Quique Setién scoffed and then started laughing. “No way,” he said.
He had been talking for 12 minutes and he was only halfway through, still trying to put out the fire, when he was asked if he regretted becoming the Barcelona manager.
“It’s true that a month ago I was at home and I had no problems, but [these are] blessed problems. I have the same enthusiasm as ever, the same will, because my life hasn’t been easy.
You know things will happen here, you know the repercussions will be huge, but I’m blown by the north wind; I don’t go down easily.”
The day before Setién turned up, it was confirmed Luis Suárez needed an operation and would be out for three or four months. They sold two strikers, Carles Pérez and Abel Ruiz, to raise funds and make space for another but, having briefed that it was all tied up, they failed to sign one. Carles Aleñá had gone too, and Jean-Clair Todibo, and Moussa Wagué, but still they had not raised enough.
No matter, Setién said, Ousmane Dembélé would be the “signing”: he was on his way back to full fitness and would be “flying”. Then the news broke that Dembélé had torn a tendon in his thigh and would miss the rest of the season.