The intriguing trend of English clubs bringing back their former managers

Danny Wilson has returned to manage Barnsley today, but he is not the only one to be in at least their second spell at a club

Barnsley have turned to a manager that last managed the club in 1998 and there are a surprising amount of clubs in England whose manager has managed them on a previous occasion.

The obvious one in the Premier League is of course Jose Mourinho. He has returned to complete some unfinished business having never won the Champions League with them. He is one of the best managers in the world though, and is a sensible option for The Blues. But why have so many other clubs gone with previous employees?

Here is a list of managers currently in at least their second spell in charge of an English League club.

  • Jose Mourinho (Chelsea)
  • Eddie Howe (Bournemouth)
  • Nigel Pearson (Leicester City)
  • Billy Davies (Nottingham Forest)
  • Gary Johnson (Yeovil)
  • Peter Taylor (Gillingham)
  • Darren Ferguson (Peterborough)
  • Micky Adams (Port Vale)
  • Graham Turner (Shrewsbury)
  • Graham Westley (Stevenage)
  • Ronnie Moore (Tranmere)
  • John Ward (Bristol Rovers)
  • Keith Hill (Rochdale)

Source: BBC Sport

Starting with the Championship clubs those managers were all successful in their first spell in charge and are also impressing now. Eddie Howe initially left Bournemouth for Burnley before returning for family reasons and then took them into the Championship. Nigel Pearson left to manage Hull City when they were relegated from the Premier League but then returned to Leicester once they got some investment. Nottingham Forest went through numerous managers following a takeover before realising that Billy Davies was once again their best option. Gary Johnson was responsible for Yeovil's rise into the Football League before moving on to Bristol City. He has since returned to continue his amazing journey with Yeovil.

In many cases managers who are performing well with the club first time round are attracted and tempted with bigger opportunities. Take Graham Westley for example. After taking Stevenage up from the Blue Square Premier to League One he was handed an opportunity at Preston North End. However he was out of his depth at a club of that size and therefore returned to Stevenage when things didn't work out. A similar situation with Keith Hill of Rochdale too after he managed Barnsley in between his two spells. Micky Adams managed Sheffield United in between his two spells at Port Vale, again things didn't work out there.

Graham Turner's two spells in charge of Shrewsbury Town were separated by 26 years which is quite remarkable, but he returned to a club close to his heart.

In this day and age managers are always under pressure, and therefore clubs are under pressure to appoint the right man. If they are still close to a previous manager who was once a success at the club before then they have a tendency to bring them back to try and recreate the success.



image: © Ben Sutherland

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