Quique Setien, Manager

5 Things Quique Setien Needs to Fix Immediately at Barcelona

Barcelona  acted swiftly in the days following their Supercopa de Espana semifinal defeat to Atletico Madrid, parting ways with coach Ernesto Valverde.


Despite leading La Liga as of this writing, Valerde has often found himself maligned by the club's fanbase for a number of reasons, Barcelona's losses in high profile matches and a general lack of a footballing philosophy foremost among them.


His replacement, Quique Setien,has to address these issues as a priority. 


He is a philosophist, as far as football is concerned. He has played chess against grandmasters like Anatoli Karpov and Gary Kasparov and apparently thinks about football along those lines.


The last time a purist, someone who had a definite philosophy about how he wanted the game to be played was at Barcelona, they dominated world football.


In theory, Quique Setien is an appointment made to reclaim those glory days. But these are the things he needs to fix right away, if he is to even hope to achieve that.


Read Also: What Barcelona Fans Can Expect From Lifelong Cruyffist Quique Setien 

5. Reinstate Cryuffian ideals

As a self admitted follower of Cryuffian ideals, Quique Setien would be expected to bring back the great Dutch master's footballing philosophy at the club.


Under Ernesto Valverde, Barcelona did play winning football but for the most part, there wasn't a recognizable style of play that reflected. A large part of the team's successes boiled down to passing the ball to Lionel Messi and hoping he would weave his magic - which he did.


There was no breathtaking tiki-taka or a modern take on total football. It was all rather workmanlike and laboured.


That would be Setien's first order of task. To re-acquaint Barcelona with the Cryuffian ideals they seem to have so forgotten.


Which nicely dovetails with my next point...


4. Get the best out of Lionel Messi

Pep Guardiola's patented Tiki Taka ticked because of Lionel Messi. Regardless of the ridiculous amount of talent he was surrounded with, the Argentine magician was central to the way that Barcelona side played.


Luckily for Setien, Messi is still around and as good as ever. 


Despite Valverde's rather uninspiring tactics at times - and especially in Europe - Lionel Messi still shone through because of his immense quality; he did produce numerous instances of individual brilliance.


A collective system in which he was a crown jewel, though, was notably lacking.


And when a coach can united that Barcelona team within a philosophy, with the team purely functioning to Messi's strengths, they are a different proposition altogether.


That's what Setien has to aim towards, in an effort to squeeze every bit of magic out of the Argentine's wand of a left foot.

3. Change Barcelona's mentality

Barcelona's capitulation against Liverpool in the Champions League semifinals, their loss to Valencia in the Copa del Rey final and their latest defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Supercopa de Espana semis all have a worryingly similar undertone - an inability to deal with the big occasion.


And given that all three losses have happened well within a span of a year points to a trend, and one that Setien cannot allow to fester.


Foremost on his to-do list would be to snap Barcelona out of this crummy habit of losing the big game. Games aren't won on mentality alone - but they sure can be lost with the wrong one.


Jurgen Klopp's 'mentality monsters' broke Valverde's side in Anfield. For the sake of Barcelona's reputation, Setien has to ensure a debacle like that never happens again.

2. Recruit smart

Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele were brought into the club for big money in hopes that they will fill Neymar's shoes and add an extra dimension to Barcelona's attack. 


Needless to say, both gambles didn't yield the desired result and the club has been left with a bloated wage bill, restrictive funding in the transfer market and two disillusioned players ill-fitted to the team.


Setien has to make sure that when it comes time for him to foray into the transfer market, he doesn't make the same mistakes again.


He needs to pick and choose players that will fit into his philosophy of football as he seeks to reinvent Barcelona - and not just players whose names will look good on paper alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.


If that means missing out on bringing Neymar back in a desperation move, then that's just how it is.

1. Figure out their best eleven

Big money centre midfield Frenkie de Jong playing down the left, Antoine Griezmann isloated in the wings, Lionel Messi free to do his thing but at the cost of attacking thrust down the right wing.


Arturo Vidal seems to bring verve to the Barcelona set up when he plays but has been left on the bench far too often. Ivan Rakitic seems, to put it mildly, over the hill.


Ernesto Valverde never quite put together the pieces in this side until the bitter end - meaning that if Lionel Messi had a bad day, Barcelona were as good as toast.


Quique Setien cannot afford himself this luxury. He needs to zero in on the best eleven that suits his philosophy and get them to gel quickly.


Barcelona aren't just meant to win matches. How they win it matter a lot in the terraces of Nou Camp.


Ernesto Valverde couldn't muster up a convincing argument for that question and now finds himself out of a job. 


Will Quique Setien's Cryuffian ideals be the answer?