With the Special One’s emotional return to Chelsea – who are now 21/10 to win the Premier League after their win against Hull – dominating the headlines on the opening weekend, we look at other coaches who have had success in multiple spells at a club.
Harry Redknapp – Portsmouth
The current boss of QPR – who are 8/5 to be promoted back to the top flight this year – became Portsmouth manager for the second time in December 2005, after healing the rift with Milan Mandaric that had forced his departure a year earlier. Redknapp kept Pompey up that season and led them to one of their greatest ever moments two years later, when Nwankwo Kanu’s winner against Cardiff secured the FA Cup for only the second time in the south coast club’s history.
Tony Pulis – Stoke City
Pulis was unceremoniously replaced with Dutch manager Johan Boskamp in May 2005, after establishing the Potters as a mid-table Championship outfit despite having his best players – including first-choice striker Ade Akinbiyi – sold from under him. When Peter Coates took over the club a year later, Pulis was brought back in and achieved automatic promotion within two seasons. He left the club at the end of last season after securing a sixth successive year of Premier League football at the Britannia.
Fabio Capello – Real Madrid
The former England manager’s first spell at the Bernabeu in 1996/97 saw Real Madrid win La Liga by two points, but Capello was shown little love from the Los Merengues faithful – who were not partial to his conservative approach to football – and was axed after just one campaign. His return nine years later – after three seasons in which Real had gone potless – saw history repeat itself, with the Italian picking up another La Liga title before being binned again for not winning it with enough style.
Jupp Heynckes – Bayern Munich
Heynckes won back-to-back Bundesliga’s with the Bavaria club between 1988-1990, but a poor start to the 1991/92 season saw him sacked and replaced with Danish coach Soren Lerby. The well-travelled German had spells in Spain managing Athletic Bilbao and a European Cup success with Real Madrid, but after securing a Champions League place in his second, caretaker spell at the Allianz Arena four years ago, Heynckes greatest triumph came when he was named manager for the third time, with last year’s historic Bundesliga, Champions League and German Cup treble capping a remarkable career.
Graham Taylor – Watford
Between 1977-87, Taylor took Watford all the way up the league ladder from the Fourth Division to the First Division and to the 1984 FA Cup final, which they lost 2-0 to Everton. He went on to manage Aston Villa, England and Wolverhampton Wanderers before returning to Vicarage Road in 1996 – by which time they were back in the third tier of English football – and steered the Hornets back into the top flight three years later after successive promotions.