Let's Go Round Again | When Managers Return

Football management, probably the toughest role in football today!  With the constant pressure from the supporters, the board of directors, not to mention the players, sometimes managing a football team is like stepping out of the frying pan and into the fire!  It therefore takes a special breed of manager that wants to return to a job they have done before, as these 10 managerial examples show.


JOSE MOURINHO - Chelsea Football Club

1st spell in charge - 2nd June 2004 to 19th September 2007 / 2nd spell in charge - 3rd June 2013 to 17th December 2015

"The Special One" arrived in England fresh from winning the UEFA Cup in 2003 and the Champions League in 2004 with FC Porto.  Not short of confidence, Mourinho led Chelsea to Premier League wins in 2004/05 and 2005/06 creating an exciting Chelsea side featuring the likes of Lampard, Drogba, Robben and Duff.  After leaving the club in 2007 and taking charge of the likes of Inter Milan and Real Madrid, he returned to London in 2013, winning the league for a 3rd time in 2015 before leaving again at the end of that year as the champions struggled to finish in the top half.  Mourinho's win percentage at Chelsea was 67% in his first spell and 59% the second time around, very respectable totals for one of the all-time greats of the dugout.

[caption id="attachment_2782" align="alignleft" width="300"] Chelsea's greatest! Jose Mourinho won the Premier League 3 times in charge of the Stamford Bridge outfit. The Special One has also enjoyed success with FC Porto, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2781" align="alignleft" width="300"] King Kev would've loved it if his beloved Newcastle United had won the league while he was in charge of the Magpies! Sadly, the entertaining side came up short and Keegan's last spell in charge saw the side relegated in 2008.[/caption]



WALTER SMITH - Glasgow Rangers

1st spell in charge - 19th April 1991 to 31st May 1998 / 2nd spell in charge - 10th January 2007 to 15th May 2011

After the shock resignation of Graeme Souness, assistant Walter Smith took charge of the Ibrox side, steadying the team to clinch the league title on a dramatic last-day against Aberdeen in 1991.  Smith would preside over the side completing and equalling Celtic's nine-in-a-row championships before bowing out as a runner-up in 1998.  Smith's Rangers side were also cruelly denied a spot in the first Champions League final by Marseille who were later found to have bribed officials.  After the Govan club experimented with Paul le Guen, Smith took charge again seeing the side reach the UEFA Cup final in 2008 and winning 3 more league titles and a handful of Scottish and League Cups before retiring from management.  Smith holds an impressive overall win record of 64.19% from his time managing Rangers.

[caption id="attachment_2783" align="alignleft" width="300"] One of the first iconic managers of the British game, Matt Busby led Manchester United to European Cup success in 1968. Sadly the great boss passed away in 1994 just before the club won their first Double under Alex Ferguson.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2779" align="alignleft" width="300"] A legendary striker with Hearts, John Robertson is back in the hot-seat at Inverness looking to take Caley back up to the SPFL Premiership. He previously managed ICT between 2002 and 2004.[/caption]


SIR MATT BUSBY - Manchester United

1st spell in charge - 1st October 1945 to 4th June 1969 / 2nd spell in charge - 29th December 1970 to 8th June 1971

A legend at Manchester United, Scotsman Matt Busby took charge of the Red Devils in 1945, famously leading the side to European Cup glory in 1968 after surviving the Munich air crash 10 years earlier that took the lives of many of those affectionately known as the Busby Babes.  Leading United in the 1960's must have been a joy, managing the likes of George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton.  After stepping down in 1969, United found that Busby's replacement wasn't up to the task of taking over (a familiar story to Man Utd fans of recent times) and he returned at the end of 1970 for six months.  It took the club another 15 years before they would find Busby's true successor.  Sir Matt's winning percentage in charge of the Old Trafford side was 51.42%.

KEVIN KEEGAN - Newcastle United

1st spell in charge - 5th February 1992 to 8th January 1997 / 2nd spell in charge - 16th January 2008 to 4th September 2008

A legend amongst the Toon Army, "King Kev" took over the reins at St James' Park in 1992 and in his first full season, with striker Andy Cole leading the line, won the First Division for promotion to the Premier League.  Keegan's Newcastle were one of the most entertaining sides in the top flight in the 1990's, coming close to toppling Manchester United on a few occasions, though coming up short each time much to Keegan's dismay.  After failing to get the better of Sir Alex Ferguson, Keegan left Newcastle in 1997.  Keegan had a disappointing time in charge of England at the turn of the century before managing Man City for 5 years.  With Newcastle struggling to survive in the Premier League, Keegan took over the club again but failed to keep them in the top flight.  Despite being the man in charge when the club went down to the Championship, Keegan's overall win record at Newcastle was a respectable 41.78%.

[caption id="attachment_2775" align="alignleft" width="300"] A championship winning manager in Holland with FC Twente, Steve McLaren has twice took charge of Midlands outfit Derby County, failing to get the Rams back up to the top flight.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2780" align="alignleft" width="300"] Now in charge at West Brom, Tony Pulis was the manager at Stoke City for two spells helping the side establish themselves in the Premier League.[/caption]


STEVE McLAREN - Derby County

1st spell in charge - 1st October 2013 to 25th May 2015 / 2nd spell in charge - 12th October 2016 to 12th March 2017

Infamous for being stuck on the sidelines in the pouring rain with an umbrella while England crashed out of Euro 2008 qualification, Englishman Steve McLaren has enjoyed a good career at club level, managing the likes of Middlesbrough and FC Twente where he won the Dutch league in 2010.  McLaren took over at Pride Park in 2013 and the club looked to be heading for promotion to the Premier League before imploding towards the end of the season and losing in the playoff final.  McLaren was sacked at the end of the 2014/15 season before taking charge at Newcastle United where he had an unsuccessful time.  He returned to the Rams in October 2016 before being sacked for a second time in March this year.  Overall, McLaren's win record at Derby County was a very good 49.25%.

FABIO CAPELLO - AC Milan and Real Madrid

AC Milan - 1st spell in charge - 1991 to 1996 / 2nd spell in charge - 1997 to 1998

Real Madrid - 1st spell in charge - 1st July 1996 to 24th June 1997 / 2nd spell in charge - 5th July 2006 to 28th June 2007

Former England manager Fabio Capello has the distinction of managing two European giants on two separate occasions.  He was in charge at the San Siro of the famous Milan side of the 1990's from 1991 to 1996 where the Rossoneri won 4 league titles and the Champions League in 1994.  Capello then left Italy for Real Madrid where he won the La Liga title in his first season in charge at the Bernabeu.  He quickly used his return ticket to Milan to take over the Italian club again for another season in '97/98 without success.  For a second time he took charge of Real Madrid in 2006 for a season where his side won another La Liga title.  Capello left Spain to take over England then Russia before ending up in China where he still manages.  Capello had a win percentage of 46.70% at AC Milan and 60.29% at Real Madrid.

TONY PULIS - Stoke City

1st spell in charge - 2002 to 2005 / 2nd spell in charge - 2006 to 2013

The baseball cap wearing Welshman took charge of Stoke City in 2002 for 131 games, before leaving the side to take over at Plymouth Argyle as the new ownership at Stoke didn't agree with Pulis' transfer policy.  He returned to the Britannia in 2006 however and guided the side to the Premier League in 2008 where the club remain.  Pulis left Stoke in 2013 with the team reaching the FA Cup final in 2012 and also playing in the knockout stages of the Europa League.  He now manages rival Premier League side West Bromwich Albion.  At Stoke, Pulis' win record was 36.26%, a decent achievement for a side never fancied to do much in the Premier League.

[caption id="attachment_2778" align="alignleft" width="300"] A legend amongst Jambos supporters after he led the Edinburgh side to victory in the Scottish Cup in 1998, Jim Jefferies has had a fine career north of the border, including two spells at Tynecastle.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2776" align="alignleft" width="228"] One of the all-time managerial greats in European club football, Fabio Capello has twice held the reins at Milan and Real Madrid, winning numerous league titles and the European Cup in 1994 with the San Siro based side.[/caption]


JIM JEFFERIES - Heart of Midlothian

1st spell in charge - 1st August 1995 to 8th November 2000 / 2nd spell in charge - 29th January 2010 to 1st August 2011

A legend at Tynecastle, Jefferies joined the club from Falkirk in 1995 and steered the Edinburgh side to Scottish Cup victory in 1998, before taking over Premier League side Bradford City in 2000, where he was unable to keep them in the top division of English football.  In 2010, after having gone through a succession of overseas managers, Hearts re-united with Jim Jefferies and his side finished 3rd in the 2010/11 season.  Jefferies record in charge of the Jambos was a 43.78% win percentage.

JOHN ROBERTSON - Inverness Caledonian Thistle

1st spell in charge - 26th December 2002 to 3rd November 2004 / 2nd spell in charge - 14th June 2017 to present

Another former Hearts and Scotland legend, John Robertson was the boss in charge at Highland side Inverness Caledonian Thistle and won the Scottish First Division for promotion to the top flight as well as the Challenge Cup.  After spells back at Tynecastle, Derry City, Ross County, Livingston and East Fife, Robbo returned to Caley this summer to try and steer the side back to the Premier League again after their relegation last term.  While in charge of the Jags, Robertson has enjoyed a 44.94% win record.

[caption id="attachment_2777" align="alignleft" width="300"] One of the greatest managers to grace the Scottish game, Walter Smith helped guide Rangers to a record-equalling 9-in-a-row league titles before moving to England with Everton. He returned to Ibrox after a spell in charge of the national team and gained more silverware for Rangers.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2774" align="alignleft" width="300"] Another former Scotland manager, Craig Levein returned to the hot-seat at Hearts this week hoping to regain his reputation as one of the best managers in the business. Levein's approach should see him steady the Hearts ship and guide them to top-six security in the SPFL Premiership this season.[/caption]


CRAIG LEVEIN - Heart of Midlothian

1st spell in charge - 1st December 2000 to 29th October 2004 / 2nd spell in charge - 28th August 2017 to present

Our final manager is the newest one to return to the hot-seat.  Former Scotland manager Craig Levein cut his managerial teeth at Fife side Cowdenbeath before becoming Hearts manager in 2000 where he guided the side to 3rd place in the SPL in two successive seasons and was the first manager at the club to take them into Europe in successive seasons since the 1960's.  This attracted Leicester City to come in for him whom he left in 2006 before taking on the top jobs at Raith Rovers, Dundee United and Scotland.  An unsuccessful time in charge of the national side led to Levein being targeted by the media and the boo-boy culture creeping into the game.  After Hearts sacked Ian Cathro before the start of the 2017/18 season, Levein stepped back into the Hearts manager's coat this week where he will be hoping to keep the club above city rivals Hibernian.  In his first spell at the club, Levein enjoyed a 43.53% win record.