The coach West Ham should be hiring

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Many names have been linked with replacing David Moyes as West Ham manager, but there is one coach not yet appearing on any bookmakers’ lists who certainly should be: Andoni Iraola.

I doubt that West Ham’s ownership are even aware of who Andoni Iraola is, much less considering him as a potential successor to Moyes. The Spaniard is likely too young, too innovative, and too much of an uncertainty for David Sullivan and Karen Brady to risk betting on his evident talent.

Yet, they might be compelled to take notice if AFC Bournemouth finishes above West Ham this season. It would certainly prompt some head-scratching about how a smaller club with a modest budget managed to climb so high in the league rankings.

In his first season in Premier League management, Iraola has led Bournemouth to their record top-flight points tally (48), surpassing the team Eddie Howe led to ninth place with 46 points in 2017. With favourable results over the next three weeks, they could even finish as high as eighth..

Bournemouth initially struggled to adapt to Iraola’s demands, but they have since embraced his tactics, pressing higher, man-marking further up the pitch, and forcing mistakes as they transition from a 4-3-3 to a 3-2-5 formation.

Much of their progress stems from their work off the ball, though it took time to develop. Nine games into the season, they were the only Premier League side other than Sheffield United without a win and were still in the bottom three in October.

Iraola, who was coached by Marcelo Bielsa at Bilbao for two years, also played alongside Mikel Arteta at youth club Antiguoko and is represented by the same agency that works with Xabi Alonso. At Rayo Vallecano, similar to his project at Bournemouth, he secured promotion and led the team to 11th and 12th place finishes.

I might be wrong, but it seems to me that Iraola is a coach going places, and the fact that he’s not even on West Ham’s radar says more about our club than it does about the Spanish coach.

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Hammers Chat video blogger @Gonzobignose


  • Saul says:

    100% would be my choice. Comes from the same part of Spain as Alonso, Arteta and Emery; must be something in the Bellota! An outstanding coach who undoubtedly will be snapped up by bigger clubs within the next couple of years. What he has done with Bournemouth is incredible

    • David 1966 says:

      Come on Gonzo, you know better than to make radical suggestions like this. I’m surprised we haven’t seen such names as Pullis, Big Sam or Steve Bruce 😁

  • Hammeroo says:

    And how many years has Areola, sorry, Iraola got left on his contract with the Cherries? You know David Sullivan does not like to pay out a prospective new manager’s existing contract. Maybe you need to trim down your shortlist to cheap options!

  • Dave says:

    I think this guy is good. After the first 10 games Bournemouth looked certainties to be relegated and Iraola looked a certainty to be sacked. But he persevered and his methods worked. Producing great results and performances and may well finish above us

  • Southeast Ham says:

    “I doubt that West Ham’s ownership are even aware of who Andoni Iraola is” – What a ridiculous comment. West Ham ownership not knowing who another manager in the same league as us is?!

  • Kevin g says:

    Get rid of David and Karen then let tentiski take over as we have Tim who has the power to find a coach and bring players in come on you irons

  • Phil says:

    Bounmouth have done this by nicking Bristol City’s best players

  • West Ham Fan no 32 says:

    Agree Gonzo, definitely falls into the gamble category but given the results he has achieved a punt worth exploring, he may also unlock us signing Solanke.

  • JP says:

    I live in Bournemouth and regularly watch the Cherries .
    Ireola is different class .
    Even when winning 2-1 with 10 mins to go he brings on another forward to try and kill the game
    Has done wonders at Bournemouth who were joint favourites to go down

  • Deathblow says:

    Sullivan and Brady are embarrassingly clueless, and like the players they go after, they choose has-been ‘names’ over evidence and research into what style of play they want West Ham to be known for.
    We have a team of individuals. unlike the team we had the season after lockdown. They were a ‘team’ and I loved them and loved Moyes.
    This utter circus over finding a replacement for David Moyes is as unprofessional and scattergun as our hopeless transfer sagas. Look at the joke of a mess they’ve made in 3 January windows, and panic buys in August. Tells you everything about how clueless they are.
    Should’ve stuck to porn, but they mucked that up too, getting out when the industry boomed.
    Why the hell they employed Tim Steidten I will never know.
    Imbecile owner and pantomime Dame.

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