Be careful what you wish for, unless It’s Julen Lopetegui

Image for Be careful what you wish for, unless It’s Julen Lopetegui

If West Ham fans had a penny for every time they’ve been told to be careful what they wish for over the last few months, they would be in pole position to crowdfund the signing of Kylian Mbappe this summer. Alas, there is no financial reward for being tirelessly warned about justified concerns one might have about David Moyes’ cautious philosophy.

West Ham fans finally get their wish

With the Scot now set to leave the London Stadium at the end of the season, and with Julen Lopetegui lined up to take over, there might be a change of tone from those who fear for life after Moyes.

Indeed, there can be no doubt that the Hammers have managed to appoint one of the world’s most effective tacticians of the modern era.

It is such a stunning coup and given that it hasn’t cost the club a dime, it’s also an appointment that is somewhat risk-free in a financial sense which is in sharp contrast to the narratives doing the rounds in the media.

Low-risk, high-reward

How, you might ask? The answer is that it is a low-risk and potentially high-reward appointment.

In an effort to provide a real-life example and a relatable analogy, perhaps the best way to look at Lopetegui’s appointment is to compare it to an online casino that only requires a small deposit to play for top bonuses. Essentially, a small deposit is a low-risk way to start playing at an online casino as you only part with a small sum of £10 but stand in line to hit a sizeable jackpot regardless.

In West Ham’s case, they haven’t had to pay any compensation for Lopetegui’s services as he was out of work. In essence, the club just has to pick up the Spaniard’s salary when he officially begins his role in the summer. Like the small deposit bonuses, it is a remarkably small outlay for the chance of potential success. For West Ham in particular, this success might translate into Champions League qualification this time next year.

It’s a statement that might attract eye-rolling and isn’t dismissal from rival Premier League fans but it shouldn’t. Lopetegui is a winner, and during his four years as Sevilla manager, guided the Palanganas to the Europa League title plus three consecutive top-four finishes which meant a hat-trick of Champions League campaigns.

Tellingly, the Andalusian club hasn’t finished in European qualifying positions since Lopetegui left his role. In other words, wherever Lopetegui goes, Champions League qualification tends to follow.

Wolves wasn’t glamorous but it was impressive

While this might result in questions about Lopetegui’s time as manager of struggling Wolves, it’s important to remember that the Spaniard left on his own terms as he had misgivings about the Molineux ownership.

However, the 57-year-old didn’t leave before saving Wolves from what seemed a guaranteed relegation as they sat bottom of the Premier League and five points off safety when Lopetegui arrived in the West Midlands in November 2022. You could argue that keeping Wolves out of the Championship was as impressive as anything Lopetegui did in Spain.

Exciting times

However you choose to see it, the indisputable point is that Lopetegui delivers results.

While Moyes will rightfully go down as one of West Ham’s greatest-ever managers, not being excited about what Lopetegui can do would be akin to looking a Grand National-winning gift horse in the mouth.

Image Source:

Share this article