You Again? 7 Managers Who Returned to Coach Their Former Clubs Once More

The return of Jupp Heynckes to Bayern Munich was recently announced on a short term deal until the end of the season following the sudden dismissal of Carlo Ancelotti, and fans of the Bundesliga champions rejoiced at the return of their former treble winning boss.

In light of this emotional return, we decided to take a look at some other managers who returned to their former clubs to have one more crack in the hotseat…

7. Neil Warnock – Crystal Palace

Managerial Spells: 2007-2010 & 2014

The current Cardiff boss sits in second place in the Championship with the Welsh side, but his time at Crystal Palace was much more indifferent. His first spell in south London saw Warnock turn the Championship relegation battlers into promotion candidates, losing out to Bristol City in the semi-finals of the play offs. 

The 68-year-old left the club in the midst of administration issues, but returned in 2014 to steady the ship at Selhurst Park following the shock departure of Tony Pulis just two days before the Premier League season. He was sacked just five months later and replaced by Alan Pardew. 

6. Harry Redknapp – Portsmouth

Managerial Spells: 2002-2004 & 2005-2008

Redknapp led Portsmouth to the Premier League in 2003 and kept them up the following year, but a falling out with chairman Milan Mandaric saw him depart Fratton Park and join Pompey’s major rivals, Southampton. 

The 70-year-old failed to keep the Saints in the Premier League and returned to Portsmouth soon after, guiding his former club to FA Cup glory over Cardiff in 2008. 

5. Steve McClaren – Derby

Managerial Spells: 2013-2015 & 2016-2017

The former England manager took the reigns at Pride Park following a successful stint with FC Twente in Holland, but failed to replicate his successes with the Championship club, losing 1-0 to QPR in the play off final in the last minute.

McClaren duly upped sticks and left to join Newcastle, but a disappointing spell at St James’ Park saw him receive his P45 and return to Derby for one more season. 

4. Claudio Ranieri – Valencia

Managerial Spells: 1997-1999 & 2004-2005

Ranieri jumped into the hotseat at the Mestalla for his first spell back in 1997, and led the Spanish side to Copa del Rey glory in 1999 before departing to join La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid. 

The Italian returned to Valencia in 2004 following Rafa Benitez’s title winning season, but failed to live up to the Spaniard’s successes, lasting just one season after returning. 

3. Tony Pulis – Stoke

Managerial Spells: 2002-2005 & 2006-2013

The Welshman took the reigns at Stoke following Steve Cotterill’s resignation, and led the club to Premier League survival at the first time of asking against all odds. A falling out with then chairman Gunnar Gislason led to Pulis’ departure. 

The 59-year-old returned to the club after Peter Coates became the new chairman, and embarked on an excellent seven year spell in which he consolidated Stoke as an established Premier League outfit before leaving in 2013. 

2. Fabio Capello – Real Madrid

Managerial Spells: 1996-1997 & 2006-2007

The former England boss had two spells at the Santiago Bernabeu, his first one resulting in the Italian leading Los Blancos to the league title, overcoming rivals Barcelona by just two points. 

A falling out with chairman Lorenzo Sanz led to his departure, but he returned for a second spell a decade later. His defensive style of play led to discontent amongst supporters, but he managed to guide the club to another La Liga title on the final day of the season, but was ultimately sacked. 

1. Jose Mourinho – Chelsea

Managerial Spells: 2004-2007 & 2013-2015

The ‘Special One’, as Mourinho infamously dubbed himself, took over at Stamford Bridge after emerging as one of Europe’s best coaches following a phenomenal two year spell at Porto. 

The Portuguese won the Premier League and the League Cup in his first season, but left the club through ‘mutual consent’ in 2007 after friction between him and Roman Abramovich. 

Mourinho returned to west London in 2013, and led to club to another Premier League and League Cup double in his second season, before being sacked the following year after losing nine of his first 16 league games. 


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