Has a football manager ever replaced their successor? | Football

“The UK PM had a very short stint and there was the possibility of the predecessor going straight back in again,” tweets Derek Brosnan. “Has this ever happened for football managers?”

It should surprise absolutely nobody that the first answer to this question is somebody who worked for the former Atlético Madrid president and P45 addict, Jesús Gil. “During Gil’s chaotic reign, Radomir Antic, went straight back to the job that he was fired from – not once, but twice over a two-year period,” writes Chai in Atlanta. “After managing the side for three years – including a league and cup double in 1996 – he was replaced by Arrigo Sacchi in June 1998. Sacchi lasted just over six months, and Antic returned in March 1999 to take over from the caretaker, Carlos Sánchez Aguiar. Despite leading the team to the final of the 1999 Copa del Rey, he was fired in June and replaced by Claudio Ranieri. After Ranieri was fired in March 2000, Antic returned for his third stint. Despite reaching another Copa del Rey final, he was promptly fired again.”

Chai also suggests Francesco Guidolin, who had four spells at Palermo – including three in the space of a year. “After starting his second spell at the club in June 2006, he was fired the following April,” he writes. “The sacking was revoked and he was back at the helm within a month. However, after just two matches, he was dismissed again, this time to be replaced by Stefano Colantuono. In November 2007, Guidolin replaced Colantuono for his fourth stint at the club. This reunion was unsurprisingly short-lived, and he was fired on 24 March 2008.”

happened a year ago at FC Khimki in Russia: manager Igor Cherevchenko left the team “by mutual consent”, and was reinstated a month later.

— Хардкуна Матата (@sviraman) November 1, 2022

A few of you suggested Leonardo Jardim, who was Monaco’s head coach either side of Thierry Henry’s ill-fated spell in 2018-19. Harry Redknapp returned to Portsmouth in 2005, a year after infamously leaving to join Southampton, although Pompey had two different managers, Velimir Zajec and Alain Perrin, between Redknapp’s stints so technically he doesn’t qualify.

Leonardo Jardim was Monaco manager before and after Thierry Henry
Leonardo Jardim was Monaco manager before and after Thierry Henry. Photograph: Valéry Hache/AFP/Getty Images

Like Guidolin, Safet Hadzic was in charge at Olimpija Ljubljana on four occasions between 2010-20, though there were at least two managers between each stint. And then there’s Nenad Lalatovic. “He’s had a pair of multiple spells, but it’s worth a focus on Radnicki Nis,” writes Richard Wilson.

“Lalatovic managed them for a season in 2018-19 – an incredibly successful one at that – before ditching them to join Vojvodina. On his return to Nis, he ended up with a touchline ban after getting involved in an argument with the fans. This September, he took back over again at Radnicki Nis after a short spell at Borac Banja Luka, where he initially resigned after two games, came back and then resigned again after seven more.”

Finally, Yaad Ilani has an even better story of a manager succeeding himself.

I can one up the question itself:
In 2015, Israeli side Hapoel Ra’anana fired then-manager Haim Silvas, only to be replaced by…. Haim Silvas 😂
He signed a new contract 4 days later after they couldn’t find a suitable replacement

— Yaad Ilani (@yaad_ilani) November 2, 2022

Golden Boots with fewest games

“Who has played the fewest games to win the Golden Boot in their domestic league, eg 25 goals in 18 games?” tweets @SwarleyGraham.

For entirely arbitrary reasons, we’ve excluded any season in which the maximum number of games was fewer than 30 (eg La Liga in 1932-33, when Manuel Olivares won the Pichichi after scoring 16 in 14 for Real Madrid).

We’re contractually obliged to start with the Premier League, so let’s get that out of the way.

In the Premier League it’s tied between Harry Kane (29 goals in 30 games, 2016-17) and Michael Owen (18 in 30, 1998-99)

— Steve Hyde (@StevenJamesHyde) November 1, 2022

Diego Maradona scored 15 goals in 28 games for Napoli in 1987-88, enough to win the Capocannoniere at a time when Serie A defences held sway. That was a 16-team league – as was La Liga in 1959-60 when the great Ferenc Puskas scored 26 in 24 games for Real Madrid.

Diego Maradona was the top scorer in Serie A in 1987-88
Diego Maradona was the top scorer in Serie A in 1987-88. Photograph: Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Christian Vieri also needed only 24 games (out of a potential 38) to score 24 goals for Atlético Madrid in 1997-98, five more than the next best, Rivaldo. Atletico still only finished in seventh place, which invites a different Knowledge question.

In the Bundesliga in 1993-94, future Leeds legend Tony Yeboah shared the Golden Boot with Stefan Kuntz after scoring 18 goals in 22 matches for Eintracht Frankfurt. But the best we can find is 20 games. Kylian Mbappe hit 18 goals for PSG in 2019-20, sharing the Golden Boot with Monaco’s Wissam Ben Yedder. Thirty years earlier, natural-born genius Romario scored 23 in 20 for PSV Eindhoven.

Can anyone beat winning the Golden Boot in 20 games? If so, mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

Prolific uncapped players (2)

In last week’s Knowledge we looked at prolific goalscorers who never played for their country. And – would you believe it – we missed out a few serial net-botherers …

“Can’t believe no one mentioned Dave Halliday,” writes John Briggs (and others). “He scored 211 top-flight goals in England but was never capped for Scotland. Among his many feats are: fastest player to 100 English top-flight goals (101 games); only player to score at least 30 top-division goals in England in four consecutive seasons (1925–29 at Sunderland). Look his record up.”

The prolific Dave Halliday in his days at Clapton Orient
The prolific Dave Halliday in his days at Clapton Orient. Photograph: PA Images/Alamy

Proliflic uncapped players. Scotland’s may well be Hughie Ferguson (Motherwell, mostly). From Wiki scored 363 goals in 435 league games, winner in an FA Cup final. Sadly committed suicide aged 34.

— Derek Black (@delbx3) November 3, 2022

Frankly surprised Dario Hübner didn’t get a shout. 217 goals in 436 total appearances but never a cap for Italy.

— Joseph Pickard (@josephpickard) November 2, 2022

Ups and downs

“As it stands in the Championship table Blackburn, second from top, have lost more games than West Brom, third from bottom. Has a team ever been promoted while losing more than one who was relegated?” asks Alan Davis.

“No” is the short answer, at least not in the Football League. “Unsurprisingly, there has never been a promoted team in the English leagues with more defeats than, or even the same number as, a relegated team in the same division,” writes Mike Slattery. “The closest was in the old Second Division in 1990-91. Owing to league realignment, only two teams were relegated that season, and coincidentally it was West Brom (18 defeats in 46 games, goal difference -9) who finished second bottom. By contrast, Brighton (18 defeats in 46 games, goal difference -6) finished sixth and got to the playoff final, where they lost to Notts County.” Here’s the full table.

Notts County celebrate after beating Brighton in the Second Division playoff final of 1991
Notts County celebrate after beating Brighton in the Second Division playoff final of 1991. Photograph: PA Images/Alamy

Knowledge archive

“Which match holds the record for the most red cards? asked Matthew Kay in 2002, and yes we did dig the question out because of the high jinks in Argentina at the weekend. “Am I right in thinking it was a game involving Sheffield United and Italian opposition in the early 1990s?

We failed to track down Matt’s Anglo-Italian game, but we do know that the British league record for red cards is five, which happened twice in 1997. As Dave Ede pointed out, five players were sent off in the Second Division match between Chesterfield and Plymouth on 22 February 1997.

“A Plymouth player was sent off for a two-footed challenge, and then four players – including Kevin Davies for Chesterfield – were sent off following a mass brawl in the final minute, instigated by Bruce Grobbelaar pretending to have been injured by the shy and retiring Darren Carr,” he wrote. “At least that’s how I saw it.” And on 2 December that year, five players were also sent off in the Bristol Rovers v Wigan Athletic – four just before half-time.

Meanwhile, Ian Battersby noted that the most red cards dished out in one game – according to the Guinness Book of Records – was an astonishing 20. “The incident occurred in league match between Sportivo Ameliano and General Caballero in Paraguay,” he mailed. “When two Sportivo players were sent off, a 10-minute fight ensued and the referee dismissed a further 18 players. The match, not surprisingly, was abandoned.”

Update: the record is now – and you’ll like this – 36 red cards in a match. And it’s happened more than once.

Knowledge archive

Can you help?

“The opening game of the World Cup between Qatar and Ecuador will have a combined Fifa ranking of 94: Qatar ranked 50th and Ecuador 44th. Has there ever been an opening match between lower-ranked teams?” asks Emily Jules.

Scott Sinclair scored his first goal for Bristol Rovers today, 17yrs 10mths & 10 days (or 6,523 days) after making his debut for the club.
Has anyone gone longer between club debut & 1st goal (goalies aside)@TheKnowledge_GU ?? https://t.co/HbHx54n2x9

— Tristan Cork Post (@TristanCorkPost) November 5, 2022

Martin Keown went to WCs 98 and 02 but didn’t play. Have any players gone to three (or more) major championships and not played?

— Peter Tang (@PeterTang80) November 8, 2022

Arsenal went 27 league matches without drawing this year. Blackburn Rovers are currently on a run of 25 matches. What’s the record?

— 4,000 Holes (@roversfanzine) November 8, 2022

“What is the highest cumulative transfer fee paid for a player who has not appeared in the top flight in England?” wonders Alex Cocks.

What’s the most expensive transfer fee for a player who, for whatever reason, never got onto the pitch for his new club?

— Andy Brook 🏆 (@andybrook1) November 8, 2022

“While watching the MLS Western Conference final, in which a forward scored an own goal, I was reminded of how rare that is. Or at least, how rare that seems to be. Who has the unfortunate record of scoring the most own goals as a forward?”

Mail us your questions or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU.

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