Julen Lopetegui sacked as Spain Head Coach on eve of World Cup

Super_horns

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#3
Announced as Real Madrid manager one day - dumped by his nation a day before the start of the World Cup the next!

Despite the best efforts of the players it seems the Spanish FA weren't happy with the fact he was in discussions with Madrid whilst preparing for the World Cup.

Which way will this go - players revolt against the FA or like Italy in the past do well despite the upheaval?
 
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AFCB_Mark

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#4
Crazy. Could so easily have been avoided with some more open communication between Real and the Spanish FA etc.

It's refreshing that for once the side in chaos shooting itself in the foot before a tournament isn't England!
 

G.B

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#7
The u21 coach takes charge. Seems like a fragile ego from the head of the federation to me. Reports suggesting players were fine with it and wanted him to stay. No real reason to sack him other than a bruised ego if that is the case. Odds on it being a Barca player who was going to leak it? Pique the rat imvho and that.
 

Renegade

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#8
What the utter fuck. Sounds like the chief was butthurt and made a rash decision, mental to do this before the World Cup. I regret betting on them now, but will be happy if Spain implode. Anyone but Spain/Germany.
 
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G.B

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#9
Fernando Hierro takes charge. Celades taking the job was fake news.
 

Renegade

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#10
Someone posted this on the Guardian article and it's changed my mind about the scenario to be honest, makes some very good points that aren't immediately obvious. Madrid might have made his position untenable.

Anyone who thinks the Spanish FA overreacted is either an RM supporter or totally clueless.
The Spanish squad has always had the talent to win tournaments, but because of the fact that it is essentially drawn from two tribes that hate each other, they have traditionally been a team divided. And in 2018 the potential for division has been higher than ever given the push for Catalonian independence.

The main challenge for the NT manager has always been to keep the squad united, and never has that been as important as in 2018 given the political situation. So what did people expect would be the consequence of the manager coming out two days before the tournament starts and telling the dressing room "I've declared my allegiance to one of you two tribes after this is over." It is a totally untenable position for that manager to be in. If he picks a Madrid player over a Barca player half the team would mutiny. And if he picks a Barca player over a Madrid player he would risks his relationship with the management and players at RM. There is no way that the manager could dance around those conflicts of interest in the most politically sensitive dressing room in world football.

When Real Madrid made the announcement they would have known 100% what the consequence would be, and it's obvious they announced it when they did so as to force that outcome. As every second poster said when the RM appointment was made, if Lopetegui did poorly at the tournament then Madrid would be embarrassed. So from RM's point of view, having made the appointment, the next step was to announce it when they did, in the manner that they did, making it certain that he could not continue in the NT role.
 

AFCB_Mark

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#12
Someone posted this on the Guardian article and it's changed my mind about the scenario to be honest, makes some very good points that aren't immediately obvious. Madrid might have made his position untenable.
Interesting snippet. That said, Fernando Hierro will hardly be one to sit between the two tribes unbiased, obviously being hugely associated with Real Madrid throughout his career.
 

Nilsson

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#13
Interesting snippet. That said, Fernando Hierro will hardly be one to sit between the two tribes unbiased, obviously being hugely associated with Real Madrid throughout his career.
Exactly. Del Bosque is hugely associated with Madrid too, didn't do him any harm. You don't get more "Madrid" than Hierro and Del Bosque, they made over 1000 appearances for Real between them in their playing careers. Very bizarre.
 

Vanni

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#14
If I were in Luis Rubiales' shoes and Lopetegui only tells me 5 mins before the news is made public, I would've done exactly the same thing and sack the bastard. Nothing to do with pride or hurt feelings or anything of the sort. It's just plain disrespectful imo, and respect goes a long way in my book.

Not giving somebody time to react and take measures - what can one really do in 5 mins? - is basically making sure they'll be powerless to stop you in whatever decision you've reached.
 

SALTIRE

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#15
I can understand why they did it, but they have put personal feelings above their country's best interest here. Any chance of Spain lifting the trophy is now gone.
 

Renegade

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Exactly. Del Bosque is hugely associated with Madrid too, didn't do him any harm. You don't get more "Madrid" than Hierro and Del Bosque, they made over 1000 appearances for Real between them in their playing careers. Very bizarre.
Neither of them were/are the active Madrid manager, so it's easier to be impartial without the media blowing decisions out of proportion or an active Madrid/Barcelona player feeling that some sort of bias is at work. I don't think Del Bosque had much gelling to do either, Guardiola had done all of his work for him - most of the squad and the style of play came from his system, Del Bosque and the Madrid players were just along for the ride. Also, it's a valid point that if Madrid hired him and he went out in the group stages, they would look like fools and he would suddenly seem completely unqualified.

That said, I'm not really sure what Madrid see in him to be honest. He's managed Spain most of his career at a variety of levels and didn't set the world alight at Porto. Even though they've burnt many managerial bridges, I'm sure they could have tempted someone more inspiring (Conte, Sarri, Allegri, etc.). Instead they potentially butcher Spain's World Cup chances and hire a manager that won't inspire their notoriously hard to please fans. Very weird.
 
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Nilsson

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#17
Neither of them were/are the active Madrid manager, so it's easier to be impartial without the media blowing decisions out of proportion or an active Madrid/Barcelona player feeling that some sort of bias is at work. I don't think Del Bosque had much gelling to do either, Guardiola had done all of his work for him - most of the squad and the style of play came from his system, Del Bosque and the Madrid players were just along for the ride.
There's only three Barca players in the Spain squad, and they're all pretty much guaranteed starters if fully fit. I highly doubt he'd have played Nacho over Pique.

It's fair enough they sacked him I guess, he and Madrid obviously didn't go about it in the right way, but the idea it was politically motivated or worries about potential bias controversy seems way off the mark. Looking at their squad, they seem to be less reliant on Barca and Madrid players these days anyway.
 

Bobbin'

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#18
Yeah, that Guardian post is nonsense.

He’s a professional manager in charge of professional footballers who are targeting the same prize. He would pick the team to suit the way he wants to play and the one that he felt had the best chance of winning, any suggestion of bias or pressure is silly.

Sacking him 2 days before their first game when the players wanted him to stay is no less disruptive than having a rift in the changing room.

Complete knee jerk reaction from Spain’s top brass.
 

mistermagic

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#19
I can understand why they did it, but they have put personal feelings above their country's best interest here. Any chance of Spain lifting the trophy is now gone.
Wouldn't know about that. They still have a good squad (the best on paper imo) who are hungry for revenge after the brazilian humiliation.

That said, I'm not really sure what Madrid see in him to be honest. He's managed Spain most of his career at a variety of levels and didn't set the world alight at Porto. Even though they've burnt many managerial bridges, I'm sure they could have tempted someone more inspiring (Conte, Sarri, Allegri, etc.). Instead they potentially butcher Spain's World Cup chances and hire a manager that won't inspire their notoriously hard to please fans. Very weird.
You cite some decent options for the role but I reckon RM to go back to a Spanish manager after Zidane and in that respect there's not much else available. I mean they were considering Michel ffs!
 
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#20
I suppose I can sort of appreciate where that Guardian post is coming from - in the context of an intense rivalry between Real and Barca and given the delicate political situation in Spain, Lopetegui holding the Spain and Real positions pretty much concurrently could, I suppose, be seen a conflict of interest of sorts. But I'm not persuaded. I think Nilsson's point - that if it the Real/Barca rivalry were that much of an issue then Del Bosque and Hierro wouldn't be managing the national side (and the former doing so very successfully, at that) - is sound. As he rightly points out there are only actually three Barca players in the squad, all of whom are almost certain starters. If they wield that much influence then Spain have a problem that stretches far beyond who happens to be coaching them! The affair has obviously been handled really badly but Lopetegui has made a professional decision - there are surely very few managers in world football who'd turn down an approach from Madrid and I'm struggling to believe that most Spanish players won't be able to see the move for what it is: their coach taking an opportunity to advance his career and make a name for himself at one of the top clubs in the world. I'm not Spanish, and nor do I have much insight into Spanish football or the national mindset, but it strikes me as a very rash, and quite bizarre decision.
 
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#21
Also, are Spain particularly renowned for disunity? I know these things don't necessarily come out but, while I do remember them under performing on the big stage (a while ago now, it must be said) I don't recall hearing of any major bust-ups, unlike some other nations eg France, the Netherlands.
 

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