Let’s just say the last 12 or so months for Julen Lopetegui will be ones he will want to forget.
He was the chosen one to lead the national team to World Cup glory at Russia 2018.
He was promptly sacked only days before the opening game.
After he announced he would be assuming the role of head coach at Real Madrid after the tournament.
Possibly one of the greatest and toughest jobs in football was his. But after 14 games he was sacked.
The term hero to zero springs to mind.
He now finds himself back in the hot seat. He is beginning life with Sevilla. And while with any top-flight job there are expectations.
In an interview with Marca, his sporting director Monchi explains how life here is “considerably calmer.”
Monchi’s appointment to his new role in fact coincided with the appointment of the new coach. They have been busy, with just about an entirely new team recruited this summer.
He says about Lopetegui:
“he’s a normal guy,”
Monchi puts the terrible few months at Madrid down the pressure of not being able to be himself.
Juanvi Peinado, one of Lopetegui’s assistant coaches, agrees wholeheartedly with Monchi’s assumption.
“He’s a normal guy.”
He goes on to talk about the impact the man’s persona has on the entire club and his staff.
“I’m living a childhood dream, Julen asked me to come here.”
“I get to work alongside a coach who brings so much to those who work closely with him.”
“He talked about a place where he could make a huge splash.”
“He has given us all the belief that we can take advantage of this opportunity, and this ambition filters through to the players.”
The Sevilla supporters have not entirely put their trust in the new man yet. And that is understandable.
Given such a public metaphorical execution for all see.
Julen is known for his possession style of play. It remains to be seen if he can convince the Andalusians he is the man to take them where they believe their beloved club should be.