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Returning players - better or worse?


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Not sure if such a thread already exists, but if you were to look at the impact of players at your club over multiple periods were they better remembered more for their first stint or the 2nd, 3rd stint at the club etc

It’s maybe not whether they were better players first time or not but whether they had a more influential period when they returned.

As an example for St Mirren Frank McGarvey’s first stint as a player under Fergie was brilliant but he achieved more on his return. 

St Mirren:

Jackie Copland - better 2nd time leading us to Premier league under Fergie

Iain Munro - better 2nd time - no major domestic honours but one of our most capped Scottish players . 

Frank McGarvey - better 2nd time winning Scottish Cup and Europe.

Tony Fitzpatrick - better 2nd time as above

Peter Weir - better 1st time - same as Iain Munro. What a pairing down the left flank. 

Frank McAvennie - better 1st time

Barry Lavety - difficult one as he was great player 1st time but helped us win promotion back to top league in 99/00. So I’ll say better 2nd time. 

Hugh Murray - had two important stints. Goal against Stirling Albion in his first spell probably sealed legendary status. Better 1st.

Stephen McGinn - better 2nd time leading us from potential relegation to seaside leagues back to Premiership.

I’m not old enough to remember Tommy Bryceland but he was certainly better 1st time. 

 

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Mulgrew - was great 2nd time for us at Centre back, was never fast enough really to be a full back in his first spell and didn't get near the first team.

Forster- Sublime for us on all occasions really

Izzy - Would have most likely left us for very decent cash untill his leg break but wasnt the same player after. He was absolutely done when we sold him so to sign him back a year later was truly baffling and really showed how lazy our recruitment could be. 

Maloney - brilliant the first time but had alot more injuries the second time round. 

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Kris Boyd's return (Sevco) possibly the only player who comes close to being as useless as Lammers.

McGregor,  better to start with but probably stayed a season too long.

Kenny Miller. Probably better in his 2nd spell.

 

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Off the top of my head:

Jess great first spell good second, hindered by shite managers

Booth, Anderson - great first spells, decent run up to retirement on return. 
 

Derek Young, two ok stints as squad ballast.

Chris Clarke- promising first spell, disappointing on return.

Derek Adams- not sure he played a competitive game as a youngster. Meh squad player on return.

 

Feel like I’ve missed someone really obvious. Probably that c**t Foster. Actually Aluko probably, the petulant sulky p***k. 
Does Kenny Maclean count? 
child- quite good.

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There have been over 20 players who have had mutliple spells with Killie this century, so I'm not going to discuss each of them, but it's been a mixed bag in general. Of the current squad, Stuart Findlay has had 3, his first was hopeless, his second was fantastic and this one has been very good so far if not quite as good as the second. Matty Kennedy is also on his second, though it's difficult to count his first given that he only played a handful of games before leaving as a 17 year-old.

Boyd had three really good spells with us, Mulumbu's first two were great but his third wasn't up to much. Broadfoot and Power were both much worse the second time around but still not terrible.

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As LCD Soundsystem once sang..

"Drunk girls know that love is an astronaut. It comes back, but its never the same..."

Can't think of a modern day returnee to St Mirren that has been better than when they left. There are some notable ones from the 70s/80s but it was a different time with far less developed transfer network.

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Motherwell have been specialists in this stuff - and we've had plenty of success at it, along with the inevitable nightmares

Stephen Craigan, Stevie Hammell, Phil O'Donnell, James McFadden (first return), Stephen Pearson (first return), Scott McDonald - the list speaks for itself

Alex Burns, Brian McLair (f**k me he was *abysmal* when he joined from Man Utd), Ojamma, Staunch Steven Lawless and others that I've forgotten - poor.

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Bryan McClair - great first time, utterly abysmal the second and wholly representative of the shitshow we were wandering into.

Stephen Hughes - again, great first time (a luxury player in fact) but pretty underwhelming on his return.

Ojamaa - part of one of the best Well sides I've seen, but looked dreadful when he came back in McCall's final season.

Faddy - surprisingly good on his first return as part of the same side as Ojamaa, but looked done quite soon after that as far as I recall.  Overlapped with him being Assistant Manager for some reason during McGhee's second spell which was a total waste of time.

 

In short, don't do it.

Edited by one m in Motherwell
Basically doubling up with @Swello's post...
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6 minutes ago, Doctor Manhattan said:

Ross McFuckingCormack

August 2016, Aston Villa pay £12m to Fulham and pay him £2.3m a year. Jan 2019, while still under contract with Villa, he can't get in Motherwell's first team. 

I can't think of a player whose career nosedived so spectacularly without a clear reason. 

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3 hours ago, coprolite said:

Off the top of my head:

Jess great first spell good second, hindered by shite managers

Booth, Anderson - great first spells, decent run up to retirement on return. 
 

Derek Young, two ok stints as squad ballast.

Chris Clarke- promising first spell, disappointing on return.

Derek Adams- not sure he played a competitive game as a youngster. Meh squad player on return.

 

Feel like I’ve missed someone really obvious. Probably that c**t Foster. Actually Aluko probably, the petulant sulky p***k. 
Does Kenny Maclean count? 
child- quite good.

Greg Stewart?

Kari arnason, James Wilson, Ryan Christie? 

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12 minutes ago, Dons_1988 said:

Greg Stewart?

Kari arnason, James Wilson, Ryan Christie? 

I have a strange memory of Arnasons second spell at Aberdeen. He had a shaky first half on a game that was televised on BT sport and McLeish was in the studio comparing his performance to that of Morata who had just signed for Chelsea and struggling. Comparing a defender to a striker who had just been signed from Real Madrid was strange enough but he was going on about having to adapt to a new league but Arnason was at Aberdeen prior and brilliant for them so there was absolutely no common ground at all. He kind of got cut away from any further chat after that for his own good. I genuinely feared he was losing his marbles watching it, about 6 months later he was re-appointed Scotland manager.

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We brought back perhaps our two best players of the past decade in Tony Andreu and David Templeton. Aside from a couple of excellent games, including scoring the winner to send Dundee down, Andreu was shite for us in his second spell, but Templeton was still pretty great when he played - the issue was that he only managed 19 appearances across two-and-a-half seasons. We knew that that's what we were getting with him, however it just made it all the more disappointing when he gave us glimpses of what we'd been missing. 

Caveats for both of these guys, but Dougie Imrie and Mickael Antoine-Curier were just as good upon their returns as they were at the peak of their initial spell, though Imrie went on for at least a season too long and MAC chucked it, as far as I remember, in all three times at the club. Imrie deserves bonus points for contributing to Accies while playing for Morton, as his two goals in the 10-2 threw the SPFL off our scent. 

Andy Ryan is the only one who sticks out in my mind as being a markedly better player in his second spell for us. 

I don't like the idea of bringing players back as it's never the same second time around, but looking at the list of Accies returnees, we haven't really had many who had disappointing second spells with the exception of the first two I mentioned. 

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Just now, VincentGuerin said:

First time around:

Untitled.jpg.ab57ea220c9f3b4a6637253dd5e584a4.jpg

Untitled.jpg.66f16ee1705476595ee43c291beee9fe.jpg

Second time around:

Untitled.jpg.879894248b2037748df9ef338c3dd86a.jpg

Untitled.jpg.33f5397ffe033001235a98cd49838622.jpg

🥰

Hearts fans always like to say "never go back" for some reason, but we've had some great success doing it. Robbo,Bannon, Skacel, McPherson Colquhoun, Webster, Gordon all excellent if maybe not quite bettering their first spells but it's tight for a few of them. And even guys like Mikey Stewart and Ryan Stevenson were better 2nd time round.

Neil McCann was the one big disappointment. Not really his fault as he was immediately injured with a bad one on his return, but considering how good he was first spell it was a huge let down.

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1 minute ago, Tony Wonder said:

Hearts fans always like to say "never go back" for some reason, but we've had some great success doing it. Robbo,Bannon, Skacel, McPherson Colquhoun, Webster, Gordon all excellent if maybe not quite bettering their first spells but it's tight for a few of them. And even guys like Mikey Stewart and Ryan Stevenson were better 2nd time round.

Neil McCann was the one big disappointment. Not really his fault as he was immediately injured with a bad one on his return, but considering how good he was first spell it was a huge let down.

Kickback is usually a sack of shite, but when we brought McCann back I remember one contributor lamenting that we were mad to be spending (presumably) good money on "a rusty cripple".

Turned out to be a relatively fair assessment.

Good points about the others.

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Lyle and Dobbie were both better the second time round. I’d say that 2012-2018 was probably the best spell in Lyles career.

Latterly in his time at queens, Iain “Snake” Wilson probably had his best performances before he fucked off to Morton. 

Connor Murray and Gary Oliver were shite both times, but less so the second time round imo. 

Edited by MazzyStar
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14 minutes ago, Tony Wonder said:



Neil McCann was the one big disappointment. Not really his fault as he was immediately injured with a bad one on his return, but considering how good he was first spell it was a huge let down.

The return leg break was delicious karma tbh. He tried to do Scott Brown and got injured himself instead. He actually got clapped off the pitch when he got stretchered but most didn't see what he tried to do untill we saw the replays when we got home.

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