Is Quique Setien to Blame if Barcelona Miss Out on Title?

Quique Setien

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Barcelona head into the final two games of the 2019-20 La Liga season needing a Real Madrid collapse if they are to retain their title.

The Catalan giants are four points behind Los Blancos and will see their bitter rivals crowned Spanish champions if they beat Villarreal on Thursday.

Barcelona were top of the table when Setien replaced Ernesto Valverde in January, and the 61-year-old coach was asked in a press conference on Wednesday how much responsibility he would feel if his side does finish as runners-up.

Setien made it clear that he is willing to take some of the blame but not all of it and added that he feels he has done a decent job in his six months at the Camp Nou.

“I take some share of the responsibility for this, but not all of it. I believe that coaches are always quick to be blamed. I don’t believe that we have done too badly by drawing three games. I’d give Real Madrid more credit for winning every game since the restart.”

Barcelona has played 17 league games since Setien took charge, winning 12 of those matches. The Catalan giants have only lost twice but draws against Sevilla, Celta Vigo, and Atletico Madrid have proved costly and allowed Real Madrid to leapfrog them in the table.

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Barcelona Falter at the Finish

Barcelona had looked on course to retain their title when La Liga resumed in June after a three-month break due to Covid-19. Setien’s side restarted two points clear of Real Madrid but have dropped points unlike Los Blancos who have won all nine matches.

Former Barcelona star Rivaldo has blamed the team’s slump on their quality of football when writing about the team in his Betfair column.

“The team was leading La Liga before the lockdown and now is four points behind Madrid, so you can’t say VAR is the main reason for that, especially when the team is not playing well.

“Barca’s team spirit was affected by the lockdown, some of their players aren’t in peak condition and playing without fans has removed some of the emotion from their play. But Real Madrid managed to find their rhythm right away and took advantage of that.”

Meanwhile, Barcelona striker Luis Suarez told Sport’s Albert Masnou that his team only have themselves to blame if they don’t win La Liga and added it will be “because of our own mistakes.”


Setien Confident He’ll Continue

Barcelona being knocked off the top of the table has brought fresh speculation over Setien’s future at the club. The coach also addressed talk about his future and insisted he will still be at the club next season.

“Of course I see myself coaching here next season. It’s true that what’s happening at the moment you have seen before, but the reality is that, some times, sometimes you don’t reach the ambitions you have. Or you do, but behind it all there is work being done that has to be assessed.”

“Its not just the result, but the perception of whether the work being done is good or not. That’s how I understand it and I would like things to be assessed on if the work is good. More could be achieved still, but of course I am thinking about continuing next season.”

Setien could still achieve success this season even if Barcelona does miss out on the league title. The club are still in the Champions League and resume their campaign in August with a last-16 second leg against Napoli at the Camp Nou.

READ NEXT: Luis Suarez Explains What Lionel Messi Wants From Barcelona

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