Football has fashioned itself as a breeding ground for the bizarre cliché, from players who run their socks off to teams that are too good to go down. Yet nothing gets the press more animated than the prospect of a player returning to ‘haunt’ their former club, perhaps ghosting round the back or leaving his marker for dead before slotting home.
In this modern era of big money moves, the media spotlight has never shined so bright on those players who return to their former stomping grounds. The first occasion is always the worst with fans and pundits dwelling over such trivial subjects like the reaction he’s likely to get or whether he’ll refuse to shake anyone’s hand. The end result is usually anti-climatic as with Carroll’s return to Tyneside, although his dreadful dive has permanently cemented his place in amongst the Toon Army’s most popular hate figures.
However, there are those instances when players do wreak havoc against their former employers, sometimes with disastrous consequences, leaving journalists to rejoice in the fact that their post-match report has all but written itself.
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