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 Tuesday, 17 December, 2002, 14:49 GMT
Ask Albert - Number 86
Send Albert your festive footballing queries
Match of the Day's footballing sage Albert Sewell is poised to answer your queries on the beautiful game.

Fill in the form at the bottom of the page if you have a question.

And here's a special invitation from Albert for the festive season: If you've a special question about Christmas football, let's hear it!

Have your say

Andrew, Glasgow

We know Alex Ferguson was a centre-forward with Rangers and Aberdeen, but what was the background of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger as a player?

Arsene played only a few games for Strasbourg in the French League (he was born there).

He made his name in coaching with Cannes (1986-95), then moved to Grampus Eight in Japan.

He took over at Arsenal in October 1996, recommended to them by Glenn Hoddle.


Jaboma Wadu, UK

There used to be a rule that three successive corners resulted in a penalty against the defending team. When was the rule changed?

You must have dreamed that one up Jaboma! There has never been such a rule in the history of first-class football. Perhaps you'd like to suggest it to Fifa?


Ian O'Connor, London

How did Alan Hansen get the scar on his forehead?

From an accident he had as a teenage player with Partick Thistle. He walked into a plate-glass door. Much blood, many stitches.


Rob Skeates, England

What year did Bristol City reach the FA Cup final? Who did they meet? Where was it played and what was the score?

Bristol City were runners-up to Manchester United in the 1909 FA Cup final at the old Crystal Palace ground.

They lost 1-0, with the scorer being Sandy Turnbull after 22 minutes.

Both clubs were playing in the final for the first time.

United have gone on to win the FA Cup a record 10 times in 15 finals.


Scott Gibson, Scotland

Is it true that Glasgow Rangers won all their league games in season 1888-89?

Rangers achieved that astonishing feat in season 1898-99, when their record as champions of Scotland read: Played 18, won 18, Goals 79 - 18, Points 36.

It is the only time a team has won the Scottish title with a 100% record.


Matthew Phillips, Wales

When was the last time Wales were awarded a penalty?

I don't keep records of missed penalties, but the last time Wales scored from the spot was through Mark Pembridge, with their third goal in a 3-0 win away to Malta in June 1998.

That was 30 internationals ago.

But now that they are a much stronger, attacking team under Mark Hughes, they seem more likely to get a penalty.

Watch out for it.


Brian, England

I've read that London clubs have been champions of England only 15 times: Arsenal 12 times, Tottenham once (at least) and Chelsea once. So who's the other club?

15 is correct Brian, but Spurs have won the title twice.

Firstly in 1951 under Arthur Rowe, a year after his push-and-run side won the Second Division championship.

And secondley in 1960-61 when Bill Nicholson's side won the Double.


Dave, UK

The first game I saw at Selhurst Park was Crystal Palace against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round, about 1987-88. What can you tell me about it??

The season was 1986-87 and yes it was the third round.

The result was a 1-0 win for Second Division Palace against First Division Forest.

Their scorer was a Scottish winger named Alan Irvine.


Darren, UK

If the ball came off the referee and went into the net, would the goal count?

Yes, as long as there had been no infringement in the build-up play.

But I wouldn't like to be that referee!


James, England

After James Beattie's recent run of goals for Southampton, do you think he is worth an England chance?

Beattie is the current hot-shot in the Premiership with his burst of 11 goals in eight games.

At 24 he is the sort of player who deserves a chance in England's next match, the friendly against Australia at Upton Park on February 12.

We know all about what Michael Owen can do (and what Emile Heskey can't do), and friendlies should be used to try some new faces.


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