Better late than never: Lopetegui’s winding route back into Wolves’ arms

Manager was poised to take Molineux job in 2016 before Spain came calling and there have been tears and triumphs sinceJulen Lopetegui is late. Six years since he first started working for Wolves, he has finally turned up – officially becoming manager 295 games after he was first supposed to, and five more games since he was last supposed to. There will be two more before he sits on the bench, his role formally beginning on 14 November. Three hundred matches have already passed and Lopetegui has done a lot since then, taking charge of 204 games of his own. He has been through a lot too: Spain, Real Madrid and Sevilla, until a 4-1 Champions League defeat against Dortmund in early October. At the end of a night of “complex, mixed emotions”, he was pushed back on to the pitch by the sporting director who had sacked him. There, he heard fans chant his name. It must have been good but it was over. Now, a month on, the pause imposed by his father’s health, he returns to coaching.

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