Quique Setien is now the new boss of Barcelona. Setien signed a two and a half year deal with the Catalan giant after Ernesto Valverde’s departure earlier this week. Quique Setien was unveiled as the new manager of Barcelona on Tuesday and his appointment comes as a surprise to many people and a massive gamble for the Catalans giant, given that their new boss lacks success at the highest level.
Quique Setien began his life as a manager with Racing. He also managed the Nzalang Nacional, the Equatorial Guinea national team, before moving back to Spain to manage Lugo from 2009 to 2015. In 2015, Las Palmas came calling for his services, and he did a fantastic job over there, surviving relegation in his first season and almost took them to European competition qualification in his second season. Issues with the Las Palmas board led to his arrival at Real Betis. In his first season at Real Betis, he qualified the club back to European competition with a 6th place finish. He improved the Betis team and reached the Copa Del Rey semi-finals before, unfortunately losing to Valencia. They also got eliminated by Stade Rennes in the Europa League. As a manager Quique Setien has faced Barcelona seven times, losing six and winning only one, a victory which came at the Camp Nou against his predecessor Ernesto Valverde.
The real reason Setien was appointed
Quique Setien was hired as the new boss because he shares the traditional values of Barcelona. Although he does not have the CV that most managers would have when taking over a club as big as Barcelona, he fits their model, philosophy of playing beautiful football. His coaching philosophy is based on the iconic tiki-taka style of play, allowing players to express themselves, quick passing, high pressing and also being in possession of the ball, which is the brand of football the Catalan giants are noted for. Setien is noted for admiration for the legendary Johan Cruyff, who is considered the pioneer of the Barcelona style of football. He has really studied Cruyff’s brand of football and no wonder he is a disciple of the Dutch man and will be looking to replicate the successes Cruyff chalked at Barcelona winning four consecutive la liga titles from 1991 to 1994. With the kind of midfielders Barcelona has, it will be easier for him to play the kind of football he wants. Barcelona possesses an abundance of talents in midfield. The likes of Sergio busquet, Frankie De Jong, Arthur Melo, Ivan Rakitic and Aturo Vidal are all good passers of the ball and they will certainly be looking forward to work with their New boss. Quique Setien is also noted for using young talented players and he is not afraid to remove any first team player who is underperforming and replace him with any La Masia player who is playing well. Barcelona are noted for giving young talents the chance to develop. A typical example is the Pep Guardiola era, where he promoted the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquet, Bojan, and Pedro. The likes of Xavi Hernandez, Andreas Iniesta, and Carles Puyol all came through the ranks of the La Masia. The arrival of Setien means first-team players must know that the talented kids in the La Masia will get the chance to prove their worth so they cannot afford to relax.
What next for Setien?
Quique Setien’s next game will be against Granada on the 19th of January, where the fans will be looking forward to seeing his team play with the philosophy and style of legendary managers like Johan Cruyff, Pep Guardiola, and Luis Enrique. Barcelona is currently ahead of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga on goal difference. Setien must rearrange the pieces to give the Catalans their identity back, and bringing back the tiki-taka is not the only solution to Barcelona’s problems. He must as well win silverware for them, especially a potential sixth Champions League title, which has been elusive in recent times. He also needs to fix the woeful defensive away records Barcelona is having this season. The new boss must now do without striker Luis Suarez who is set to be out for close to four months after undergoing knee surgery and needs to bring the best out of summer signing Antoine Griezmann to help Messi move the team forward. The new job is definitely a challenge, but he will find solace in the fact that he is in a team that shares the same football ideology as him.