When Mauricio Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham in November, it looked like the Argentine’s time with the club was complete.
But football has a strange way of bringing former loves back together and Pochettino had (some) Spurs fans thinking of what the future holds when he recently revealed he is dreaming of one day returning to manage them.
‘It was an amazing journey that finished in the way no one wanted it to finish,’ he told BT Sport.
‘But deeper in my soul, in my heart I am sure our ways will cross again.
‘For sure, from now since the day I left the club my dream is one day to be back and try to finish the work we didn’t finish.’
He never won a major trophy – he did take them to the 2019 Champions League final – and will feel a sense of unfinished business.
With that in mind, Sportsmail looks at 10 managers who had a second stint at a club – some good, some bad and others, well…
Harry Redknapp back to Portsmouth in 2005
Returning to Fratton Park having just been managing their bitter rivals Southampton takes a certain amount of courage.
But Redknapp was not deterred. In his first stint he had guided the club to the Premier League and then kept them up the following season before a dispute with the board culminated in his exit.
His time at Southampton will not be remembered fondly – Portsmouth fans aside – as he could not stop them sliding into the Championship and so he made a return to Pompey in December 2005 to pick up where he left off.
The threat of relegation was looming large before a run of form after his arrival staved off the drop. The following season he went through the gears to earn the club their highest finish – ninth – since the 1950s.
And not only did he pick up where he had left them a couple seasons prior, Redknapp delivered Pompey the FA Cup as they defeated Cardiff City at Wembley in 2008, his final season at the club before moving on to Tottenham.
Jupp Heynckes back to Bayern in 2011
While he went on to have three permanent spells at the club, it was Heynckes’ second stint at Bayern which proved the most successful for all concerned.
Louis van Gaal was gone, Heynckes was brought back in 2011 and then aged 66, he was the oldest coach in the Bundesliga.
But it quickly transpired that Heynckes was far from over the hill; there would be nobody calling him a dinosaur during this return.
Initially his return was a mess, finishing runners-up in the league and losing in the German Cup final to Dortmund. Misery was compounded when, on their own pitch, they lost the 2012 Champions League final on penalties to Chelsea.
But Heynckes was not to be beaten down and in 2012-13 he produced one of the greatest single seasons in Bayern history, winning the Treble and leaving his successor Pep Guardiola a near impossible job.
Beginning the season by beating Dortmund in the Super Cup set the tone and after clinching the German Cup and Bundesliga title, it concluded with Heynckes beating Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund AGAIN to seal the Champions League at Wembley.
And then he dropped the mic and departed. The benchmark for a managerial return.
Zidane back to Real Madrid in 2019
How do you follow up three straight Champions League titles?
Zidane is attempting to find out having been coaxed back into the dugout in the Spanish capital.
After toasting victory over Liverpool in Kiev in the 2018 final, the legendary Frenchman was finished, he was spent, he could do no more in one of the biggest jobs in football.
And so he left, replaced by Julen Lopetegui who did terribly and then Santiago Solari, who did not get on much better. Not even 12 months after leaving, Zidane came back and while it is too early to judge, the signs are promising.
He is tasked with rebuilding what was an ageing side, restoring Champions League dominance after flopping against Ajax in his absence and delivering their first LaLiga title since 2016-17.
At the time of the coronavirus suspension, Zidane’s side are pushing Barcelona all the way, they remain in the Champions League and smiles are back on the faces after the nightmare of the Lopetegui/Solari era.
Lennon back to Celtic in 2019
Much like Zidane, it is a tad too early to reflect on Lennon’s second spell at Celtic – but the early signs are very good indeed.
There are only two modes on Celtic’s engine room dial: winning or complete and utter failure. Thankfully for the Bhoys and their fans, Lennon has done much more of the former.
Rangers are a much improved outfit since Steven Gerrard took over and yet since replacing Brendan Rodgers – who left for Leicester City – Lennon has managed to keep the side winning and at the time of the suspension for COVID-19, they are on course for a ninth successive Premiership title.
On his initial return he got them over the line for a famous Treble-Treble and has not looked back since.
There have been disappointments in Europe but if Lennon can be the man to get the club to a famous 10 in a row he will be assured of legendary status in the green-and-white half of Glasgow.
Fabio Capello back to Real Madrid in 2006
When Capello looks back on his return to the Santiago Bernabeu, he will persist with the idea he was hard done by.
Both his spells in the Real dugout were relatively fleeting – 1996-97 and 2006-07 – but both included rich success.
He remains one of the club’s most successful managers in terms of what he achieved during his time in the job having won LaLiga in both spells – the second was secured with a win over Mallorca on the final day of the season.
His return saw him coach star names such as Fabio Cannavaro, David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy and his joy of winning the title soon evaporated when he was relieved of his duties.
Style is a big thing in Madrid. Popularity is another – as Gareth Bale has found out all too often.
And so while Capello was successful in delivering trophies, the board felt otherwise and he would go on to manage England later in the year. That didn’t go quite as well.
Van Gaal back to Barcelona in 2002
Right before Van Gaal departed from his first spell in charge, there were fans unfurling banners telling him to ‘go home’ and get out of the club.
It seemed harsh given, after replacing Bobby Robson, he won two LaLiga titles (1997-98 and 1998-99).
But fierce clashes with players and the media – and then the fans – led to his demise on his first run.
And so a quick poll of supporters would have ascertained that bringing the pragmatic Dutchman back was not top of a supporter wishlist.
Nonetheless, the board did elect to give Van Gaal another go for 2002-03.
He signed a three-year deal but was gone eight months after sitting back down at his old desk following a dismal set of results. The club were 12th when he departed, 20 points behind the league leaders.
Letting Rivaldo leave on a free after their public spat did little to convince the board to have a little patience. Meeting fire with fire was only going to go one way in Barcelona.
The Dutchman did not have to worry about ever being invited back for a third spell.
Dalglish back to Liverpool in 2011
In a way, Dalglish had little to lose going back into the manager’s chair at Liverpool.
Initially stepping up as interim boss, he was convinced to take the job on a permanent basis in 2011, ahead of the 2011-12 campaign.
His legendary status was already secured on Merseyside with his medal haul as a player and his first spell as boss began – not long after the 1985 Heysel disaster – with a league and cup double in his first campaign.
Those trophies were followed up by winning the title two more times in 1988 and 1990.
And so 20 years later after replacing the sacked Roy Hodgson, there was a sense of nostalgia in the air with King Kenny back at the wheel.
What transpired was an eighth-placed finish and a League Cup winners’ medal – they also reached the FA Cup final and lost to Chelsea – and after one season in charge he was sacked. Failure to earn a Champions League spot hurt more than just Dalglish but in comparison to his first spell, this was a much more modest affair.
Flores back to Watford in 2019
When Flores stepped off the team bus outside Vicarage Road for his first game back – a Premier League visit from Arsenal – he was mobbed like an A-list celebrity by supporters.
Expectation was high. He had left under a cloud, but never mind that, Flores was back and after falling to the foot of the table under Javi Gracia, the good times, or so fans thought, would come back.
Flores secured a respectable mid-table finish and an FA Cup semi-final in his first spell; he showed he knew what he was doing.
But while his side rallied for a 2-2 draw against Arsenal the day he came ‘home’, it all unravelled into an epic disappointment.
A week later they were royally thumped 8-0 by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium and the wounds were to get deeper and deeper.
In the end the big red button was pushed and after just one win in 10 league games, Flores was out. He was finished.
It was a gamble to go back to an old flame and they got burned. It will be a spell both Flores and the club will be keen to forget.
Mourinho back to Chelsea in 2013
This return really was Jekyll and Hyde. From the sublime to the ridiculous. Only Mourinho could concoct a story with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
Arriving from Porto as ‘The Special One’ for his first spell, Mourinho won the Premier League title in his first two seasons before departing early in the third after a breakdown in relations with owner Roman Abramovich. But nonetheless, his stock had risen immensely.
And so fast forward to 2013 and he is back after spells at Inter Milan and Real Madrid. He came back as ‘The Happy One’ and it seemed like he was a comfortable fit.
His first season back they reached the semi-finals of the Champions League and finished third in the Premier League, behind Manchester City (four points ahead) and Liverpool (two points ahead).
Then 2014-15 he was back with the league title in his grasp having recruited Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas and the Happy One was living up to his name, it was all going smoothly and success was following. They lost just three league games all season.
It was almost flawless and Mourinho was rightly named manager of the season having also added the League Cup to ensure he had a mini-haul to reflect on.
He signed a new four-year deal at the start of 2015-16 and that was when it all began to go south.
The first game of their defence against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge set the tone. A furious disagreement with team doctor Eva Carneiro ensued as he was livid that, with Chelsea already down to 10 men with goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois sent off, Carneiro and fellow medic Jon Fearn went on to treat Eden Hazard.
Mourinho did not feel the Belgian needed on-pitch treatment and described it as ‘impulsive and naive’ from the medics.
Their roles were downgraded and Carneiro eventually settled at an employment tribunal after the row became a legal battle.
All the while, results on the pitch were dismal, earning just 11 points from their opening 12 games.
It was a spectacular failure for a side defending the title. And after nine defeats in 16 games, and the mess off the pitch with the medics, Mourinho was gone.
Chelsea were 16th when he was sacked, just one point above the relegation zone. Unbelievable.
Keegan back to Newcastle in 2008
Every football fan has seen that infamous clip of Keegan telling us all how much ‘he would love it’ had he guided Newcastle past Manchester United to the Premier League title.
That was in his first spell, which lasted from 1992 to 1997, and even though his side gave up a 12-point lead on United, he left a hero and remains one in Newcastle, despite the fiasco that was 2007-08.
Fans were back on board after the sacking of Sam Allardyce and with Keegan making a Hollywood-style return in January 2008 to his former club, optimism had returned.
Eight games came and went. No wins. But things soon turned around and eventually he guided the Toon to a 12th-placed finish.
But this return was less about what happened on the pitch and more about what was taking place off it.
Public annoyance with the board – he vocally criticised them – began to take its toll and eight months after being heralded back into the building, the fairytale return was over and he resigned.
There were reports at the time of fans throwing season tickets into the River Tyne, calling for Mike Ashley’s exit and some even suggested boycotting the next home game, such was the anger that came with Keegan’s acrimonious exit.
A legal battle followed. Keegan claimed unfair dismissal and Ashley and the club wanted reparations for public damages.
The tribunal ruled in favour of Keegan citing transfers against his wishes and ended with seven key issues which saw the club legend emerge as the ‘winner’ in something neither side look back on fondly.
In 2013, Keegan vowed to only consider returning to the club if Ashley sold up and left – with the club currently in the process of a lucrative takeover with Saudi Arabian money, could he be sensationally drawn back for another crack?