The Spoiler’s “Two stints at one club” XI
Including a certain Chuckle Brother…
With Sol Campbell back at Arsenal, it got The Spoiler to thinking about all of the players who have returned to their old clubs for another stab at the big time. Below is a compiled team of those who couldn’t quite put the past behind them.
Just missing the cut were: Robbies Fowler and Keane, Mark Hughes, Peter Crouch, David Dunn, Jermain Defoe, John Lukic, Paul Parker and Martin Keown. Can you think of any more? Let us know with a comment.
Goalkeeper, Mark Bosnich (Manchester United 1989-1992, 1999-2001)
Unfortunately for Mark Bosnich, his second bite of the Man United cherry was probably even more bitter than the first. First time around he managed just three matches, and missed out on the squads that tasted success in the FA and European Cup Winner’s cups, and during his second stay, his chips were rather urinated on by the clown-prince of keepers, Fabien Barthez. He went on to supermodel-and-drugs notoriety.
Right Back, Pascal Chimbonda (Tottenham Hotspur 2006-2008, 2009)
As The Great Gatsby sadly found out in the book by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the past is almost impossible to replicate. Something Chimbonda discovered during his second stab at Spurs, when he proved to the fans that sometimes in life, you just have to let people go quietly. Now at Blackburn.
Centre Back, Steve Staunton (Liverpool 1986-1991, 1998-2000; Aston Villa 1991-1998, 2000-2003)
Staunton is one of very few players to have yo-yo’d between two clubs – spending the best part of twenty years at either Liverpool or Villa. Both teams loved the Irishman, with the exception of Graeme Souness who sold him in the first place, much to the Kop’s disapproval. Roy Evans made up for that by stealing him back in 1998.
Centre Back, Colin Hendry (Blackburn Rovers 1987-1989, 1991-1998)
Never has a player with such womanly blonde hair been so terrifying in defence – with the possible exception of Barry Venison. Hendry played for Blackburn for over ten years, albeit with a brief sabbatical in the middle, where he wandered off to Manchester City to hoof the ball around and shout rude words in Scottish.
Left Back, Graeme Le Saux (Chelsea 1987-1993, 1997-2003)
Often painted as one of the game’s intellectuals, Le Saux (French for: “The So”) had quite the temper on him. His initial stint at Stamford Bridge was cut short after he reacted very badly to being subbed off against Southampton, then he famously had an on-field fight with David Batty at Blackburn, shortly before making his way back to The Bridge. A real tough guy, make no mistake about it.
Right Midfield, Nolberto Solano (Newcastle United 1998-2004, 2005-2007)
A big favourite with our Geordie brothers and sisters, Solano wowed on the right wing, and even had a spell at right back, to prove his versatility. In between stints, he did pretty well at Villa too. Unfortunately in 2007 the Peruvian informed the club that he wanted to leave to be closer to his family… who, for some reason, had moved to London.
Centre Midfield, Peter Beardsley (Newcastle United 1983-1987, 1993-1997)
For those too young to remember, Peter Beardsley was one of the greats. Not much of a looker, but a splendid football player. He started life at Newcastle as Kevin Keegan’s strike partner, then returned in the 1990s, when Keegan was the manager. In between that, he enjoyed a wonderful career at Liverpool, then a less wonderful one at Everton. As time caught up with him, he moved into a midfield role, where he was still totally brilliant. Hence his selection here.
Centre Midfield, David Batty (Leeds United 1987-1993, 1998-2004)
Batty, of course, was the man who missed a penalty in 1998, and broke a million hearts. But don’t dwell on that, he was also the man who bookended a magnificent career with two successful spells at Leeds. Still, why did he have to miss? If he’d just placed it a bit better etc…
Left Midfield, Juninho (Middlesbrough 1995-1997, 2002-2004)
Everyone has a rather plain looking friend who has managed to bag a strikingly beautiful girl/boyfriend against the odds, and for a while – in football terms – Juninho was that amazing looking gal on Middlesbrough’s spotty arms. Twice in fact, because the little genius went back for seconds.
Striker, Teddy Sheringham (Tottenham Hotspur 1992-1997, 2001-2003)
A childhood Spurs fan, Teddy very cleverly nipped off to Man United for a few years to win a load of silverware, then returned to his natural home. Never quite sure exactly when to hang up his boots, he played for another five years after leaving White Hart Lane, and was probably about 50 when he finally retired. Now occasionally makes comments about football on television programmes.
Striker, Ian Rush (Liverpool 1980-1987, 1988-1996)
When Liverpool re-signed Ian Rush from Juventus in 1988, it was for a then-record fee of £2.7 million. It was rather harder for him the second time around with John Aldridge in the way, then eventually Robbie Fowler. But even so, two great stints, an Anfield legend – how Rafa could do with an Ian Rush right about now.