Quique Setien has replaced Ernesto Valverde as Barcelona’s head coach.
He looks stylish and intelligent, but who is this Spaniard? It’s safe to say the appointment of Setien as Blaugrana boss has taken many by surprise, with the 61-year-old something of an unknown quantity outside of his homeland.
Setien has managed six different Spanish clubs, with two of those competing in ?La Liga during his tenure, while he’s also (briefly) taken charge of the Equatorial Guinea national team. However, his CV says nothing about what a revolutionary football coach this man is.
Here’s five things you should know about the new ?Barcelona coach.
‘Football Is Like Chess’
It shouldn’t be too surprising to hear that
So, what does Setien think about the beautiful game? Here’s how he put it (as quoted by ?Marca): “
“I don’t have a specific or preferred formation. We change things according to the needs of the game.
“We try not to have a defined system and foresee the possibility for changes that may be needed but what doesn’t change is the essence of what we have.”
It’s clear to see Setien likes fluidity and adaptability, while also prioritising skill on the ball.
He’s a Lionel Messi Superfan
Having previously spoken of his admiration for the Catalan giants, it would be expected that Setien adores their greatest ever player.
After stepping down from his role as head coach at Real Betis, he stated (as quoted by ?Tribuna): “
A Divisive Figure
Some people will have read Setien’s comments regarding his approach to football, and thought, ‘that sounds interesting’. Others will have read it, and thought, ‘what a load of b**locks’.
Many in Spain have shared the sentiments of the latter, with the veteran having battled criticism for much of his time as a manager.
His possession-centric style of play is likely to please the Barcelona faithful, but it has led to cruel mocking from rival fans during his coaching career.
?ESPN have noted how Setien’s claim to having a ‘moral’ philosophy about the sport have made him a frequent target of abuse, opposition supporters believing the gaffer looks down on sides who fail to satisfy his footballing ideals.
Attitude Is Essential
Setien’s ideology places a heavy emphasis on mindset, the former Betis boss explaining in an article for ?Coaches Voice: “
La Liga Pedigree
He’s been lambasted by sections of the Spanish media and rival fans, but Setien has proven his talents in La Liga.
When he agreed to take on the managerial duties at Las Palmas in autumn of 2015, the Canary Islands outfit were second from bottom in the top flight, with the supporters having resigned themselves to relegation after just a single season back in the big time.
Fast forward to May 2016, and the club comfortably clear of the dropzone, sitting pretty in 11th position. Another campaign flies by, and once again Las Palmas have secured a mid-table finish.
Guess what happened the year after Setien left? The side went straight back down to the second-tier.
Setien’s time at Betis was far from a disaster in terms of results, though there’s no doubt his greatest success with La Real was revolutionising their style, the team earning admirers for their intricate approach to matches.
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