Setien is fighting for his Barcelona future in the Champions League

Setien is fighting for his Barcelona future in the Champions League

Setién espera seguir
Setién espera seguir | sport

The coach knows he must deliver on Europe's biggest stage next month

The Champions League is the only thing that can save Barcelona's season and is the last opportunity Quique Setien has to keep his job for next season. 

The Barça coach is aware that results rule and he's not been able to produce consistently with a team struggling with injuries and inconsistencies, above all in the final third. 

Setien was criticised heavily after the Osasuna defeat but the club and the squad felt it was best to still together and try and do something important in Europe. 

Ernesto Valverde was replaced by Setien in January. The sporting department at the club decided to give Valverde one more chance after Liverpool but he was sacked after the Super Cup. The change didn't go down well in the dressing room and Setien started on a bad foot. 

During the months since, he's tried to bring more intensity to training, vary the tactic and use young players. Barça have played well at times but the reality is they were knocked out of the Copa del Rey and gave up the league when they were top going into the final straight after the lockdown. 

Those two KOs have left Setien's future hanging in the balance. And the lack of competitiveness in the team at times has been worrying. 

It's true Setien's had to deal with injuries and big refereeing decisions haven't helped. The coach has had very little time to work, but the unanimous decision is that his discourse doesn't and that his appointment didn't provide the boost the team was looking for. 

He has a contract until 2022 although it can be cut short when there are elections in 2021. But Setien's living a dream coaching Barça and doesn't want to leave. His relationship with the board of directors is good and that would facilitate the communication in the event of an exit. 

Setien knows the situation is complicated and knows these weeks coming could be his last chance. In his last meeting with the club, in which Bartomeu and Abidal were present, he was confident about his chances of staying on, but made it clear he would only continue if the squad accepted it. 

Therefore, he's spoken with some of the dressing room heavyweights to create a sense of unity going into the Champions League. The chats were productive and the team are together for Napoli, hoping that the Champions League can end the season on the highest possible note. 

For Setien, it's now step by step. Get as many players back as possible and then make a statement against Napoli. From there, he is convinced that the individuals in the team can be decisive in the latter stages of the competition in Lisbon. 

His future is linked to these coming weeks and right now only winning the Champions League is guaranteed to save him. Barça are not favourites. If they don't win it, his stay at Camp Nou could be brief and Barça could be looking for a new coach for the new season. 

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