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English Premiership

Managers who like David Moyes returned for second spell at same club

David Moyes has returned to West Ham for a second spell but previous examples of managers having second terms at clubs do not augur well for the Scotsman or Hammers fans © AFP/File / Ben STANSALL

LONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 30 – David Moyes returned to manage Premier League strugglers West Ham for a second time on Sunday.

West Ham fans who hope Moyes can save them as he did in a six month spell in the 2017-2018 season may not be encouraged as AFP Sports picks out three other managers who had two spells at the same club with mixed results:

Jose Mourinho (Chelsea)

Jose Mourinho proved himself to be the Special One in his first spell at Chelsea but lost the dressing room in his second term months after delivering another Premier League title © AFP / Lindsey Parnaby

His first spell from 2004-07 justified the never shy Portuguese handler’s self-anointed ‘Special One’ status. Two Premier League titles — they never lost a home league game in his first spell — an FA Cup and a League Cup as well as two Champions League semi-finals had Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich grinning from ear to ear. However, his relations with Abramovich soured and he walked out in September 2007 when he dared the Russian to sack him following a brief exchange in a corridor when he had been told the team had to improve.

Chelsea came calling again in 2013 after a disappointing spell at Real Madrid and initially Mourinho’s magic touch continued delivering another Premier League title in the 2014/15 campaign. However, the following season things fell apart from the start and having lost the dressing room he was sacked in late December — hours after hosting the squad’s Christmas lunch — with the Blues having lost nine of their 16 league matches. “There obviously seemed to be a palpable discord between manager and players and we feel it was time to act,” opined technical director Michael Emenalo.

Neil Warnock (Crystal Palace)

Neil Warnock required all his combative qualities to get through his first spell at Crystal Palace but despite returning when they were in better financial health and in the Premier League he failed to fire them up and lasted only a few months © AFP / Ian KINGTON

The combative Englishman — who slightly belies that image by penning poetry in the rare moments he is not in a club’s dug out — needed that trait to battle through a turbulent three year stay (2007-2010) in the second tier Championship which resulted in the ‘Eagles’ entering administration. Warnock had said this would be his final managerial role and guided them to the 2007/08 play-offs. However, he went back on his promise to hang up his tracksuit and left ailing Palace — who had been docked 10 points for being placed in administration — in March 2010 to take over another struggling London club QPR. The administrator of the club claimed Warnock had said he ‘lacked the stomach for the fight’ which the manager dismissed as rubbish.

Back came Warnock in August 2014 with Palace in the Premier League but he failed to last through to 2015 being dismissed in December with the club in the bottom three. The by then 66-year-old took the sacking philosophically: “I’ve watched seven episodes of Downton Abbey in the last few days -– you miss out on things like that … things are not all doom and gloom.”

Kevin Keegan (Newcastle)

Kevin Keegan earned the title ‘King Kev’ from Newcastle fans after a sparkling first spell but a surprise return in 2008 lasted less than a year due to a falling out with controversial owner Mike Ashley © AFP / ANDREW YATES

The former England striker enjoyed iconic status both in Liverpool and then Newcastle as a player. His appointment as manager in 1992 was greeted with delight by the fans and this enthusiasm was reflected eventually on the pitch as through several wise acquisitions including rising star Andy Cole he guided Newcastle back to the top tier. A third-placed finish followed in the 1993/94 season but it is the ’95/’96 title race which remains embedded in Magpies fans memories as they let slip a 10 point lead and lost out to Manchester United. The pressure appeared to get to Keegan, who lost his cool live on TV with a tirade aimed at United manager Alex Ferguson: “I would love it if we beat them! Love it!”. Despite being dubbed ‘King Kev’ during this spell by fans he resigned out of the blue in January 1997 months after signing hometown boy Alan Shearer for a then world record fee. “It was like losing a family member,” commented the chairman at the time Freddy Shepherd.

The King returned from exile in a surprise move in January 2008 but it all quickly soured largely due to disagreements with controversial owner Mike Ashley. Keegan’s gripe was a lack of funds for transfers, and he walked out in September 2008.

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