The Setién effect fades

When Quique Setién took the team in mid-January, he did it first in LaLiga, tied with Real Madrid, but with the ‘goal average’ in favor, with the knockout stages of the Champions League against Naples for playing after qualifying first of his group and with the Copa del Rey competition about to start. A truly unbeatable panorama to take over a team, although it is true that At the first exchange he encountered an important obstacle: the sports management decided to dispense with four players -Aleñá, Todibo, Wagué and Carles Pérez- and not incorporate anyone in the winter market.

Setién arrived to reactivate the Barcelona game that, according to the technical manager, Eric Abidal, had stalled in recent months with the previous coach, “there are players who do not work much”, a sentence that opened the thunder box in the locker room, with Messi replicating the French so overwhelming.

However, the reality is that neither the game nor the results have finished taking off with the medicine of the Cantabrian technician. Of the eleven games he has directed – seven in LaLiga, three in the Cup and one in the Champions League -, the balance Has been of seven wins, one draw and three losses, who have left the team without the leadership in LaLiga, in favor of Real Madrid, and out of the Copa del Rey.

In fact, with Setién, Barcelona has only been leader in two of the seven days, 28.5%, while with Valverde the team was leader in 80 of the 94 days, 85%. With the Cantabrian coach in front, Real Madrid has already added five leaders, while throughout the Valverde era, the white team was only able to reach it six times.

Coat of arms / Flag Barcelona

If we stick to other competitions, Quique Setién also does not stand better compared to Valverde: in the Copa del Rey the final was always reached with the Extremaduran coach while with the new coach the team fell in the quarterfinals against Athletic (1-0) in San Mamés. Although, in this case, it must be recognized that the new format of the Cup, a single party, did not favor Blaugrana interests.

Right now in The only competition where Setién has an open bar to point at his predecessor is in the Champions League. With Valverde leading, the team fell devastated in the quarterfinals against Roma (3-0) in the 2017/18 season and in the semifinals against Liverpool (4-0) the following year. The team achieved an acceptable booty (1-1) in San Paolo against Naples last Tuesday, especially for what was seen in the field, with a Barcelona ramplón, without ideas, conservative and unambitious.

The problem on the horizon is that He has not yet found the key after more than 50 days in office. He started with a 3-4-3 against Granada (1-0), evoking his mentor Johan Cruyff, but little by little he was defusing his ideology until formulating a 4-4-2 manual. Along the way he has been testing with 4-3-3, but the absence of extremes and strikers – lately he is relegating Ansu Fati to the bench and has not yet given ownership to Martin Braithwaite – has forced him to qualify his slate , to the point of betting on a system as conventional as little recognizable in Barcelona.

Right now, the situation in Barcelona is extremely fragile. With a galloping institutional crisis, after the explosion of social media controversy, and with a template under minimum – Right now it only has 16 players of the first team available – the team has to face the remaining games from here at the end of the season as if they were authentic endings. And is that any stumbling block would be fatal both in the League and, let's say, in the Champions League.