BARCELONA

Official: Quique Setién sacked from Barcelona coaching post

The Cantabrian coach leaves Camp Nou seven months after taking the job and without reaching the club's objectives. The 2-8 defeat to Bayern was the last straw.

Quique Setién, junto al presidente Bartomeu y Eric Abidal, el día de su presentación.
AFP

Barça announced on Monday evening via the club's television channel that Quique Setién has been sacked from his post as first team coach. The Cantabrian coach, who earlier today met with Sporting Director Eric Abidal, lasted just seven months in the job despite having signed a contract until June 2022 (a change in presidency however, could have seen the contract torn up and Setién dismissed in 2021). Setién leaves Barça through the back door, with a dismal record of 16 victories, three draws and five painful defeats - in Valencia, Madrid, Bilbao, against Osasuna which saw the team lose LaLiga and last week in Lisbon.

Barcelona statement:

"The Board of Directors have agreed that Quique Setién is no longer the first team coach. This is the first decision within a wider restructuring of the first team which will be agreed between the current technical secretary and the new coach, who will be announced in the coming days.

Quique Setién came to Barça as coach on 13 January of this year. During his seven months in charge the Cantabiran coached the first team in 25 matches: 19 in the league, three in the Champions League and three in the Copa del Rey.

The breakdown of his results was 16 wins, four draws and five defeats".

Setién replaced Valverde in January

Setién, who was drafted in as a quick-fix solution at Barça, was called out of the blue and suddenly found himself with an unexpected opportunity but it was one he could not make the most of. He was signed midway through January, and according to Abidal, "to give a new impulse" to a side which had won the two previous league campaigns under Ernesto Valverde. But instead of lifting the team, the effect was the opposite. He is the first Barcelona coach to leave the club without winning a single trophy since Frank Rijkaard in 2008.

Right from the start of Setién's appointment there were evident problems, there was a breakdown in communication between his assistant Eder Sarabia and the squad. His message didn't resonate with the players who turned against him and decided to take things into their own hands. As soon as Setién tried to change the system, it was rejected by the players who returned to the system they had known under Valverde. The defeats to Valencia and Real Madrid in LaLiga provoked a crisis within the dressing room, but things deteriorated beyond repair after the team lost to Osasuna. Setién was on the verge of being sacked but kept on in the hope the team could redeem themselves in the Champions League. After a meeting with Messi, he was spared the sack. But his dream of guiding Barça to glory in the Champions League ended in a nightmare 2-8 thrashing to Bayern - a humiliating result which both he and his players will have to live with for the rest of their careers.