Well, it finally happened. FC Barcelona fired Ernesto Valverde on Monday and brough in Quique Setién as the club’s newest manager. Things had to change and Barça finally decided to become proactive by being reactive and firing Valverde following their loss to Atletico Madrid in the revamped Spanish Super Cup. Valverde’s era was bittersweet with some success but the disappointments will haunt him forever. Quique Setién now is the man to lead the charge and it won’t be easy.
We really were spoilt under the presidency of Joan Laporta. During his reign, the Blaugrana only had two managers, Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola. Since then, the Blaugrana have had five different managers. Elections are not that far away so we shall see if Quique Setién will still be the manager by then. For the time being, he has a tough task of rejuvenating a team that has slept walk this season.
Time will tell if Quique Setién was the right hire or not. Valverde came highly rated by many and in the end, many were glad to see him leave. He is already facing one difficult task of finding out what is the best formation and lineup for this team. The absence of Luis Suárez, out with an injury, and Carles Aleñá, out on loan, leaves him somewhat shorthanded. The first area of concern is whether the board will support Quique Setién or work against him. Will they bring him the players he wants or will they sign players they want without his input or approval?
With Suárez out, it’s time for Griezmann to shine but will others also step up? The team has regressed defensively and Setién will not only have to address that issue, but also improve their mental confidence which has become an issue when things don’t go their way. Hopefully Setién will also entrust La Masia and give more minutes to Barça B players such as Riqui Puig with the first team. It’s foolish to expect a quick turn around under Setién but it does feel good to feel optimistic about Barca again.