It was back on January 14 when Quique Setien was presented as Ernesto Valverde’s successor at Barcelona.
As many as 100 days have passed since the former Real Betis coach undertook the challenge of leading the club’s project midway through the season.
Setien took charge of a team that had just lost in the Supercopa de Espana under Valverde, and following his arrival he saw several players pick up injuries.
He was not Barcelona’s main target for the job, but after Xavi Hernandez turned down the club’s offer, Setien was one of the few available ‘Barcelona style’ devotees remaining.
“Everything has happened very fast,” he said after being officially presented as Barcelona’s new head coach.
“Yesterday I was enjoying a walk past the cows in my town, now I’m coaching the best players in the world.”
Style and academy
In 12 matches in charge of the Catalan side, Setien has registered eight wins, one draw and three defeats.
He has had to drop the club’s typical 4-3-3 formation on several occasions and avoid possession and attacking football due to their opponents, the type of game or simply his players’ injuries.
During his first few months at the club, Setien has seen several players missing games due to injury, including Ousmane Dembele, Arthur Melo, Jordi Alba, Neto, Luis Suarez, Sergi Roberto and Arturo Vidal.
Their absence forced him to promote B team players, yet he didn’t offer them much playing time.
Only Riqui Puig and Alex Collado have stepped on the pitch under Setien, while others such as Inaki Pena, Ronald Araujo, Chumi, Rey Manaj, Abel Ruiz and Sergio Akieme were called up but stayed on the bench.
Following the coronavirus outbreak, he has spent five weeks without overseeing his team’s training sessions, with the season currently up in the air.
Although neither LaLiga nor UEFA have decided when the Spanish league and the Champions League will go back underway respectively, Setien hasn’t stop making future plans.