Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Julen Lopetegui has taken the club up to 13th in the Premier League with five games left this season.
Wolves are close to securing safety after winning three consecutive home games for only the second time in the Premier League era.
At first glance, it does not look so impressive that the former Sevilla boss has the Midlands club close to mid-table.
However, Wolves were bottom of the table when Lopetegui arrived at the club. They were the lowest-scoring side in the league and had taken only ten points from 15 games.
In the 18 Premier League games since his arrival, Loptegui has quietly led Wolves out of the relegation zone.
Since taking over on December 26 against Everton, he has masterminded a turnaround. Statistically, the work Lopetegui has done looks even more impressive.
When you calculate the Premier League table since Lopetegui started his work in England, Wolves are eighth in the Premier League.
According to The Athletic, if calculated across a 38-game season, Lopetegui’s 1.5 points per match would result in a total of 57.
In three of the last five seasons, that would have been enough for top-seven finishes, and only once would they have finished outside of the top half.
Surprisingly, many people have not noticed the superb job Lopetegui has done due to his self-effacing style.
Following the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace, Lopetegui was playing down the importance of the victory. He urged his players to focus on accruing more points.
Another reason the feat has gone unnoticed is that the attention is on other clubs locked in the relegation battle.
Wolves have not blown out opponents, securing points with marginal wins and tactical organisation.
But the fans acknowledge the impressive work of the former Spain national team head coach.
As they defeated Palace, fans sang Lopetegui’s name around Molineux. He had urged them to create an exciting atmosphere for the clash, and they obliged.
The 56-year-old has drilled Wolves into a tactically prepared team – a hallmark of his organised Sevilla team. He is a Europa League-winning manager and carries himself with that air.
With 37 points and five games left, Lopetegui can already start preparing for another season in the Premier League.
He wants to restructure the squad to his taste via the transfer market. He will likely have to deal with the departure of talismanic midfielder Ruben Neves.
However, Wolves fans feel they are in the best hands to navigate whatever lies ahead.
Wolves’ remaining Premier League fixtures
- Brighton & Hove Albion (Away)
- Aston Villa (Home)
- Manchester United (Away)
- Everton (Home)
- Arsenal (Away)
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