“He is daring, he risks a lot, he has very strong convictions and, as he said in his presentation, he will die with them.” So define Manolo Marquez, which coincided with Quique Setién in the Las Palmas, the football proposal of the new coach of Barcelona.
The Catalan coach, who was consulted by the Blaugrana club regarding the suitability of Setién for the bench of the Camp Nou, not that he thinks it was the right time – with the leading team in the championship and well placed in the Champions– to change technician. But since the decision has been made, he considers Setién’s choice optimal because his game ideology essentially coincides with that of Barça. “He will try to recover the level of play, which lately had been lost a little, although Valverde in general he has done a very good job, especially in the previous two seasons, ”says Márquez.
“He will get the most out of each one because he is a person who interacts with the player without problem”
It is not just Marquez. Everyone believes that Setién is the ideal coach for Barça because since the time of Cruyff the identity of Blaugrana football is for him as an obsession he has studied, disseminated and put into practice. Although in his time at Las Palmas or Betis he was accused of having a lot of possession but little goal. It is not something that is going to happen to him in Barcelona, says Márquez, when he understands that the offensive potential that he will have now has not been carried out by the Cantabrian coach anywhere else. “He is a very didactic, methodical coach, quite demanding when training and who knows the codes of the players. In the tactical aspects it relies heavily on Eder Sarabia ”(his second), explains Márquez.
José Bouso, president of Lugo between 2005 and 2015, hired Setién in 2009. He stayed six seasons, rose to Second A for the second time in history and remains in the silver category. At the end of October, when the coach took advantage of the unemployment break to go to a game, they had dinner together. Chickpea tripe. Setién throws the traditional food. “He is a very close, treatable person, very good person,” the former president defines. “With him the fans were increasingly delighted,” he adds, and remembers that as a Lugo coach one day he traveled to Barcelona to see a complete team training. Bouso is from Madrid and would be delighted, he says, if Setién had signed for the white club. “But Barcelona always attracted him, Johan was his idol.” As if it were predestined.
“I would have signed almost free for Barcelona, I was sure it was one of his dreams”
“He has very clear ideas and develops them,” says Bouso, who predicts a placid landing of Setién in the Blaugrana locker room: “He will make the most of each one because he is a person who interacts with the player without any problem.” In the opinion of Manolo Márquez, costume management is what will mark the level of success of the Cantabrian coach in his new club. “The only problem he may have is that he will have little training to practice possessions and position games, taking into account that in Barcelona they play games every three days.”
Who was going to tell Setién that at 61 (he is the oldest First Division coach) he was going to debut in the Champions League, and not with the mere illusion of participating but with the obligation to win or, alternatively, of Make a good paper. It will be on February 25 in Naples and Bouso argues that the coach will face the event “without any problem.” For Márquez, a European debut at that age can be shocking because it is not usual. “Although,” he says, “professionally, Setién knows all aspects of football, already in his career as a player, and is a top coach.” According to the definition of Giovani Lo Celso, Setién is “Barcelona philosophy”. The Argentine midfielder of Tottenham, who played at the orders of the Cantabrian last season at Betis, understands that the coach is prepared for the biggest challenge of his career. “I learned a lot with him. It made me grow as a person and as a player. I think we could understand each other very well. We know he went to Barcelona. We know you are very good people. It’s a bit Barça’s philosophy for how he treats the ball, for how he raises the matches. ”
Such is the adherence of Setién to the identity of Blaugrana football that Manolo Marquez thinks he had signed “almost free” for the pleasure of presiding over the Camp Nou bench: “It was one of his dreams”. “I believe that if everyone goes in the same direction and does what he wants to do, he will succeed. What happens is that Barça cannot lose a match because the demand is very large, as we have seen, “concludes Bouso.”