Barcelona president backs Quique Setien for next season

President Josep Maria Bartomeu (C), FC Barcelona. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)
President Josep Maria Bartomeu (C), FC Barcelona. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Quique Setien will remain the Barcelona manager for next season.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu sat down with Catalan radio RAC1 to discuss a variety of topics. Inevitably, one involved the future of manager Quique Setien.

According to Sport, he said,

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"“Quique will stay, “Bartomeu said. “I’m quite happy with the evolution that we’ve shown in these games, despite the draws. The recent games have shown the team in a better light and I hope it stays that way. If we don’t win the league we still have the Champions League.”"

In addition, he went on to say that he does not regret firing former manager Ernesto Valverde. That the team needed something to get them back on track.

He cited Setien’s similar philosophy to the club and invoked the infamous “Barça DNA” terminology.

Since the restart, Barcelona have drawn three out of their seven matches which has seen the team fall four points behind leaders Real Madrid.

Only a week or so ago, there were rumors that Setien was under pressure and that he needed to win the matches against Atletico Madrid at home and Villarreal away to keep his job. He drew the first and won the other.

Rumors were also suggesting that Xavi had agreed to become the club’s next manager. He recently accepted a one-year extension with Al-Saad and now Bartomeu confirms that Setien is safe for the rest of this season.

While some sections of the Barcelona fanbase may be disappointed, the decision to keep Setien for at least another season makes the most sense.

A new board will take over in 2021 and unless you’re Pep Guardiola, the next manager might not have the backing of the new board. Second, Setien deserves at least one full season and transfer window to try to build his own Barça side.

He’s been saddled with an aging club who cannot play the old Barça way because the spine of the team is over 30 and time has caught up to a good majority of them. Assuming a significant turnover next season, with the right pieces in place, Setien could finally put a stamp on the team and then one can judge whether he is the right man for the job.

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It is also worth pointing out that Xavi does have a clause in his contract that would allow him to leave should Barcelona come calling. For now, the club are backing Setien. It will be up to the manager to return that trust as well as gain that trust from the rest of his players.