BARCELONA - Quique Setien was named Barcelona coach late on Monday, tasked with the job of restoring the club’s iconic passing style, but the appointment represents a huge gamble for the Catalans given the 61-year-old's lack of success at the highest level.
While his predecessor Ernesto Valverde won two La Liga titles in two years and has the team top once again at the halfway point this season, Setien, apart from some success in Spain’s third tier in 2011, has no coaching honours to his name.
His best La Liga finish was as Real Betis coach in 2018, taking them to sixth and qualifying for the Europa League, but he parted ways with them last season as the team ended up 10th.
The former Racing Santander and Atletico Madrid midfielder’s tactical nous was lost at the helm of Betis, with fans turning against him despite the attacking possession football he played, seeking more passion and less precision.
However, in a stylistic sense at least, Setien should fit in perfectly at Barcelona having been inspired by Johan Cruyff’s side while playing against them in the late 1980s.