F365`s Top Ten Returning Heroes

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F365`s Top Ten Returning Heroes Empty F365`s Top Ten Returning Heroes

Post by the_hound on Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:46 am

Interesting article

Kenny Dalglish isn't the only man to return 'home' on a wave of sentimentality. Here are ten more men who haven't been able to resist going back. Some went well, others very, very badly...

10 - Tony Mowbray
It remains to be seen whether this one will turn out okay. At the time of writing, things aren't going brilliantly (he's lost half of his 12 games in charge), but he took over a turgid side on an appalling run, their confidence shot by Wee Gordon's chippy stylings. As a player, Mowbray was a giant at the Boro - Bruce Rioch inadvertently named a club fanzine (Fly Me To The Moon) when he said of Mowbray: "If I had to fly to the moon I'd take Tony Mowbray, my captain, with me. He's a magnificent man." His celestial travelling abilities are questionable, but time will tell if his second return to a former club (he played 78 times for Celtic in the early Nineties) will prove more successful.

9 - Niall Quinn
When the hero's return goes right, it goes very right. While a list of tangible achievements in either his playing or administrative career wouldn't exactly make you go 'Wow', the feeling of goodwill Quinn commands both at Sunderland and beyond outstrips any of that. From the partnership with Kevin Phillips, to being the first footballer to donate the proceeds of his testimonial to charity, to the paying for taxis for stranded fans, Quinn seems to be one of the few good eggs left in the game. Let's all join hands and sing in praise of Niall, after one-two-three - 'Niall Quinn's disco pants are the best...'

8 - Trevor Brooking
You could say that Brooking doesn't really belong on this list, because he never really left West Ham. Even when he was a famously opinion-shy pundit for the BBC, the spectre of 'My old team' was never far away. However, Brooking was always clear that management wasn't for him - perhaps too gentle a spirit for the stress and pressure that the top job can bring. It was therefore almost a sense of duty that saw him agree to take over the scrap against relegation when Glenn Roeder collapsed in April 2003. He couldn't save them from the drop, but on paper Brooking's record is superb - he won two and drew one of their remaining three games that season, going down with the famously high total of 42 points, and while the club was trying to pry Alan Pardew from Reading the following season, they lost only two of 12 league games.

7 - Franny Lee
Seminal rock pioneers The Shirehorses summed up Francis Lee's time as Manchester City chairman quite nicely. They sang: 'Here's a home truth you pudding basin-haired twonk, deeply ironic is it/From that profitable caper, wholesaling bog paper, you've landed us deep in the s**t'. A brilliant forward in the seventies and a dead-eye from the penalty spot, Lee won the league in 1968, the FA Cup in 1969 and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1970, before embarking on that lavatory roll enterprise. After ousting Peter Swales with the help of almost unanimous fan support and his considerable personal fortune, Lee then presided over the most calamitous period in City's history - relegated from the Premier League in 1996, Lee jumped ship just before the final ignominy of demotion to the third tier two years later. Incidentally, Lee held on to some shares after leaving as chairman, but sold them in 2007. To Thaksin Shinawatra.

6 - Billy Bremner
Everyone knows what a hero Bremner the player is at Leeds, but Bremner the manager is perhaps given a bit of a rough ride. Sure, in three-and-a-bit seasons he didn't manage to get Leeds out of Division Two, but he took over with the club in chaos, their financial woes only subsequently eclipsed in the goldfish-buying Ridsdale years. While the first season's finish of 14th was disappointing, the next year saw a trip to the play-off final (losing after two replays to Charlton), and the FA Cup semis, only beaten by eventual winners Coventry. Sure, the following years of promotion and title-winning under Howard Wilkinson made his tenure look bad, but stability from chaos is surely all they could realistically expect.

5 - Alan Shearer
You could call Alan Shearer either lazy or sensible for preferring the banal commentary and comfy sofas of the Match of the Day studio to the frantic and stressful business of football management. Shearer kept the powder marked 'Newcastle manager's job' dry for a long time, the odd flirtation with assisting Glenn Roeder and his 'ambassadorial' role at the club aside, but when Joe Kinnear's health presented Shearer with the chance, sentiment overcame sense. And boy did it go badly. Shearer won just one of his eight games in charge, which included the penultimate-day capitulation at home to Fulham that probably sealed their fate - had they won that, the final-day defeat to Aston Villa wouldn't have mattered, with Hull going down in their place, and thus saving the world from Phil Brown's karaoke. One hopes that this episode will discourage any calls for Shearer the next time Newcastle are in crisis, but one should never under-estimate the sentimentality of the Geordie.

4 - Glenn Hoddle
Never meet your heroes, 'they' always tell you. The expectation of them being such an all-powerful and charismatic deity can only lead to disappointment. They are but flesh and blood, not God. For this reason, your correspondent will never meet Morrissey, George Orwell or Bill Hicks. For other reasons too, obviously.

Footballing messiahs should never go back to the club where they are deified. The expectation is simply too much on either side - the man thinks this is the dream job and he can't possibly fail, such is the emotion of the thing, while the fans believe the perceived aura around their hero will be enough, and the trophies will come rolling in. Hoddle is the textbook example of this - a brilliant player, an average manager, a whole mountain of expectations. In fact, judged objectively, Hoddle's time at Spurs wasn't a total disaster, but anything short of domination would surely have been a disappointment.

3 - Howard Kendall
If one was to write a law of footballing diminishing returns, you probably just need to copy out a summary of Kendall's career. Kendall returned to Everton not once, nor twice, but three times, with less success in each comeback. Having won the league as a player at Goodison, Kendall pulled the same trick after returning as manager in 1985, chucking in another league title, the FA Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup for good measure. After a couple of 'affairs' as he put it, with Athletic Bilbao and Manchester City, Kendall came back to his 'marriage' and dragged Everton from relegation trouble to mid-table safety, where they spent a few rather underwhelming years before he resigned in 1993. The third and final spell was very nearly a disaster, with Everton surviving only on goal difference on the very final day of the 1997/8 season, and even then only thanks to results elsewhere.

2 - Ossie Ardiles
Some people put blind faith in their heroes with massive doses of expectation. When Ossie Ardiles returned to manage Tottingham in 1993, they did it in the form of cold, hard cash. The club shelled out hefty wedges for Ilie Dumitrescu, Gica Popescu and, of course, Jurgen Klinsmann in the summer of 1994, despite a decidedly below-par finish of 15th in his first season. By November, Spurs - perhaps unsurprisingly given Ossie's tactic of playing all his forwards at the same time - were in the relegation zone (although it should be noted that they had a six-point penalty on their record at that stage), on the back of shellackings from Leicester, Forest and Manchester City as well as an embarrassing defeat in the League Cup to Notts County, and Ardiles was sacked.

1 - Kevin Keegan
Even Jesus only rose from the dead once. While the sentimental pull has lured in many men once, it's not often that it happens again, and again. Keegan left Newcastle for the first time in public - via helicopter from St James's Park - but quietly disappeared the second time, slipping out after the briefest of public statements. The third time, he left in a mess, the dream dashed by in-fighting and broken promises. Keegan provides ammunition for both sides of the 'Should you go back?' argument - the first time it went (almost) perfectly: promotion, glorious football, goals aplenty and four points and an on-air s**t-fit away from the title. The second time was a disaster, souring memories and providing a stark reminder that just because the walls and halls are still standing from the glory days, it doesn't mean the club remains the same.

Nick Miller
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F365`s Top Ten Returning Heroes Empty Re: F365`s Top Ten Returning Heroes

Post by eggy on Tue Jan 11, 2011 7:44 am

I thought Keegan did alright in his second spell tbf

F365`s Top Ten Returning Heroes Eggy1609


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