Having been replaced by Ronald Koeman earlier this summer, former Barcelona boss Quique Setien has opened up about his time at the club and admitted that he struggled to be himself. Setien struggled to make a lasting impact before being replaced after a historic 8-2 loss in the Champions League.
When the news floated about that Ernesto Valverde was set to be sacked, many expected Xavi Hernandez or Ronald Koeman to take over. But despite all the rumours, Barcelona instead appointed Quique Setien and many expected the former Real Betis manager to thrive at the club. This was after all the man who was supposed to be Johan Cruyff’s long lost pupil but things didn’t work out perfectly for Setien.
Instead, of thriving, Barcelona surrendered the La Liga title to Real Madrid and then struggled to play in the Champions League with them getting hammered by Bayern Munich in the quarter-final. But in his first interview since getting sacked, Setien admitted that he couldn’t be himself because of the fact that it was Barcelona. The former Betis boss further added that “he could have taken drastic steps” but it wasn’t possible because of his situation.
"I was not myself. I couldn't be, or didn't know how to be, that is the truth. When you sign for a club of Barca's dimension you already know that things aren't going to be easy, despite having the best players in the world. The truth is that I couldn't be myself, nor did I do what I should have. It is true that I could have taken drastic steps, but that would not have helped either in as short a time as I was there and in which everything was condensed after lockdown," Setien revealed, reported Goal.
"Until that point the team was fine. We had started to change a lot of things. We went into the break two points ahead. Coming back we started well in Mallorca and Madrid's run was extraordinary. In the end, the tension was too much. But really, there are situations that in a different context and in different circumstances I could have been different. There was no time to think or to work."