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5 managers who returned to their former clubs

| 05.10.2017

It doesn’t always work out the second time around

After dismissing Carlo Ancelotti, reports suggest that Bayern Munich are set to turn to Jupp Heynckes to guide them through the rest of the season.

The 72-year-old had previously retired at the end of his third spell in charge of Bayern in 2013. He had a dream send-off after leading the club to a historic treble.

However, Bayern feel he would be a reassuring presence during a difficult period for the Bavarian giants.

Heynckes wouldn’t be the first manager to return to a former stomping ground. And there can be mixed results when they go back.

Here are five other managers who went back for more:

Jose Mourinho – Chelsea (June 2004 – September 2007 and June 2013 – December 2015)

Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea only conceded 15 league goals and racked up a record 95 points to end a 50-year wait for the title during his first season at Stamford Bridge. The Blues went on to defend the title in 2005-06 too.

Tensions arose the following year between the fiery Portuguese coach and Roman Abramovich, the club’s owner. That friction ultimately led to his surprise departure in September 2007, having won six trophies in three years.

Mourinho returned to the club in 2013, following spells in charge of Inter Milan and Real Madrid. Chelsea finished third in his first year back, before marching to the title in the next campaign.

However, the club’s title defence was a disaster. Mourinho’s confrontational style wore thin on his players and he was sacked just seven months after lifting the trophy. Chelsea had lost nine of 16 league games and were only a point above the relegation zone when he left.

Tony Pulis – Stoke City (November 2002 – September 2005 and June 2006 – May 2013)

Tony Pulis took over a struggling Stoke side in November 2002. The Potters looked like relegation candidates but he helped to turn things around and they avoided the drop on the last day of the season.

Stoke then finished 11th in the old First Division the following year, but disagreements over the club’s transfer policy led to his departure at the end of the 2004-05 campaign.

Pulis was only away for a year when Stoke, now owned by Peter Coates, asked him to return. The Welshman guided the club back into the top-flight for the first time in 23 years, established them as a Premier League club and reached the 2011 FA Cup final.

Stoke’s success was built on a physical style, good organisation and an intimidating atmosphere at the then-Britannia Stadium. However, the board and fans eventually wanted to see more progressive football and Pulis left again in 2013.

Kevin Keegan – Newcastle United (February 1992 – January 1997 and January 2008 – September 2008)

Kevin Keegan began his managerial career at Newcastle and he saved them from relegation, took them to the Premier League and came agonisingly close to winning the title during five whirlwind years.

The Magpies played superb attacking football but ended up blowing a 12-point lead over Manchester United in 1995-96. The former Liverpool and Newcastle forward resigned in 1997 as he felt he had taken the club as far as he could.

Over a decade later, he was the surprise choice to replace Sam Allardyce at St. James’ Park. It was only a brief return though and he resigned after disagreements with owner Mike Ashley and director of football Dennis Wise.

Eddie Howe – Bournemouth (December 2008 – January 2011 and October 2012 – Present)

Eddie Howe had two spells at Bournemouth as a player and he’s done the same as a manager. The Amersham-born defender was made a player-coach at the age of 29 and he became a full-time youth coach at the club after retiring.

Bournemouth began the 2008-09 campaign with a 17-point deduction after being declared insolvent. Jimmy Quinn was sacked in December, giving Howe the chance to take over and lead the club to safety. He then took them into League One, despite being under a transfer embargo.

Howe then left to take over at Burnley but he only lasted a year at Turf Moor before returning to the Cherries. Upon his return, Bournemouth climbed from League One to the Premier League in three years, where they still remain.

Nigel Pearson – Leicester City (June 2008 – June 2010 and November 2011 to June 2015)

Nigel Pearson joined Leicester following their relegation to League One. He took them back into the Championship at the first attempt.

Pearson did well during his first spell with the Foxes but rarely saw eye-to-eye with club owner Milan Mandaric. He was replaced by Paulo Sousa after losing in the 2009-10 play-off semi-finals.

He returned after Leicester had been bought by new owners and took the club into the Premier League as Championship winners. They were bottom of the top flight at Christmas, but they put together an excellent run in the second-half of the campaign to finish in 14th.

Pearson was then dismissed for off-the-field issues that summer. Claudio Ranieri was his replacement and the Italian ended up doing pretty well at the King Power Stadium…

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Daniel Anwar

Daniel has written about sport for Coral, Squawka, FourFourTwo and the Premier League, among others.