The Betis coach defended the Man City manager: "He's a reference for thousands of coaches all over the world. It's not right to make fun of other people's failures".
Real Betis coach Quique Setién was feeling philosophical in this afternoon's press briefing, telling reporters that failure in football and in life is nothing to be ashamed of and that he was sorry to see Pep Guardiola mocked following Manchester City's elimination from the Champions League. Up until Wednesday night, Guardiola's team had been on course for the quadruple - a feat no team has ever achieved in English football. City were knocked out of Europe by Tottenham after two closely-fought legs, but they are still in with a shout of doing a treble of sorts - if they can add the Premier League and FA Cup to the EFL Carabao Cup they lifted back in February.
Setién comes to Pep's defence
Setién said he didn't enjoy seeing Guardiola become a laughing stock after City's defeat to Spurs and had praise for the dark horses in this year's tournament, Ajax, who he says might go all the way and win it. "Everything seems to be going right for Ajax at the moment but they are a club which have been showing the rest of us the way for many, many years so they deserve our respect and always have. They have shown us a lot about football - many things, they've been a reference in the European game since I first watched them play in the 1960s with [Johan] Cruyff, [Johnny] Rep, [Robbie] Rensenbrink... and all of those players. They were a delight to watch and I'm very happy to see them doing well and in the semis. In the same way, I was sad to see Guardiola mocked, because he is a reference for thousands and thousands of coaches all over the world. There are people who like other styles of football and that's fine by me. But finding pleasure out of other people's failures or problems they might have isn't right in my book. But there are some things we can't ever change and as we know, it's what sells newspapers these days and why many of you are here today..."
The Guardiola philosophy
Setién has never hidden his admiration for Guardiola, a coach he says, "Who is constantly innovating. His teams not only play pure, association football, they also press as soon as they lose the ball. Teams that function well as a unit usually score a lot of goals because their rivals end up leaving spaces because they're chasing the ball all the time. Whenever you hear Pep talk, he really gets across his passion for football and for doing things properly - and that's the key, doing things well. He's the one who really gave me the push to give coaching a go myself".