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Julen Lopetegui confirmed as new West Ham boss as former Wolves manager replaces David Moyes

Former Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui has been appointed the new West Ham head coach; the Spaniard replaces David Moyes, who won the UEFA Conference League with the Hammers in 2022/23 season

Julen Lopetegui appointed West Ham manmager
Image: Julen Lopetegui has replaced David Moyes as West Ham head coach

Julen Lopetegui has been appointed the new West Ham head coach.

Lopetegui replaces David Moyes, who departed his role at the London Stadium "by mutual consent" after his contract expired at the end of the Premier League season.

The 57-year-old will work closely with technical director Tim Steidten - who will have more control over the recruitment. When Moyes was reappointed in 2019, it was under the proviso that he would have a big say in recruitment and transfers.

But with Steidten's appointment last summer, West Ham are moving towards a more European-based model.

"I feel that we have a fantastic platform," Lopetegui said.

"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.

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"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."

How did Lopetegui perform at Wolves?

Lopetegui was appointed Wolves manager in November 2022 with the Molineux club bottom of the league before leading them to 10 wins in his 27 games and a 13th-place finish — eight points and five places above the relegation zone.

Lopetegui - who has previously managed Spain, Porto, Real Madrid, Sevilla and Wolves will officially join the club on July 1. He has been out of work since leaving his post at Molineux on the eve of the 2023/24 season.

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."

'Lopetegui an exciting appointment for West Ham'

Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher:

“He was fantastic at Wolves, he did a brilliant job. I thought we’d see him in the Premier League sooner, certainly earlier than what we’re going to see next season.

“He’s managed Real Madrid and Spain, had great success with other clubs as well, it’s a really good appointment, a really exciting one for West Ham.”

Merson Says: West Ham should be careful what they wish for

Sky Sports' Paul Merson:

"West Ham have got to be careful what they wish for. Moyes has pulled up trees there, won a European trophy. Solid seventh, eighth, ninth, top half of the table again.

"I'm not saying it'll happen overnight, what happened to Charlton, but I remember many years ago when I played their fans were asking to get rid of Alan Curbishley, saying it was boring, middle of the table, they wanted to kick on.

Highs and lows of Moyes at West Ham

Moyes' first stint at West Ham lasted just six months, between November 2017 and May 2018. It was agreed that he would only sign a contract until the end of that season, with the club not taking up the option of extending the deal.

Tasked with keeping the Hammers in the Premier League, the Scot guided them out of the relegation zone to a 13th-place finish - and safety with two games to spare.

The 61-year-old returned to the London Stadium on an initial 18-month contract in December 2019 and once more successfully led the club to Premier League safety in a campaign disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and a three-month postponement to football in March 2020.

In the first full season of his second spell, the Irons won a record 19 Premier League games to finish in sixth and qualify for the Europa League group stage.

The following campaign, Moyes took West Ham to the Europa League semi-finals, defeating Dinamo Zagreb, Genk, Rapid Vienna, Sevilla and Lyon before losing to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Seventh spot in the Premier League ensured they qualified for the Europa Conference League, where a record 10-match winning run helped Moyes lead the Hammers to a first piece of major silverware in 43 years, defeating Fiorentina 2-1 in Prague to lift the Conference League trophy.

That success ensured West Ham qualified for the Europa League this term, where they were eventually eliminated by Bayer Leverkusen in the quarter-finals.

With the Scot out of contract at the end of the season and shortly after a 5-0 defeat to Chelsea, West Ham announced with two games remaining that Moyes would be departing the club at the end of the 2023/24 season.

"They've never been seen since. Moyes is top, top drawer. They won a European trophy! It's just madness.

"I wouldn't have got rid of him in a month of Sundays. You'll get West Ham fans coming back, saying this and that, throwing every stat in the world. But I'll just throw you the biggest stat of them all. He. Won. You. A. Trophy.

"I don't care all about this entertaining football, we don't play that well, we should be doing better with these players. They won a trophy! You look at Arsenal, they're unbelievable and they could end up with nothing."

'I'm just starting here' - Lopetegui on Premier League

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In an interview with Sky Sports in December, former Wolves boss Lopetegui revealed he is targeting a return to the Premier League

Speaking to Sky Sports News reporter Danyal Khan in December, Lopetegui explained why he feels he has unfinished business in the Premier League and revealed he has met the PFA, LMA and PGMOL during his time off in a bid to prepare himself for a return to England's top division.

"It's why I've said no to different countries and different situations because I would like to stay here in England. I feel like our team here is just starting and we want to achieve our dreams." Lopetegui said at the time.

"The way the country lives football here is special - it's the best league in the world, the most competitive league in the world, the best environment for the players, coaches and fans too."

What is in Lopetegui's in-tray?

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Newly appointed West Ham head coach Julen Lopetegui says he has big ambitions for the club and hopes to build on the work of David Moyes.

Sign a centre forward

The burden of leading West Ham's attack is still falling on the 34-year-old shoulders of Michail Antonio, with Moyes having failed to settle on another striker despite the club's large outlays on the likes of Sebastian Haller and Gianluca Scamacca.

England international Ivan Toney is expected to leave Brentford this summer and West Ham should be at the front of the queue.

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David Moyes reflects on his last game in charge at West Ham, insisting he leaves the club with great memories and in a better place than when he arrived.

Style over substance?

The majority of West Ham fans would, however grudgingly, admit that Moyes' second spell in charge was one of unprecedented success with three consecutive seasons in Europe and a first trophy in 43 years.

But there remains an appetite for a more progressive, attacking style of play and, with players such as Mohammed Kudus, Jarrod Bowen and - if he stays - Paqueta at his disposal, Lopetegui's pedigree would suggest he can provide it.

Technical issues

Lopetegui's relationship with technical director Tim Steidten will be crucial. Tensions between Moyes and the German did not help his cause and culminated in the manager asking Steidten to stay away from the dressing room and training ground.

Steidten was heavily involved in the appointment of Lopetegui and will also have a big influence on a summer recruitment drive.

Reinforcements required

Moyes preferred a smaller squad. It was his decision to only bring in Kalvin Phillips - for what turned into a calamitous loan spell - in January despite letting three players leave, so West Ham are likely to want at least five or six new signings.

Players will be moved on as well - centre-half Angelo Ogbonna has looked every one of his 35 years of age in the run-in and is out of contract along with Aaron Cresswell. Ben Johnson and Danny Ings could also be leaving as Lopetegui reshapes the squad.

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Newcastle are keen on a summer swoop for Jarrod Bowen, according to the Daily Telegraph. Bowen scored 20 times in 44 matches for the Hammers last season.

Lopetegui's appointment was confirmed on the same day Lucas Paqueta has been charged by the Football Association for four alleged breaches of betting rules. Losing Bowen alongside Paqueta's creativity for a period of time would be unthinkable.

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