Soccer

How returning managers have fared in Premier League as Blades bring back Wilder

Chris Wilder is back in charge of Sheffield United (Mike Egerton/PA)
Chris Wilder is back in charge of Sheffield United (Mike Egerton/PA) Chris Wilder is back in charge of Sheffield United (Mike Egerton/PA)

Chris Wilder has returned to Sheffield United following the sacking of Paul Heckingbottom.

Wilder achieved promotion from the Championship and a ninth-place Premier League finish during a five-year spell in charge between May 2016 and March 2021.

The 56-year-old Yorkshireman retakes the reins with the Blades rooted to the bottom of the table following back-to-back heavy losses against relegation rivals Bournemouth and Burnley.

Here, the PA news agency examines the records of the eight managers – excluding caretakers – who have had multiple spells at the same Premier League club.

Steve Coppell (Crystal Palace)

Steve Coppell
Steve Coppell Steve Coppell had four spells as Crystal Palace manager (Rebecca Naden/PA)

Coppell managed Crystal Palace four times in total but only two of his stints included periods in the Premier League.

His first and most successful spell came between 1984 and 1993, during which Palace gained promotion to the top flight, finished third and reached an FA Cup final.

He resigned after the Eagles were relegated in 1992-93, before leading the club to another promotion and a shot at Premier League redemption in 1997.

Palace struggled again, however, amassing just 23 points in 28 matches before Coppell was made director of football in March 1998, following a club takeover.

Howard Kendall (Everton)

Despite being considered by many as Everton’s greatest manager, Kendall struggled in two spells as a Premier League boss.

He secured his place in Toffees’ folklore by lifting two First Division titles and an FA Cup in the 1980s, but he won just 31 of his 98 league games post-1992.

His third and final stint in charge saw Everton limp to 40 points in 1997-98, only surviving relegation on the final day thanks to goal difference.

Harry Redknapp (Portsmouth)

Harry Redknapp and Lassana Diarra
Harry Redknapp and Lassana Diarra Harry Redknapp won the FA Cup with Portsmouth in 2008 (Rebecca Naden/PA)

Redknapp enjoyed two fruitful periods as Portsmouth boss despite managing their local rivals in between times.

He guided Pompey to promotion and Premier League survival between 2002 and 2004 before resigning and joining fellow south coast club Southampton – who he was unable to save from relegation.

Redknapp’s return to Fratton Park in December 2005 preceded the most successful era in the club’s history, culminating in an FA Cup win in 2008.

He left for a final time shortly after that victory, with a record of 42 wins from 107 league games in his second spell.

Kevin Keegan (Newcastle)

Eleven years separated Keegan’s first and second stints as Newcastle boss – the longest gap of any manager in this list.

The two-time Ballon d’Or winner led the Magpies to promotion and three successive Premier League top-six finishes between February 1992 and January 1997, with his side having come agonisingly close to winning the title in 1995-96.

He made a surprise return to Tyneside in January 2008, replacing Sam Allardyce and becoming Mike Ashley’s first managerial appointment.

However, he resigned just three games into the following season, which ended in the club’s relegation to the Championship.

Jose Mourinho (Chelsea)

Jose Mourinho and Rui Faria
Jose Mourinho and Rui Faria Jose Mourinho won three Premier League titles across two trophy-laden spells at Chelsea (Mike Egerton/PA)

Mourinho is the most successful manager in Chelsea’s history, having won three Premier League titles, an FA Cup and three League Cups across two stints at the helm.

He transformed the Blues into serial winners during his first spell, which yielded 85 victories from 120 league games between June 2004 and September 2007.

The Portuguese oversaw a similar output of 51 wins from 76 matches during the first two seasons of his second period in charge, but a dismal run of nine defeats in 16 at the start of 2015-16 led to his sacking.

Quique Sanchez Flores (Watford)

Despite being the only manager to be employed twice by Watford owner Gino Pozzo, Flores took charge of just 48 Premier League matches in total – the fewest of the eight returning bosses.

He led the Hornets to 13th place in 2015-16 before leaving the club by mutual consent at the end of the season.

The Spaniard returned in September 2019, replacing the sacked Javi Gracia, but managed just one win in 10 games before Pozzo decided he had seen enough.

David Moyes (West Ham)

West Ham manager David Moyes
West Ham manager David Moyes David Moyes led West Ham to Europa Conference League glory last season (Bradley Collyer/PA)

West Ham’s Moyes is one of just two managers in this list – alongside Redknapp at Portsmouth – to oversee a greater number of Premier League games in his second spell than his first.

The Hammers boss has racked up 147 matches since returning to the club in December 2019, having taken charge of just 27 in his initial period as manager – between November 2017 and May 2018.

The Scot’s re-appointment came as a shock just 19 months after the club had dispensed of his services, but he has gone on to restore his reputation by guiding West Ham to consecutive top-seven finishes and their first European trophy in 58 years.

Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace)

At the age of 76, Crystal Palace’s Roy Hodgson is comfortably the oldest manager in Premier League history.

Palace initially offered Hodgson a route back into club management in 2017 after his reign as England boss had come to an end.

He left the club in June 2021 after almost four years of mid-table stability, only to be tempted back in March of this year following the dismissal of his successor, Patrick Vieira.