Chelsea’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will quickly want to forget about his humiliating return to Arsenal – and he’s not the only player who was humbled when revisiting his old stomping ground.
Aubameyang was recalled to Chelsea’s starting XI in the hope that narrative alone would see him strike a fatal blow to Arsenal’s title hopes.
But the reality was altogether more damning; the Gabon international was taken off at half-time with Chelsea three goals down and having made just nine touches. Four of those were from kick-offs.
We’ve trawled through the archives to find four more stars that suffered a true humbling at the hands of their former employers.
Forget Seth Johnson or Weston McKennie; there’s a strong argument that Brolin was Leeds’ worst signing of the Premier League era.
Bought from Parma in 1995, Brolin’s latent ability on the pitch and very-strong ability to demolish a plate of hash browns ensured his stay at Elland Road was a miserable one.
So Leeds fans travelling to Selhurst Park for a match against Crystal Palace in 1998 were eager to see their side get one over their rotund former striker.
After five minutes, Brolin had to come off after a collision with Bruno Ribeiro, which left him dazed and needing stitches to a head wound.
While he was receiving treatment, Leeds scored. Brolin, determined to upset his former team, returned to the field six minutes later, only to see his natty bandage knocked clean off his head.
Leeds fans chortled with glee – and the lads on Soccer Saturday couldn’t help themselves either.
Palace vs Leeds from 1998. An absolute stinker of a day for poor Tomas Brolin.
He’s been knocked silly, he’s playing shite, and even the commentators are having a giggle.
Sometimes life just kicks you in the plums.pic.twitter.com/MpzHb7tBTC
— A Funny Old Game (@sid_lambert) February 8, 2021
You’ll know all remember Tevez’s switch from Manchester United to their noisy neighbours in 2009 – and the proactive poster that accompanied the move – so his return to Old Trafford early in the 2009-10 season was box-office viewing.
The Argentinian scamp did set up one of City’s three equalisers that afternoon, and received plenty of pantomime boos from the home fans, but ended up on the losing side when Michael Owen scored a dramatic injury-time winner.
With a face like a thousand smacked arses, Tevez looked like his greatest desire was that the ground would swallow him up. Understandably, he then focused his ire on Gary Neville…
Whilst Figo didn’t suffer defeat on his return to Barcelona in November 2002, there can be nothing more humbling than having a pig’s head lobbed in your direction.
As Michel Salgado recalled: “By the second or third corner I turned to Luis and said: ‘Forget it, mate. You’re on your own’.
“I used to offer Luis the chance to take the short corner, drawing up close to him near the touchline, but not this time.
“Missiles were raining down from the stands: coins, a knife, a glass whiskey bottle. Johnnie Walker, I think. Or J&B. Best to keep away. Short corners? No thanks.”
On this day in 2002, Barcelona fans threw a pig's head at Luis Figo before he took his corner at the Camp Nou 😳
Figo left Barca for Real Madrid two years earlier. pic.twitter.com/j3ZgOQ85dW
— B/R Football (@brfootball) November 23, 2021
Aubameyang isn’t the only Chelsea player to have tail firmly inserted between his legs this year; spare a thought for Cucurella and his chastening return to Brighton last October.
Having already made an underwhelming start to life at Stamford Bridge, the left-back was hooked after 64 minutes of a desperate display in Chelsea’s 4-1 defeat on the Sussex coast.
According to Whoscored, Cucurella’s defensive output included no tackles, no interceptions and just one clearance. Yikes. His Chelsea career already appears over.