Former team-mates who have clashed in opposing dug-outs

With two Chelsea legends set to face off on the sidelines during the Championship Play-Off final, we’ve looked at four times former club pals have met.


There are plenty of sub-plots in the Championship Play-Off final between Aston Villa and Derby County, but one stands out above all others.

Rams boss Frank Lampard and Villans assistant manager John Terry spent several years as team-mates at Chelsea, winning everything there was to win, but only one will end the season preparing for a return to the Premier League.

We’ve taken a look at some previous meetings between former team-mates in similar circumstances, to get a feel for what to expect.

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Steve Bruce and Paul Ince

Bruce and Ince were both stalwarts of Sir Alex Ferguson’s early days in charge of Manchester United, with the centre-back joining in 1987 and the England international midfielder moving to Old Trafford two years later.

Both won back-to-back titles as players in 1993 and 1994, and both moved into management with plenty anticipating their years spent under Fergie would stand them in good stead.

Bruce’s CV looks substantially stronger than Ince’s and part of this can be traced back to their first meeting in opposing Premier League dugouts in 2008.

Ince had started relatively well at Blackburn, taking 10 points from his first six games and cruising into the quarter-finals of the League Cup, but then the wheels started to fall off.

His team took on Bruce’s Wigan looking to arrest a slide of five straight defeats, but goals inside the first 15 minutes from Emile Heskey and Antonio Valencia ended any hopes of that happening.

Wigan won 3-0, Ince was sacked before the next game, and he has yet to return to top-flight management.

Mauricio Pochettino and Mikel Arteta

Stories linking Mauricio Pochettino with the Paris Saint-Germain job are likely to persist, thanks in no small part to the two seasons he spent with the French club during his playing days.

Poch the manager is a far cry from the long-haired centre-back who was conned by Michael Owen at the 2002 World Cup, but the Argentine did receive a reminder of that period in his life during the Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City.

No, this isn’t Pep Guardiola-related. Instead, like the Lampard-Terry battle, it involves an assistant manager.

Mikel Arteta played in the same PSG team as Pochettino in the 2001-02 season before moving to Rangers, a 19-year-old playing his first season in a top European league – back then, the man behind him was an old hand, approaching his 30th birthday, and someone he could rely on to lead by example.

Fast forward nearly two decades and Arteta is off the bench, preparing to celebrate with head coach Pep Guardiola as Raheem Sterling ends the resistance of Pochettino’s Spurs… until the officials go to VAR, something which didn’t exist when the pair were team-mates in Paris.

Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pellegrino

There was no flag or video replay to deny a different late goal from Sterling 17 months earlier, with the England international breaking Southampton hearts with a 96th-minute strike at the Etihad in November 2017.

The goal ensured City extended their winning run to 12 games, while marking the start of a dozen games for the Saints without a single victory.

When that became one victory in 17, leaving the south coast club one point above the drop, it meant the end of Mauricio Pellegrino’s brief time in charge.

The narrative around Pellegrino’s arrival in England predominantly focused on his relationship with Rafa Benítez, the man who he served under at Liverpool and Inter, but he was also a club team-mate of Guardiola’s at Barcelona.

The pair spent the 1998-99 season together at Camp Nou, with the Argentina centre-back playing 23 times and the Catalan club captain returning from injury to lead his team to the title.

There was no love lost on the pitch in 2017 though, thanks to Sterling’s brutal late winner, but even more heartbreaking was the 3-0 defeat to Benítez’s Newcastle which ultimately cost Pellegrino his job.

Siniša Mihajlović and Roberto Mancini

Serbian defender Mihajlović and Italian forward Mancini spent several years together at Lazio, towards the end of the latter’s playing career, having earlier played together at Sampdoria.

The pair got on relatively well on the pitch, so perhaps it was no surprise to see the pair continue a friendly rivalry when they met as managers in 2015, despite it coming in the fiercest of environments: the Milan derby.

AC Milan boss Mihajlović offered Inter manager Mancini a surprising bet in an effort to spice things up even more ahead of the contest: whoever won the clash would need to make a charitable donation to help arrest the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe – remember when that was the biggest political story in our day-to-day lives? It was less than four years ago!

Inter ended up winning 1-0, meaning it was Mancini who was left out of pocket.

It wasn’t all bad news, though: Mihajlović’s punishment for losing the game involved picking up the tab for dinner.

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