Ernesto Valverde was shown the door by the Catalan giants after a disastrous showing in the Spanish Super Cup and Quique Setien taking his place.
Ernesto Valverde won La Liga in successive years but it was not enough. Despite the fact that Barcelona are top of La Liga points table, Les Cules wanted a change. And they got it.
Return to tiki-taka
Pep Guardiola was brought up in Barcelona. Blooded in La Masia and part of the Barcelona Dream Team, he brought back the club’s ideology and silverware followed. Similarly, Setien is a disciple of Johan Cruyff and his appointment will mark return to the club’s principles.
Expect the club to start playing the way they enamored to fans and neutral alike. Real Madrid will not give them a standing ovation, but arenas will fill to see the Blaugrana doing what they do best.
Tiki taka will reign supreme at Camp Nou once again, no more preference to plans B and C’s. Setien favors an attacking 4-2-3-1 formation, and it will suit the players at his disposal.
La Masia products given a chance
During his reign, Barcelona reinforced the first team with expensive purchases. With the exception of Arthur and Frenkie de Jong, none of them have made a splash at the club.
Moreover, it has meant that La Masia graduates were not given opportunities with the first team. Only Ansu Fati has made it to the first team, but he is far from a finished article.
During his time at Benito Villamarin, Fabian Ruiz and Junior Firpo made a name for themselves. Setien made the most of Betis comparatively modest academy, and students in La Masia will welcome his coming.
Griezmann and Dembele in the first team
Over 400 million Euros were spent on the services of Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann. But none of them could be assimilated as productive members of the first team.
Coutinho left on a loan deal to Bayern Munich, with the fans turning on him. And the blame lies completely on the shoulders of Valverde. The Spanish tactician could not incorporate these talents in the Barcelona squad.
As it stands, Setien will be incorporating the remaining duo in Blaugrana’s attacking trident. His job has been made simpler by the long-term injury to Luis Suarez. While the Uruguayan will be missed, Setien will have a clear pathway forward.