The former Real Betis manager took charge of La Blaugrana and the 61-year-old will have to deal with the fans, players and the board at the Camp Nou.
It was said Real Madrid is the most difficult coaching job in world football. Pleasing the Santiago Bernabeu faithful is a difficult task and you never know about the politicking going on behind close doors. The same can be said about Barcelona now.
Quique Setien takes charge of the Catalan club which sits at the top of La Liga. And the former Racing Santander player replaces Ernesto Valverde after two successive league title triumphs. Failure is not an option. But it seems not even hint of failure is an option at the Camp Nou.
Manage the board
Carles Puyol rejected the chance to manage Barcelona. So did Xavi. The two club legends do not want to take reins of Blaugrana with the political turmoil they are in.
So bad are the board troubles that Pep Guardiola raised his hands and went away. And now with president Josep Maria Bartomeu on his way out finishing his second term, a new round of politics is at hand.
Setien has to play his cards right. He needs to be intelligent with his off-field endeavors. They will be as important if not more in retaining his role.
Possession based football
Barcelona are known for their possession-based football. Pep ensured that the club’s identity remained in tact but it was lost under his successors.
Tata Martino, Luis Enrique and Ernesto Valverde did not have the same footballing principles as Guardiola. Consequently, the club moved away from its identity.
Setien will not have the same luxury as his predecessors. He will have to get it right from the get go. Barcelona fans want to win. But these victories have to come in a certain way. Tiki taka is the way they know and to endear to the Camp Nou faithful, Setien will have to ensure they play that way.
Barcelona’s results in Europe
As it stands, a net two goal difference separates them from Los Blancos and the title challenge will go down the wire. But the league is not Barcelona’s concern. Europe is.
The Catalan giants capitulated in successive seasons. Roma would make it to the semi-finals on their expense the first time around. And Liverpool beat them on their route to lifting the Champions League trophy last year.
Quique Setien needs to set his priorities. La Liga is important, but if he fails to impress in the elite European club competition, he will be ushered through the exit door.