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Battle of the backroom staff: Porto 2003-04 v Watford 2008-09

“The Watford coaching staff of 2008-09 have enjoyed a remarkable season in 2013-14,” wrote Ed Bagnall last week. “Back then at Vicarage best place to buy a canada goose jacket in toronto Road, Brendan Rodgers was manager, Sean are there any canada goose outlet stores Dyche a coach and Mark Warbuton youth team boss. This season Rodgers could win the Premier League, Dyche has managed Burnley to promotion and Warburton has got Brentford out of League One. Has any group of club staff ever gone on to have a more impressive season in different jobs?”

Rodgers still has a chance of winning the league, but the (most likely) Watford 2008-09 backroom graduate tally authenitc canada goose outlet store in gta with discount price in 2013-14 of three runners-up spots is somewhat eclipsed by that of a European giant in 2003-04.

“I’d like to nominate the FC Porto 2003-04 coaching buy canada goose jacket online canada staff,” begins Alan Gomes. “Led by one José Mourinho, they were as successful as it can get that year, winning both the Portuguese title and the Champions League. In the 2010-2011 season, this group went on to significant achievements. The Special One himself had a relatively subdued season for his standards, winning the Spanish Cup, reaching the Champions League semi-finals and placing second in the Spanish League.

“Meanwhile, André Villas-Boas, a scout at Porto in 03-04, was now leading the team to an unprecedented treble – he won the Europa League, the Portuguese League and the Portuguese Cup.

“Admittedly the pickings get slimmer from now on, but the former assistant coach Baltemar Brito is worthy of mention as well: in 2010-11 he was head coach of Al Ittihad Tripoli, and had his team well in command of the Libyan league (12 wins, 3 draws, a six-point league over second-placed Ahly Tripoli) until the civil war broke out.

“And finally it should also be mentioned that 2003-04 scout Ricardo Formosinho had also undertaken his own managerial career, which in 2010-11 took him to Vietnam, where he coached Becamex Binh Duong. Alas, he was sacked when Becamex were sixth in Vietnam’s V-League, so I’m not sure he counts as a success story.”


Last week we looked at the players to have enjoyed a mid-match snack. Here’s Tom Fern with another:

“Fleetwood Town v Hyde United in the Conference North in March 2009. Hyde are 1-0 down, and veteran striker Neil Tolson is struggling. can you wash a canada goose jacket in the washer At a corner, he asks a supporter – who obliges – to get him a Mars Bar from the tea bar. A few minutes later he’s rejuvinated, equalises and then scores another to make it 2-1 to Hyde who eventually win the match 3-1.”

The Knowledge got in touch with Tolson to check the story’s veracity, but at the time of publishing he’s not got back to us. Still, watch this space.


“Before Bayern Munich played Real Madrid, they had played five consecutive European matches against English teams,” writes Katlong Jonah Dakun. “This got me wondering, what is the longest run of matches a team from one country has had to play against teams from another country in any continental competition?”

You don’t have to look very far for an answer to this one. As a bucketful of readers pointed out, Real Madrid played Schalke, Dortmund and Bayern Munich over two legs in successive games en route to this season’s Champions League final.


“With the FA Youth Cup final this week, how many winners of it have gone on to win the senior FA Cup?” wonders Daniel Kemp via Twitter.

Knowledge reader Malcolm Warburton has done the hard yards here. It’s not a comprehensive list, but it’s a very decent stab:

Bobby Charlton (Youth Cup in 1954, 1955 and 1956, FA Cup in 1963, all with Manchester United), David Gaskell (1957; 1963; both with Manchester United), Des Horne (1958; 1960; both with Wolves), Peter best canada goose jacket for women Bonetti (1960; 1970; both with Chelsea), Terry Venables (1960; 1967; with Chelsea then Spurs), Ron Harris (1961; 1970s; both with Chelsea), Pat Rice (1966; 1971 and 1979; all with Arsenal), Sammy Nelson (1966; 1979; both with Arsenal), Richie Pitt (1969; 1973; both with Sunderland), John Wark (1975; 1978; both with Ipswich), David Geddis (1975; 1978; both with Ipswich), Paul Allen (1981; 1991; West Ham then Spurs), Paul Gascoigne (1985; 1991; with Newcastle amazon canada goose jacket then Spurs), Andy Hinchcliffe (1986; 1990; with Manchester City then Everton), Kevin Campbell (1988; 1993; both with Arsenal), David James (1989; 2008; Watford then Portsmouth), Gary Neville (1992; 1996, 1999, 2004; all Manchester United), David Beckham (1992; 1996, 1999; both Manchester United), Nicky Butt (1992; 1996, 2004; all Manchester United), Ryan Giggs (1992; 1994, 1996, 1999, 2004; all Manchester United), Phil Neville (1995; 1996, 1999, 2004; all Manchester United), Jamie Carragher (1996; 2001, 2006; all Liverpool), Michael Owen (1996; 2001; both Liverpool), Harry Kewell (1997; 2006; Leeds then Liverpool), Joe Cole (1999; 2007, 2009, 2010; West Ham then Chelsea), Justin Hoyte (2001; 2005; both Arsenal), Adam Johnson (2004; 2011; Middlesbrough then Manchester City), Daniel Sturridge (2008; 2010, 2012; Manchester City then Chelsea); Dedryck Boyata (2008; 2011; both Manchester City).


A quick update on the lead piece in last week’s column. Scunthorpe went into the final League Two game of the season having won 20 and drawn 20, needing a draw in their final game against York to become the first English side in 45 years to win promotion having drawn more often than won.

And, to the delight of stats fans the world over (possibly), they duly obliged. It looked a little dicey with the Iron 2-0 up just before half-time but two stunning goals from the Minstermen secured a 2-2 draw and Scunthorpe a place in the record books.


“In a recent Knowledge, you made reference to Sunderland fans boycotting Sugar Puffs and Northern Rock because of their association with Newcastle,” wrotes Jon Malpass back in 2006. “Are there any other instances of companies losing money/sales/etc through their association with certain clubs?”

Everybody knows fans who proudly claim to avoid the products and services whose names adorn their rivals’ shirts and stadia but, despite these boasts, evidence of companies actually losing money is scarce. Several of you, however, were quick to point out the unique situation with the Old Firm teams in Glasgow, who currently share the same sponsor: Carling. This all started in 1984, when a small glazing company called CR Smith decided to sponsor both teams, and did so with massive success. Three years later, however, Rangers switched to McEwan’s, causing large sections of Celtic’s support to stop drinking the beer – and several Celtic pubs to stop stocking it. The clubs eventually responded in 1999 by returning to shared sponsorship with NTL, and they have continued to stick with this system since.

In Italy, meanwhile, a short-lived ‘war of the cappuccino’ broke out in Rome after Lazio bought Christian Vieri from Atlético Madrid in 1998. At the time, Lazio’s president Sergio Cragnotti ran a food conglomerate called Cirio, which happened to raise its milk prices by about 3p per litre shortly after Vieri’s arrival. Roma fans linked the two events – and were furious at what buy canada goose coat uk they perceived as being charged to fund Lazio’s purchase. They responded by boycotting cappuccino, thereby reducing milk sales in the Italian capital.

More recently, English readers will remember a significant number of Manchester United fans rejecting a number of brands for their continued association with the team after Malcolm Glazer’s takeover. Vodafone did subsequently break their ties with the club, despite having time left to run on an existing contract, but their official reasoning for this was so that they could focus on Champions League sponsorship.

Mars, meanwhile, scored a bit of an own goal this summer with their ‘Believe’ campaign, which effectively supported England’s bid to win the World Cup. “Even though Believe was confined to England, the global playground conspired to enable semi-organised boycotts of the product in Scotland, Wales and, bizarrely, Spain,” says Dr Paul Springer, author of the forthcoming book Ads to Icons. “Unfortunately, after another meek exit, even the English were left to grumble ‘they’re not as big as they used to be’.”

For thousands more questions and answers take a trip through the Knowledge archive.

Can you help?

“With all the talk of Arsenal’s terribly ‘long’ wait for a trophy (almost nine years), spare a thought for Rochdale,” writes Peter Hughes. “In their 107 year history they are yet to win a trophy. This could change at the weekend if results go their way [They didn’t – Knowledge Ed]. Can any other team top this?”

“After Chris Porter inevitably scored for Sheffield United against his old club (and my team) Oldham Atheltic last night,” begins Andy Sweeting, “I was wondering which teams have conceded the most goals to former players? Seems to be a regular occurrence for Oldham when we face ex-players.”

“Telford’s league title this season is manager Liam Watson’s third success in the Conference North, after previously winning it with Southport in both 2005 and 2010,” writes Liam McGuigan. “My question is: which manager has the most wins in any division that doesn’t offer promotion to its victors, ie not a top flight?”

“With the sad passing of Sandy Jardine recently, a show on BBC radio noted how Sandy won the Scottish Football Writers Player of the Year award in Scotland in 1974-75 and 1985-86 – a gap of 11 years,” writes sale Paul Dixon. “I remembered that you recently did a listing with ‘Team of the Year’ nominees, but I didn’t see that any of those players won an individual award with such a large time gap. Can anyone top Sandy’s achievement?”

“Following the topic of teams drawing more than winning and still succeeding, Internazionale went the whole 2004-05 best ideas about canada goose parka on pinterest season only racking up two defeats, but could only manage third in the league,” writes James Tennant. “Has any team ever lost fewer games but still finished lower than third in a season?”

“I noticed the other day that Graham Taylor has a history of finishing runner-up,” begins Jeremy Orbell. “He’s done it in the top three divisions with Watford and top two divisions with Aston Villa. While he did manage two fourth tier championships in three years in the 70s he lost out again in the FA Cup Final in 1984. A couple of questions spring to mind: Has anyone come as close to winning all four divisions and can anyone better the list for coming second in domestic and European competition? amazon canada goose jacket Avram Grant had a good stab with Chelsea in 2008 if I recall.”

“Barring a kidney-related miracle for Allan McGregor, Steve Harper looks set to play in the 2014 FA Cup final for Hull City,” writes Nathan Atkinson. “Having made his first appearance in the showpiece way back in 1999 for Newcastle, in a 2-0 defeat to Manchester United, I was wondering if this 15-year hiatus is the longest gap between a first and second FA Cup final appearance for any player? Is it also the longest period between a player’s first and (presumably) last final?”

“This season, Rayo Vallecano have conceded more goals than any other team in La Liga, yet they’re in the top 10,” writes Steffan John. “Is this the highest that a team with the league’s worst defensive record has achieved?”

“Bristol Rovers have been relegated despite having two players in the League Two team of the season,” writes Tom Aldous. “Has that ever happened before?”

Send your questions and answers to knowledge@theguardian.com

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