Robbie’s Return – How Have Other Returning Heroes Fared?

Posted: June 29, 2011 by derekorourke in Andres Villas-Boas, Chelsea, England, English Premier League, Legends, Liverpool, Manchester United
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Now that Chelsea hero Roberto Di Matteo has been announced as Andre Villas-Boas’ new assistant manager, I’ve decided to take a look at some high profile returning heroes of the past, and whether they worked out or not.


Kenny Dalglish – Liverpool

It’s a case of so far so good for King (ahem) Kenny. The wily Scotsman re-took the reins at Anfield while the club were languishing in the bottom half of the table after what I can only describe as a thoroughly enjoyable stint in charge by Woy Hodgson. Dalglish, helped by a £50million sale of Fernando Torres, seemed to reinvigorate the club – from the players to the fans. The surged back up the table and finished a very credible 6th position, a real achievement for a club like Liverpool.

Verdict – Success

Mark Hughes – Manchester United

Sparky returned to Old Trafford after spending time with Barcelona and Bayern Munich. After realising that football is indeed a non-contact sport in Europe, Hughes felt it was best for all involved that he returned to United, not least the wounded and mentally scarred centre backs. On his return, Hughes became a vital cog in the United machine which won 2 league titles and set them up for an era of dominance.

Verdict – Success

Kevin Keegan – Newcastle United

Yet another “King” returns. King Kev returned to Newcastle for the 2nd time after a successful stint as a player and previously as a manager. This time circumstances were a little different and after an “iffy” first few games, Newcastle found their feet and began a good run of games. After finishing 12th that season, Keegan spoke out against owner Mike Ashley and his board for not backing him in the transfer market and his time came to an abrupt end at St. James’ Park.

Verdict – Failure

Alan Shearer – Newcastle United

Newcastle sure love their returning heroes. This time, all-time leading goal scorer and demi-God Alan Shearer returned to try steer the Geordies away from the drop zone and to Premier League safety. Of course with no managerial experience (or qualities, seemingly), this was a classic case of an emotional appointment in the hope it would unite the fans and players in a massive whirlwind of black and white coloured victories and even a re-emergence of Biker Grove. It didn’t, Newcastle won one game out of eight and were relegated, Shearer left and hasn’t had a job in management since.

Verdict – Failure


As Robbie embarks on his second tenure at Stamford Bridge, he will be employed as an assistant manager. Win or lose, the glory or blame won’t be laid firmly at his door but I feel he has an important role to play in any future Chelsea successes. He is Chelsea through and through and has an eye for attractive football. Every manager, no matter how good or bad, needs a sharp mind to bounce ideas off and of course to bring new ideas to the table. Let’s hope Robbie’s return will be deemed a major success.


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