The frenetic start to life at FC Barcelona for Quique Setien

Working against the clock, Setien has looked to leave his mark on the team's style of play whilst remaining competitive in LaLiga and the Champions League

Quique Setién volvió al Villamarín y se llevó los tres puntos
Quique Setién volvió al Villamarín y se llevó los tres puntos | Efe

This Thursday signals the end of Quique Setien's first month in charge of FC Barcelona. Far from a calm start, it's been full steam ahead in those 30 days as he looks to improve things both on and off the pitch.

"It didn't take longer than five minutes to accept this role when it was offered to me," admitted Setien in his press conference. "If I'm being honest, I didn't believe Barça would look at me. I don't have many honours to my name or an extensive CV, but my teams always play really nice football."

Since then, Setien has begun to learn everything about the club from the dressing room to the directors, whilst retaining the quality of football on show and keeping Barça in the hunt for trophies.

double handicap 

It's never easy to take control of a club such as FC Barcelona but it was even more difficult for Setien. The club gave a prime example of how not to sack a manager with Ernesto Valverde, then had a host of coaches they approached (Xavi Hernandez, Ronaldo Koeman..) who ultimately decided against it. 

Since then he's had to deal with a very public call out from Lionel Messi towards Eric Abidal after the director of football accused certain players of not giving their best under Valverde.

The club failed to sign a striker to replace Luis Suarez, Ousmane Dembele was ruled out for the season and youngsters Carles Perez and Abel Ruiz were also sold in January.

Barça style

Setien lives and dies by his style of football which, on paper, is a perfect fit for Barça. The problem being for many fans is the style of football made famous by Guardiola's side featuring the likes of Iniesta and Xavi came over 10 years ago.

Any change in style is going to take time but a return to 4-3-3 saw them smash Leganes 5-0 in the Copa del Rey and beat Levante 2-1 in LaLiga. Setien is still looking to find the right combination of players so the team can press from the front. 

disappointment in the Copa

Barça put in one of their best performances of the season at San Mames but didn't deserve to lose, but arguably didn't do enough to win either. Iñaki Williams scored in the 93rd minute to give Athletic Club the win. The same thing happened in LaLiga when Aritz Aduriz's late goal earned his side all three points. 

Setien won't alter his style or methods as shown against his former side Real Betis. Barça could have easily lost but turned it around to win 3-2. "We'll never give up," insisted the coach. He through Arturo Vidal forward as the false nine and Frenkie de Jong showed his best qualities in a Barça shirt.

He's got some big matches coming up in the next few weeks as he looks to topple Real Madrid at the top of LaLiga and progress in the Champions League against Napoli.


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