A. One of the last Englishmen to coach an Italian Serie A team and who was the most successful was the former Newcastle United player Jesse Carver, who played for the Magpies between 1936 and 1939 and who went on to coach Lazio, Juventus, Valdagho and Torino and manage Roma, Lazio, Genoa and Internazionale in the Fifties. His honours include taking Juventus to the Italian League Championship in 1950.
As no Englishman or Briton has coached an Italian league team since the late Fifties, the reason for the almost 40-year gap - until the appointment of Roy Hodgson at Internazionale - was perhaps articulated by their former coach Helenio Herrerra, who said, on Hodgson's appointment, "I have never known any really talented English coaches." - Diane Greenwood, London NW11
Q. In cricket fielding positions, why is there a "third man"? Which fielders were the first and second men?
A. A look through Michael Rundell's Dictionary of Cricket reveals that "third man" was beginning to be used as a fielding position in the mid- 19th century. It was used to supplement the established close off-side fielding position of point and short slip
By the 1880s, with second or "extra" slip now established as a position in its own right, third man had retreated somewhat to become "rather a middle slip being long-slip placed in close enough to save the run" ( W G Grace in Outdoor Games and Recreations, 1891). Nowadays third man refers to a position of varying deepness anywhere in the quadrant between the point and wicketkeeper.
Presumably, point and short slip were the first and second men. - David Rimmer, Middlesbrough
A. I think this is from when there was a "long-stop" behind the wicketkeeper and a "third man" on the boundary for anything which eluded the other two. - J W Moverley, Malvern
Q. Has any other sporting event been abandoned on the grounds of boredom as occurred recently on the England cricket tour of South Africa? - Adrian Bodkin, London N2
Q. West Bromwich Albion must be sick of the sight of Stoke City as last Saturday week's 1-0 home defeat by the Potters had an air of inevitability about it. Since beating Stoke 6-0 on 18 December 1988 at the Hawthorns, West Bromwich have failed to beat their Staffordshire neighbours in any of the next 13 meetings. Stoke's playing record in matches between the two clubs since the freakish events in December 1988 is: P13, W10, D3 L0 F23 A12. Can any other club justify the title, "The mother of all bogey teams" and against whom? - David Pepper, Stoke-on-Trent
Q. Reduced to 10 men, football teams often seem to put in that extra effort which makes up for their fewer numbers. Is there any evidence to show the success or otherwise of sides playing with less than the regulation number of players? - Tim Mickleburgh, Grimsby
If you know the answers to any of these questions or have a question of your own, write to: Q & A, Sports Desk, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5DL.
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