Manage, Leave, Repeat: Managers Who Have Left The Same Club Twice

Tom Dunstan

For players and managers alike, they say that you should never go back. For some of Football managements biggest names, they didn’t heed that warning. Some come back because of unfinished business and some come back for a love of the club. But, only a couple have enjoyed two successful spells.

Jose Mourinho – Chelsea

Although Jose Mourinho’s final memories of Stamford Bridge might not make his career highlights, there is no doubt that the Portuguese tactician is Chelsea’s most successful manager.

After miraculously turning Porto into a genuine European powerhouse, Mourinho made his way to South London and he quickly lived up to his title of ‘The Special One’. During his first stint at Chelsea, Mourinho did not lose a single match at Stamford Bridge, winning back-to-back titles to go along with an FA Cup and two League Cup trophies.

After a public rift with Roman Abramovich, Mourinho was sacked in 2007 and the announcement was not taken well by both Chelsea’s fans and their senior players.

His triumphant return to West London was met with great applause. Chelsea went back to winning ways, winning another Premier League title and another League Cup. Although his second departure was marred by lawsuits and public battles with players, Mourinho will always have a special spot at Stamford Bridge.

Tony Pulis – Stoke City

Say what you like about Stoke, but there is no doubting that Tony Pulis is one of the main reasons behind Stoke’s transition into a stable Premier League side.

Due to the success in his second spell, his first two years Staffordshire are pretty forgettable. After failing to break into England’s elite at the first attempt, Pulis fell out with the board over his lack of activity in the foreign transfer market and the club sacked him before he had even managed a Premier League match.

Fear not, he wasn’t gone for long. After a season with Plymouth Argyle, Stoke and their new owners realised what they were missing. Pulis returned to Stoke after a year away and took them back into the top flight for the first time in 23 years. He led the club to their first ever FA Cup final in 2011 and gave Stoke their first taste of European football in 37 years.

Once again tho, in 2013 Pulis had a second argument with the board over Stoke’s transfer activity and he was fired by the Potters for a second time.

Kevin Keegan – Newcastle United

Arguably the only man who can rival Alan Shearer for the title of Newcastle’s favourite son. ‘King Kev’ had revitalised Newcastle as a player in the 1980s and he did the same as a manager in the 1990s. In his first season at the helm of his boyhood club, Keegan secured promotion to the Premier League and over the next four years turned Newcastle into one of England’s top teams. So, after surprisingly announcing his resignation in 1997 the Geordie’s waved their hero off.

But, a decade later the king returned home to a team who were a shell of their former selves. This time tho, Keegan didn’t quite have the same touch that he did just over a decade ago. Only five months into his second spell, Keegan had handed in his resignation again amidst reports of a falling out with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley.

Steve McClaren – Derby County

In football, you get some coaches who are brilliant assistants, but, they don’t have what it takes to be the manager and Steve McClaren is the definition of this. Although he somehow spent a year as England’s manager, it always seems that his two spells at Derby are what he is most remembered for.

It started so well for poor old Steve, after spending four years at Derby as a coach, he looked like he might be turning things around. In his second season, Derby looked almost like promotion was a certainty. After flirting with Newcastle the Rams dropped all the way out of the playoffs, not only did he not get the Newcastle job, he was immediately sacked by Derby.

His second spell only last five months though, once again Derby had a terrible two months and once again, McClaren was on his way out Pride Park. But, in some places McClaren’s Derby legacy still lives on:

Neil Warnock – Crystal Palace

Over 1300 games in the dugout, 16 different clubs and nearly four decades of experience, if anything it’s a surprise Warnock hasn’t overlapped more than once.

It’s fair to describe Warnock’s two spells at Selhurst Park as mixed. Upon arriving in South London in 2007, Warnock must have known that he was always fighting an uphill battle. Palace had crippling debts mounting and the club entered administration, Warnock’s patience and constant efforts still aren’t forgotten, for the first spell anyway.

So, four years on, Palace were back in the Premier League and the club financially had come on leaps and bounds. Warnock arrived as a somewhat returning hero, but it didn’t exactly go to script. Instead, his second spell only lasted four months and after only winning three games in 17 attempts, Palace were bottom of the league and Warnock was on his way out again.

Harry Redknapp – Portsmouth

For Redknapp, he is part of a very elite group on this list, he actually enjoyed two successful spells on the South Coast. Although, the fact he bankrupted them and then jumped ship to Southampton is what Pompey fans really remember him for.

During his first stay at Fratton Park, the now former Birmingham City manager led Portsmouth back to the Premier league in 2003, not only did he take Portsmouth to England’s top flight, but he managed to keep them there the following season.

On his return only one year later, Redknapp’s side pulled off a shock when they won the FA Cup in 2008. For an honest view though, ask the Portsmouth fan’s who now watch their side in League one.

Claudio Ranieri – Valencia

For Ranieri, his name will always be inseparable with Leicester’s after their fairytale season. But, it’s not just in England where the Italian has a cult following.

Ranieri truly began to build his name when he took charge of Valencia for the first time in 1997. During his first spell, Ranieri saw Los Che finish with consecutive top-four finishes and guaranteeing them Champions League football, he also helped Valencia to the Copa del Rey title in 1999.

Thankfully for Ranieri tho, he had already cemented his place in Valencia’s hearts before his return. It turned out to be more of a quick visit for Ranieri. He only lasted a few months and despite winning the Super Cup on his return, Valencia couldn’t buy a win in the league and he was quickly gone again.

Fabio Capello – Real Madrid

Although over here in England we will always remember Capello for his disastrous spell as the England boss, Capello is similar to Redknapp, he enjoyed both his spells at Madrid.

Much in the Real Madrid style, Fabio only had a single season in charge for both his spells. But, for Capello he has a 100% ratio of winning the Champions League with Los Blancos, winning it in both 1997 and 2007.

In spite of his success, Real Madrid unsurprisingly gave him the sack anyway.

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