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Julen Lopetegui gives his first interview as new West Ham manager

Julen Lopetegui gives his public first interview as new West Ham manager, coming in to replace the departed David Moyes.

The 57 year old Spanish manager, who reached an agreement with West Ham United this month before the season came to an end, has signed a two-year contract, with the possibility of extending it for a third year.

Lopetegui was last managing Wolves, led them to a 13th place finish for the 2022/23 season, but towards the end of the campaign, he addressed speculation that he would leave due to the West Midlands club’s financial situation.

He had stressed the need for new players to the club management but had only learned the severity of Wolves’ financial constraints at the end of the 2022–23 season.

Due to this and other reported disagreements with the club’s board, Lopetegui left the club by mutual consent on 8 August 2023.

West Ham announced earlier this month that Moyes, who returned for his second stint at the club in December 2019 and led them to victory in the Europa Conference League in 2023, would depart at the end of the season.

The 61 year old Scottish coach had been facing mounting pressure following a string of poor results, resulting in West Ham finishing 9th in the Premier League and failing to qualify for European competition for the fourth consecutive season.

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West Ham United is delighted to announce the appointment of Julen Lopetegui as the Club’s new men’s Head Coach.

The former Spain, Porto, Real Madrid, Sevilla and Wolverhampton Wanderers coach will officially begin work with the Hammers on 1 July.

Lopetegui has put together an impressive coaching CV over the past two decades, leading Sevilla to UEFA Europa League glory and Spain’s U21s and U19s to UEFA European Championship success. He is widely respected for his clear football philosophy, flexible tactical approach, competitive character and man-management skills.

The appointment of the experienced Spaniard as Head Coach marks the next step in West Ham United’s new and growing football strategy, which gained pace in July 2023 with the arrival of Tim Steidten as the Club’s Technical Director.

Lopetegui is looking forward to starting work with the players upon their return to pre-season training in July and – speaking to West Ham TV – expressed his excitement at building on the strong foundations put in place and bringing his own style to London Stadium.

“I feel very happy, first of all, to be able to be part of the future of this big Club,” said Lopetegui. “We will try to put our stamp on the Club.

“I feel that we have a fantastic platform. I think the last few years have been very good years to have this base, of course, but my ambition as a coach is always to be better and better, to achieve more and bigger aims and to encourage and improve the players, the team, and to compete because football is about this – to compete. We are very ambitious about this.

“I am where I want to be. I am here because I want to be here and for us it was a fantastic day when we closed our agreement here because we our commitment is 100 per cent to be here. We had other opportunities but I am very happy that West Ham chose me because I chose West Ham too, so we are really happy about this.

“We came here with the idea and the thought to make a big, big noise. That’s why we came here, and we are excited by this challenge. Of course, we are going to do our best to help the Club and the team to achieve to achieve the best level and to achieve our aims. I assure the fans that they are going to be key in all our achievements.”

Tim Steidten said: “We are very pleased to welcome Julen and his staff to our Club. He was a stand-out candidate to become our Head Coach and I am personally delighted that we have chosen to work together. His career shows that, wherever he has coached, he has improved players and teams, and we are looking forward to seeing him work with our squad.

“Julen lives and breathes football. He thinks deeply about the game, he is tactically astute and he has shown he can adapt to work in different leagues, in different countries, with national teams, and in each situation he has shown his outstanding qualities. Julen is highly experienced in the way we will now work at West Ham United and I am looking forward to working with him to grow a successful future for the Club.”

West Ham United Joint-Chair David Sullivan said: “I would like to welcome Julen to the Club and wish him every success in his new role. We believe this appointment will ensure a strong opportunity to build on the positive progress made in recent seasons, helping the Club to move forward in the direction that aligns with our ambitions.

“We have been working hard behind the scenes to continue shaping the right strategy for West Ham United’s future, and we are looking forward to bringing Julen’s coaching ability, experience and personality to the Club.”

Lopetegui will be joined at the Hammers by Pablo Sanz (Assistant Head Coach), Oscar Caro (Head of Performance & Assistant Coach), Juan Vicente Peinado (Head of Analysis & Assistant Coach), Borja De Alba (Fitness Coach) and Edu Rubio (Technical Coach). Xavi Valero will continue is his role as men’s first team Goalkeeper Coach.

Lopetegui will meet his squad for the first time when the players return for pre-season training at Rush Green in early July. He will then take the Hammers to the United States for The Sunshine State Tour of Florida in late July, where they will take on his former club Wolves, as well as Crystal Palace.

Everyone at West Ham United would like to welcome Julen, his family and his staff to the Club and wish him every success at London Stadium.

This is what fans are saying as Julen Lopetegui gives his first interview as new West Ham manager…

@Paul_WHU_87: Lopetegui “depending on the opponent but play our style and be reactive in all games” – If he’s true to his word, I’m sold on him. #whufc ⚒️

@aaroncikaya: They casually left out Wolves 😂

@MarcusGrayWHU: Not convinced at all

@JackMassie8: Looks weird, feels weird

@ocwhu: He’s got a good CV of teams managed, hopefully he can push us towards a mentality of a big club and European regular ⚒️

@TobiasCresswell: Right, I’m renewing my season ticket! #welcomlopetegui #COYI

@ben_silverthorn: i was sceptical at first about Lopetegui at first, but watching that first interview i’m well up for him and think i got it wrong. let’s batter the premier league next year

@darylwhu: Welcome ⚒️⚒️ Be decent pls #COYI

@liambis94781474: We’ve got julen lopetequi he knows exactly what we need 🎶

@andymasonirons: Lopetegui might not be everyone’s choice but it’s time for fans to unite and get behind him #COYI

@louisefx96: Knowing what he did with wolves this is such an uninspiring appointment but oh well welcome gaffer ⚒️

@Hammer_GDM: New boss literally just announced and people are backing him to be a failure. There are times when I think our fans deserved #GSB & #Moyes #WestHam #COYI

@TheLawless: The new era begins. Looking forward to seeing what he can do with the current group of players and the new ones Steidten will bring in. Hopefully the style of play improves too. The thing I’m happy about most is that we’re moving from a Manager structure to a Head Coach. #COYI

@420WiFF: I’m excited and behind him, some of you writing him of before the first balls kicked are a joke. Get behind him and back the team. We are west ham.

@Collins___101: Not the 1st choice the fanbase wanted but he is still a solid manager with lots of experience. Hopefully he is backed by the board in the summer because our squad is so old and needs a massive overhaul. I’m sure the fanbase will get behind Lopetegui.

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