Julen Lopetegui

Lopetegui has the schmooze factor

Image for Lopetegui has the schmooze factor

Over the past three weeks, I’ve tried to digest as much information about Julen Lopetegui as possible.

I’ve voraciously consumed tactics seminars, breakdowns of his former teams’ tactics, interviews with backroom staff, matches, YouTube videos, and press conferences. Just today, I watched a Wolverhampton Wanderers video where Lopetegui meets and greets Wolves staff during a filmed tour of his first day at work.

Despite all the tactical information absorbed during my period of self-imposed study, it’s the man’s personality that has really stood out.

Whilst watching Lopetegui’s first day at Wolves, two things occurred to me. Firstly, Wolves’ training complex is on a completely different level compared to West Ham’s, but that’s a topic for another blog. What really grabbed me was how well Lopetegui was able to schmooze everyone within the Wolves HQ.

From the tea lady to the trainer, coaches to the caretaker, everyone received a warm handshake, some kind words, and if they were lucky, a cheeky shoulder massage whilst being complimented.

Watching Lopetegui, it’s immediately evident why he has interviewed so well. The man is impressive and carries himself well, irrespective of whom he’s talking to. I’m mindful of quoting Kipling (the poet, not the baker) on a football site, but the great man once wrote, “If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch.”

The Spaniard seemed to have that in abundance, and it was easy to see why he’s built a reputation as a good leader. Of course, none of this means he’ll be a good coach for West Ham—a firm handshake and the ability to remember the bus driver’s name won’t stop his tactics from being crap… but I was impressed with what I saw.

Clearly, there is a contradiction lying somewhere beneath the surface of Lopetegui. There have been too many fallings out with club owners over the years, so clearly, all is not what it seems. However, I have found myself warming to the idea of the former Sevilla boss taking over at West Ham.

Maybe one day he’ll meet some of his critics, and if he does, I’m sure they’ll be welcomed with a smile and a friendly handshake. I’m sure Paul Merson, in particular, can expect a slightly firmer grip than most though.

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Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose


  • Mr Majika says:

    Be prepared for relegation. This devious man is only there for the playoff when he’s inevitably sacked for diabolical football and pre 2000 tactics. He’s the Spanish Gareth Southgate

    • Trevsheadwonthecup says:

      You’ve obviously never seen what lopetegui has done in the past. The Spanish Southgate LOL . I fully expect west ham to be the most improved side in the league next season. Kudus Bowen and pacqueta if he’s still here will flourish under lopetegui.

      • Mr Majika says:

        I guess you didn’t see the garbage he served up at Wolves. Incapable of scoring goals, the whole team camped out in their own half patiently waiting to lose. His lone striker system is a disaster in the EPL. Sacked by Porto, sacked by Spain, sacked by Real Madrid, sacked by Sevilla, sacked by wolves. Understand, Jorge mendes marketing of him is far superior to the product he delivers. The championship is calling. You clearly don’t realise what an awful manager this guy is. His tactics are 20 years out of date. You won’t be so cocky when you see what happens. He’s also on 150k a week and comes with a massively overpaid team including his son who does absolutely nothing

      • Mr Majika says:

        Btw zero player’s flourished at Wolves under his coaching. Quite the opposite

        • paul lewis says:

          Funny how Wolves went from bottom of the league under his tenure to 13th which was above us, and he left Wolves not sacked. He was unbeaten for 2 years as boss of Spain and was only sacked because he had signed for Real Madrid after the world cup, and he won the Europa league when at Sevilla.

          • Mr Majika says:

            He was sacked by wolves. West Ham will be relegated this season. He’s not an EPL standard manager
            Expect the odd one nil win and plenty of 4)5 goal thrashings

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  • D.f.butcher says:

    Why is everyone so negative , always look on the bright side of life, I’ve every faith in you loopy COYI

  • Onhigh says:

    The mans not even started the job and so many seem to know what he is going to do and how negative and boring his football will be…..so who do these people want as our manager? who do they prefer?Amorim? would of used us as a stepping stone nothing else.. Will Still? untried and untested at this level Flick? why would he come to us same as Tuchel?…..some people need to come down to earth otherwise why did we Employ Moyes if we could attract a better standard of manager?
    Peronally i would of liked to of seen us go for Silva at Fulham but we have not and instead we have Lopetegui and i will get behind the man and hope he succeeds and lets just see what style he brings eh.

    • Mr Majika says:

      Hilarious you think JL is not using the club as a stepping stone. But to be honest this time next year he’ll be unemployed sat on another massive payoff

      • paul lewis says:

        We will see, and why are you on here as clearly you are not a West Ham supporter

      • Teddy Salad says:

        Is that you Merse?

      • rollercoaster hammer says:

        try the red wine, they’re a lot less sour than the other grapes. barring that, try a better speech (read: preach) writer. 🤧

  • Peter says:

    Mr Majika touches himself while he types comments on here talking about J-Lo not getting the boys going.

  • Pablo says:

    Wolves fan here. We all had very similar excitement when Lopetugui was announced at Wolves and to be fair to him, he managed to rescue us from a very dodgy position mid season. None of us were particularly fond of his style of play (if you can call it that) but it worked in the short-term. The main issue that you will innevitably come across is his selfishness and astonishing lack of loyalty. Everything is about Lopetugui. The moment he thinks he’s done all he can, he’ll be agitating for a move, working with his friends in the media to unsettle the club, then walking away with another tidy sum in his arse pocket.

  • Saul says:

    The poet, not the baker!!! Great

  • Luke says:

    From what i understand his remit at wolves was to keep them up and then have a decent budget to improve the quad in the summer. He put together a system that the ability of his players suited, it was never going to be fast paced and fancy free with that lot in that short of time. He took them from bottom to mid table with a few lengths to spare. Summer time came and instead of being given a transfer budget he had his better players sold under his feet! Cant blame the guy walking out really.

  • Stephen says:

    So many armchair experts who know better than anyone. Give whoever takes over as manager a chance.
    The new manager will need all the luck and support as possible considering the mess the squad is in at the moment

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