Unhappy Returns: 5 managers who were embarrassed by their old teams

Luke Shaw hat-trick nailed on for Wednesday night - if he gets a game


With Tottenham travelling to Manchester United on Wednesday night, a familiar face will be in the Old Trafford dugouts.

Jose Mourinho returns to the Theatre of Dreams for the first time since his sacking last Christmas and will look to get one over on the club that never really saw eye to eye with him.

The Special One failed to win over a sizeable chunk of the United faithful and many were pleased when he was shown the door.

He will be keen to inflict more pain on the Red Devils on Wednesday, but should heed the warnings of these less than happy managerial returns.

Marco Silva

Marco Silva – 2019

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Marco Silva did an excellent job of turning himself into a villain at Vicarage Road in an extremely short amount of time.

Silva’s Watford were flying high in 2017 and the newly-installed Portuguese manager was seen to be at the heart of it.

But when the Everton job became vacant and Silva did nothing to dispel the rumours linking him to the post, and his popularity plummeted along with Watford’s form.

The Hornets picked up just five points in the ten games following the emergence of speculation he was Mersey-bound and Silva was relieved of his duties in January 2018.

He had to wait until the summer to get the Toffees gig that had caused all the trouble and took his new side to Vicarage Road just over a year after he had been axed.

Javi Gracia’s Watford won courtesy of an Andre Gray goal and Watford fans were able to revel in the failures of the man who turned his back on them.

Jose Mourinho – 2016

While Mourinho enjoyed a successful return to Stamford Bridge with Inter Milan in 2010, his return after his second stint as Chelsea boss was less inspiring.

United had made a sluggish start to life under Mourinho and found themselves in seventh place before their trip to the capital, although they had just sh*thoused their way to a 0-0 draw at Anfield leading people to believe that Mourinho was beginning to find his groove.

Those beliefs were quashed inside 30 seconds at Stamford Bridge.

Calamitous defending from United saw Pedro round David De Gea and finish to an empty net, before Gary Cahill doubled the lead 20 minutes later.

United probed and looked for a way back into the game but, with Mourinho deploying the customary tactics of playing eight men across his own 18-yard box, they found it difficult to create any chances.

Mourinho’s embarrassment was completed midway through the second half when Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante danced through the United defence to score and really rub the Special One’s nose in it.


Pep Guardiola – 2015

Guardiola’s mission to prove himself in the Champions League outside of the comforts of Barcelona and Lionel Messi took a massive blow when he returned to the Camp Nou in 2015.

Bayern travelled to Barcelona for the first leg of their eagerly anticipated Champions League semi-final and midway through the second half, Lionel Messi took centre stage.

First, he fired home a rasping drive from outside the area before he put Jerome Boateng on the seat of his pants and delightfully chipped the ball over the onrushing Manuel Neuer to give Barca a two-goal cushion.

The rout was complete when Neymar slid the ball through Neuer’s legs to give the Catalan giants an unassailable lead.

Bayern’s 3-2 win in the return leg proved to be irrelevant as Barcelona rarely got out of second gear.

Guardiola was embarrassed again by his former club when he took his Manchester City side to Barcelona in October 2016.

Messi again took centre stage, scoring a hattrick to consign his former manager to another ignominious defeat.

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David Moyes – 2014

David Moyes left Everton on good terms due to his achievements with the club on a shoestring budget for over a decade. However, that didn’t stop the Goodison Park faithful wanting to get one over their former manager when Manchester United came to town in April 2014.

Moyes had stumbled his way through his maiden campaign as United boss and was teetering on the edge following chastening defeats to Man City and Liverpool in March.

A loss to Everton – and the manner of it in particular – proved to be Moyes’ death knell.

Moyes’ former charges, now under the tutelage of Roberto Martinez, handed United a lesson and eased to a 2-0 victory thanks to strikes from Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas.

The United board had seen enough and acted swiftly; Moyes was shown the door within 24 hours of his unhappy visit to Goodison.

About as bad a return as a manager could imagine, really.

Harry Redknapp – 2005

Harry Redknapp did the unthinkable in 2004 when he traded the blue of Portsmouth for the red and white of Southampton just weeks after resigning from the Pompey hotseat.

While Redknapp guided the Saints to a last-gasp win over their bitter rivals in the FA Cup, all eyes were on his return to Fratton Park in the Premier League in April 2005.

With Redknapp’s Southampton in the middle of a relegation dogfight, Portsmouth blew them away in a whirlwind opening 27 minutes through goals from Yakubu, Arjan De Zeeuw and Lomana LuaLua (2).

Portsmouth eased to a 4-1 win and Southampton were eventually relegated on the final day of a compelling season.

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