Why West Ham should be very, very excited after latest next manager report

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The Hammers are understood to be closing in on David Moyes’ successor

The divorce papers should be hitting the doormat any day now. Like two dulled souls trapped in a loveless marriage, David Moyes and West Ham are meandering towards an apathetic separation. Custody of Michail Antonio is still yet to be decided.

A 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Mauricio Pochettino’s highly unreliable Chelsea on Sunday afternoon would prove to be the blow that finally shattered the pretence. West Ham, who have won just four games in 2024 and who are now mathematically incapable of qualifying for Europe this season, will traipse through a couple of dead rubbers to conclude their campaign, and then bid farewell to Moyes for a second time.

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In an official statement, the Scot said: ‘I have enjoyed four and a half brilliant years at West Ham, and the club is in a stronger position than when I returned back in 2019. When I joined West Ham for a second time, the club was one place above the relegation zone, and it has been a terrific journey to have achieved three consecutive seasons in Europe.

‘After leading the club to safety, we guided the team to finishes of sixth and seventh in the Premier League, and I was delighted when we won the Europa Conference League title last June – the club’s first major trophy in 43 years. I would like to thank all the players for their support, and all the success they have achieved, over the last four and a half years.’

Moyes’ departure is likely to conjure mixed emotions in East London. West Ham owe the Scot an awful lot of gratitude, not just for the giddiness of their continental success last season, but also for the stabilising job that he has done domestically. That being said, the Hammers have stagnated wildly in recent weeks, and the common consensus seems to be that a change is needed to revitalise a side who have veered towards the ultra-conservative far too often since the turn of the year.

To that end, judgement on Moyes’ exit will be passed in retrospect, and it is therefore imperative that West Ham nail their next managerial appointment. Talks have been held with the likes of Ruben Amorim and Hansi Flick, but it is Julen Lopetegui who has emerged as the front-runner to take over at the London Stadium - and by quite some distance too.

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According to various reports, the Spaniard, who has been out of work since leaving Wolves last summer, has already agreed a deal in principle to join the Hammers following several rounds of negotiations. If that is true - and there is no reason to believe it is not - then West Ham supporters should be incredibly excited.

Lopetegui is a manager of genuine pedigree; one who has been employed previously by the likes of Real Madrid, Sevilla, FC Porto, and the Spanish national team, as well as being a Europa League champion and boasting a background in elite scouting. His only previous spell in England, with the aforementioned Wolves, may have ended with him recording a lowly 37% win rate, but the reality behind that figure is much more impressive. The 57-year-old guided Wanderers from the bottom of the table to 13th, seven points clear of the relegation zone, in around half a campaign.

There have, of course, been missteps in his career - his stint as the Chosen One in Madrid ended after just 14 matches following six defeats and two draws - but by and large, Lopetegui is exactly the kind of ambitious hire that so many associated with West Ham were crying out for when it became apparent that Moyes would not be staying at the club beyond this month.

And it is pleasing to see the Irons act so swiftly and with such conviction too. Now, all being well, they can look forward to a full and hopefully prosperous summer under their new manager in which they can reinforce the platform that Moyes has already built for them. Do that properly, and the sky is the limit for West Ham under Lopetegui.

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