Tottenham’s four failed homecomings under Daniel Levy pose Mauricio Pochettino problemApril 25, 2022
Tottenham do not have a good record when it comes to returning stars since Daniel Levy took over day-to-day control of the club, with Pochettino considering a comebackTottenham are reportedly considering appointing Mauricio Pochettino if Antonio Conte departs
It seems like ever since his departure in November 2019 that Mauricio Pochettino has been linked with a return to Tottenham.
Those links have stepped back up with reports that the Argentine is set to be sacked by Paris Saint-Germain, with current Spurs boss Antonio Conte offering his services to the French giants. Pochettino would likely be met with a positive reception by Tottenham fans, given how successful his first spell in charge of the Premier League side was.
But Tottenham would do well to consider how badly previous homecomings have tended to do since Daniel Levy took day-to-day charge of the club. Here, Mirror Football looks at four of those unsuccessful returning stars which pose a problem over a second Pochettino spell.Pascal Chimbonda
After a successful two-year spell at Tottenham from 2006 to 2008, Pascal Chimbonda opted to move to Sunderland. But just six months later he was back at White Hart Lane, with Spurs paying the same £3million fee that had received for him the previous summer.
His return to White Hart Lane was little short of a disaster though, with the Frenchman making only three appearances in the second-half of the 2008/2009 campaign. Only one of those appearances was a start, with Chimbonda spending the rest of the season either out of the squad or on the bench.
Chimbonda had also already featured in the League Cup for Sunderland earlier that term, meaning he was cup-tied for the 2009 final against Manchester United, which Spurs lost. That start against Sunderland in March 2009 proved to be his final appearance for Tottenham, as he was sold to Blackburn for £2.5m that August.Robbie Keane Robbie Keane
struggled to impress in his second spell at Tottenham (
Image:AFP via Getty Images)
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Robbie Keane became a cult hero at Tottenham in his first spell at the club, before making an ill-fated move to Liverpool. His second spell at the north London side did not go as well as planned though.
While he scored five goals in the first 14 games of his return, things took a turn for the worse in his second campaign. The Irishman would score just six goals in the first-half of the 2009/2010 Premier League season.
Having endured those struggles he was sent out on loan to Celtic for the remainder of that campaign. Though he won the Scottish club’s Player of the Season award, his challenges in England continued and he was shipped out for an unsuccessful loan spell to West Ham the following year before making a move to LA Galaxy.Peter Crouch
Peter Crouch’s return to Tottenham in 2009 led to a story of the striker going from hero to zero before his departure for Stoke. Spurs bought the Englishman for £10million from Portsmouth, with Crouch scoring the goal that sent them into the Champions League at the end of that campaign.
That was one of only eight goals in the Premier League for Crouch that season and the following campaign saw a downturn from even that lowly return. Four league goals were all he managed to muster, with Crouch sold to Stoke after two incredibly costly incidents in the final weeks of the season.
First, he was sent off against Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, a tie that Spurs would lose 5-0. He then scored an own-goal against Manchester City, which led to the Abu Dahbi-owned club booking their place in the top four, finishing one place ahead of Spurs.Gareth Bale Gareth Bale found game-time hard to come by under Jose Mourinho (
first spell at Tottenham could hardly have been more successful, with the Welshman earning a record move to Real Madrid. After falling out of favour at Los Blancos he returned for a loan spell last season.
But Bale struggled to impress Jose Mourinho, with the Portuguese seemingly reluctant to play him. Both men would leave the club by the season’s end, with former Spurs star Jermaine Jenas highlighting the obvious problem between the duo.
“It’s clear as day to me that there’s an issue between player and manager and I don’t see that situation getting sorted out. Gareth will probably just chill for the rest of the season and they’ll go their separate ways at the end of it,” Jenas told BBC Sport last February.