. The others were: Sandy Brown (Tottenham, 1901); Harry Hampton (Aston Villa, 1905); Harold Blackmore (Bolton, 1929); Ellis Rimmer (Sheffield Wednesday, 1935); Frank O'Donnell (Preston, 1937); Stan Mortensen (Blackpool, 1948); Jackie Milburn (Newcastle, 1951); Nat Lofthouse (Bolton, 1953); Charlie Wayman (Preston, 1954) and Jeff Astle (West Brom, 1968). No one has done it in the four decades since Osgood.
Recently, Zlatan Ibrahimovic joined Milan from Barca. Having played for Juve and Inter, Ibra has joined the three biggest clubs in Italy. Has anyone else in history managed to complete this feat? He also won Serie A titles with his two former clubs so has any other player managed to win Serie A with all three clubs? asked Samuel Chuah
Ibrahimovic has become the seventh player to manage the hat-trick of representing Italy's top trio. Four of the others all did so in the last 15 years - his former Juve and Inter team-mate Patrick Vieira, plus Edgar Davids, Christian Vieri and Roberto Baggio. The others were Giuseppe Meazza, the great goalscorer of the 1920s and 1930s after whom the ground commonly known as the San Siro is named, and Aldo Serena, a striker who played in the 1986 and 1990 World Cups.
It's a moot point if Ibrahimovic can win Serie A with all three clubs. Because of the calciopoli scandal, Juventus' last title (officially) was back in 2003 and they were stripped of the 2005 and 2006 titles, when Ibrahimovic was part of their attack. Serena's clubs did legitimately win Serie A when he was there but, as he hardly played in his time at AC Milan (1991-93), he was at best a fringe player there.
Have Arsenal ever been relegated from top-flight football since they entered the old First Division? If so, when was this? asked Olajide Obafemi
Arsenal have indeed been relegated from the old First Division. It only happened once, but it was a rather emphatic relegation. In the 1912-13 season when they still played in South London, Arsenal only won once at home and finished ten points adrift of safety with 18 points (three of the bottom four that season - Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea - were three of last season's top four). They returned to the First Division in rather contentious fashion for the 1919-20 season; Arsenal had only finished fifth in the Second Division in the previous season (1914-15; due to World War 1, competitive football was then suspended for four years) and replaced Tottenham, who had finished last in the First Division in the previous campaign, in the top flight as the division was increased from 20 to 22 teams. Accusations have been levelled at the Arsenal owner of the time, Sir Henry Norris, over the circumstances of the promotion. But, in the 91 subsequent years, Arsenal have never been relegated.
Who was the first player from outside Britain signed by a British club? asked John Frasane
The first foreigner in the English top flight was Walter Bowman, a Canadian who joined Accrington Stanley from Berlin Rangers, Ontario in 1892 and went on to play for Ardwick, the club that became Manchester City. For more on Bowman, see Nick Harris' book 'England, Their England'.
I notice James Perch was booked in the first five games of this season in the Premier League. Is this a top-flight record? If not, who holds it? asked John McDale of Bridlington.
It is indeed a top-flight record. Perch was booked in each of his first five games, served a suspension in the Carling Cup tie against Chelsea and then scored an own goal against Stoke in his sixth match for Newcastle. Still, at least he wasn't booked.