Setien expects to remain as Barca coach next season

By Sports Desk July 15, 2020

Quique Setien expects to remain as Barcelona coach next season despite it looking unlikely he will guide them to LaLiga success.

Setien replaced Ernesto Valverde in January and was appointed on a two-and-a-half-year deal, with his possession-based brand of football thought to be a good fit for the club after fans grew frustrated with his predecessor.

But the former Real Betis coach has not been able to inspire the kind of improvement some hoped for, while draws with Celta Vigo and Atletico Madrid at the end of June look set to cost them in the title race.

Barca are four points adrift of Real Madrid, who will clinch the title on Thursday if they beat Villarreal at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano.

Club icon Xavi has been frequently linked with a return to Barca as coach, though Setien believes it will still be him at the helm next term.

"Of course, I see myself training Barca next season," he told reporters. "I have already experienced this before.

"The reality is that the expectations one has haven't been achieved, or not yet, but the work done is what must be valued.

"This is what I understand, or what I would like to see assessed. Of course, I think about next year's continuity."

Regarding the seemingly imminent confirmation of failure in LaLiga, he added: "I take my share of the responsibility, but not all of it.

"Making that assessment of finding a culprit always focuses on the coach. I don't feel that we did things so badly, drawing three games [since the resumption]. More merit should go to Madrid, who have won every game."

Luis Suarez has already effectively accepted defeat in the title race publicly, though Setien is retaining faith Madrid will slip up.

"That is his opinion. It is not yet [over] because anything can happen, but it is difficult," Setien continued.

"It requires a team that has won every game [since the season resumed] to lose. We have had three draws that make this difference.

"Obviously Madrid have done better because they have won all eight games. It is possible that a circumstance can arise [where Barca can win the title]. We will fight until the end."

Related items

  • Messi and Fati set Champions League records for Barca against Ferencvaros Messi and Fati set Champions League records for Barca against Ferencvaros

    Lionel Messi became the first player to score in 16 successive Champions League campaigns after his penalty opened the scoring for Barcelona against Ferencvaros.

    Barca were 2-0 up by the interval at Camp Nou, with Messi scoring from the spot in the 27th minute and Ansu Fati volleying in a second.

    Messi's strike means the Argentine superstar has now netted in Europe's elite club competition in 16 consecutive seasons.

    No player in Champions League history has scored in more campaigns overall than Barca's number 10, who is level with Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs in that regard.

    While Messi may be entering the twilight of his Barca career, one player who is at the other end of the spectrum is 17-year-old Fati.

    With his 42nd-minute effort, the Spain international, who enjoyed a brilliant breakthrough season last term, became the first player to have scored two Champions League goals before turning 18.

    Fati added an assist shortly after the restart, turning provider for Philippe Coutinho to make it 3-0 to Ronald Koeman's side.

  • Wijnaldum slams 'unacceptable' Everton after Van Dijk injury Wijnaldum slams 'unacceptable' Everton after Van Dijk injury

    Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum has blasted Everton's conduct as "completely unacceptable" following injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Thiago Alcantara sustained in Saturday's Merseyside derby.

    Van Dijk is likely to miss most of the campaign after suffering anterior cruciate ligament damage following a wild challenge from Jordan Pickford in the 2-2 draw at Goodison Park.

    With Van Dijk having been flagged offside, Everton's goalkeeper did not receive any punishment for the tackle, while the Football Association confirmed on Monday that Pickford would not face retrospective action.

    Premier League leaders Everton did subsequently have a player sent off, with Richarlison seeing red for a lunge on Thiago late on, and the former Bayern Munich star has not made the trip to Amsterdam to face Ajax in the Champions League.

    Richarlison's red card was the 22nd sending off in a Merseyside derby in the Premier League era, with the Toffees having had 15 players dismissed.

    The incidents left a sour taste for Wijnaldum, with the Dutchman believing Everton – who had four players carded on Saturday compared to Liverpool's two – have a track record of being too robust in derbies.

    "Of course we are upset. The way Pickford went in was completely stupid," he said.

    "I believe he didn't want to injure Virgil, but the way he took the tackle, he didn't care. I think we've had it a lot in the games against Everton.

    "In my opinion, they take it way too far in the games we play against them. Sometimes you go a little over the top, but this was too much.

    "We can talk about the tackle from Richarlison, it was also a nasty one. That's what bothered me the most. Accidents can always happen, you can be unlucky, but the way they were doing it was completely unacceptable. It makes it harder that they don't get punished."

    While Richarlison issued an apology for his tackle on Thiago, it was confirmed on Sunday that Van Dijk will require surgery and Wijnaldum acknowledged that the squad are hugely concerned for their star defender.

    "First of all we're still devastated, it's also different than normal. The way it happened is really hard for us," he added.

    "Everyone has a really bad feeling about it. When we were speaking with the players after Saturday I think none of the players slept because of what happened with Virgil. It's a really hard one to take.

    "People will say that because Virgil is really important part of our team. He had really big performances, a really important player for us, a leader.

    "It's quite normal people will say that, but it's up to us. It's a situation we didn't deal with before, but it's what we have to deal with. Everyone can see what kind of impact he's had."

  • Klopp hits out at Carragher as Van Dijk injury fallout continues Klopp hits out at Carragher as Van Dijk injury fallout continues

    Jurgen Klopp has hit out at Jamie Carragher for suggesting Liverpool took a risk by going into the new campaign with just three senior centre-halves.

    The Reds boss opted against bring in another central defender after selling Dejan Lovren to Zenit over the summer, preferring to ask midfielder Fabinho to occasionally operate as back-up to Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk.

    But, with the latter having sustained a serious knee injury during Saturday's trip to Everton, Klopp's options have already thinned significantly.

    That situation led Liverpool great Carragher, now a television pundit, to declare that his former club must enter the January transfer market to strengthen an area he believes was left "weak", with RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano his pick.

    However, Klopp has now angrily dismissed that assessment, and remained tight-lipped over whether the Reds are planning any January moves.

    Klopp said: "We went into the season with three centre-halves, Fabinho and young kids.

    "It’s difficult to have four world class centre-halves. It’s not a position you rotate. If anyone wants to tell us we made a mistake, I think Jamie Carragher. There is a reason why they don’t do this job, they do the other job.

    "It’s our situation. We will see how we react. We are still a little sensitive. We are in a completely different mood.

    "We know since yesterday our vice-captain and the best centre-half in the world will not play for us for a long time. For the future, I have no idea."

    Van Dijk's injury was the result of a poor challenge from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, which was neither punished by the referee nor video assistant referee, or indeed retrospectively.

    Thiago Alcantara also ended up on the wrong end of a red-card tackle from Richarlison late in the same game, and Klopp was clearly still angered by both situations, expressing frustration that Liverpool have been the only ones left to "deal with the consequences".

    Speaking ahead of Wednesday's Champions League match at Ajax, which Thiago will also miss, Klopp said: "You judge us, you judge everybody. A couple of days ago something happened that should not have happened in a football game. And it’s not the first time. I see it similar to my players.

    "Both challenges were difficult to accept. What we all can do is try to change these kind of things. I spoke the day after, it’s really hard for us, yes he’s a world-class player, injuries happen.

    "In the last four years, we were the leader of the fair play table. People make a joke about it.

    "In this game, a few things came together. I have to say, first the ref didn’t see it. Michael Oliver, I don’t understand – he had the best view. VAR forgets the rules.

    "As a human being, it’s not that I want a player to be punished, but it’s something we all agree on, you have to deal with the consequences. At the moment, only Virgil and Thiago have to deal with the consequences.

    "You keep all these stories up, I’m here for a Champions League. But you asked these questions. We didn’t do anything wrong in the game, or since then, but our players are the ones that suffer and it doesn’t feel right.

    "We all accept injuries can happen, but it should be in a normal challenge."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.