Julen Lopetegui

“No Phones, No Cars” | J-Lo Going Old School at West Ham

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News that Tim Steidten and Julen Lopetegui want West Ham players to travel mostly by team coach this coming season came as something of a surprise to me.

It wasn’t so much a shock that West Ham’s new head coach and director of football would seek to nurture more team spirit among the Hammer’s squad. Rather, it was more surprising that under the previous regime, so much of the players’ travel was done in their individual cars.

Call me naïve, but I guess I was guilty of assuming that the squad spent more time traveling to and from fixtures together than was actually the case. Therefore, I was genuinely pleased to hear news that both Lopetegui and Steidten were looking to find ways to create a better brotherhood and team spirit amongst the playing staff.

Park the bus and lose the airpods

Encouraging communication, conversation and camaraderie can’t be an easy thing in this day and age. All too frequently, we see pictures of privileged footballers staring at the screens on their smartphones or lost in their solitude with headphones on, seemingly oblivious to the world around them. This is in stark contrast to how things were in the recent past with shared jokes, communal music, and games on the club coach to and from football.

Lopetegui-West Ham

Lopetegui will be keen to get players talking

Many of us have grown heavily dependent on our phones in real life for everything from communication to entertainment. I’m aware of the irony that many will be reading this most using a smartphone, but I do think there’s a difference between casual use and a device which can ultimately stop you from speaking to the person sitting next to you. But players traveling together on a coach and actually engaging with one another has to be a good thing.

So well done to Julen, Tim, and I suspect Mark Noble too. I’m sure there will be some resistance; however, once the players get used to traveling to games together and cold turkey has run its course, I believe the new measures will have a huge benefit to West Ham.

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  • Joseph says:

    Being totally naive i always thought that the players travelled together and not make there own way to the game…when you think about that it is quite unbelievably unprofessional of the club…how you let your playing staff make there own way really smells of Sunday league football when you get up on a freezing cold morning and wait at end of the road for your mate to pick you up if he has sobered up from the night before.

    So this for me is a good move by the manager after all the players are at there workplace so a level of discipline has to be enforced…just stop them walking past young fans wearing headphones and acting like a zombie when they get off the coach.

  • Ian says:

    Presumably we’re talking only about home fixtures here?
    I’ve been to many away games where I’ve seen the opponents arrive together on their team coach. Thought WHU did too.

    • Gonzo says:

      Hi Ian, I’m led to believe they’ve scrapped domestic flights so away games will be on the coach too.

      • Ian says:

        Hi Gonzo. Repeating myself but I’ve seen the likes of ManU, liverpool and City arriving at their home games by coach together. If it works for them it’s good enough for us

  • John Lattimore says:

    I’m pleased to hear this. As stated in the article footage of players arriving all too often shows them lost in a world of their own. Football is a team game and “off pitch” bonding, that was once taken for granted, should be encouraged.
    Or am I just an old fart?!

  • S says:

    Sounds like how Nobes had the dressing room running when he was captain. I see his handprints all over this. I think his leadership in the locker room was severely missed the last couple of years.

  • Jason Dunlop says:

    Will be able to bring their favourite toy on match days? Just to give them comfort on their coach journey to the ground..

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