From European masterclass to a Spanish wrecking ship, Barcelona's success graph went downwards quite smoothly this season. Even Lionel Messi looks to have lost a bit of faith towards his childhood team. Ernesto Valverde was sacked in the middle of the season after Barcelona made a poor start under the Spaniard. The defending LaLiga champions were keen to get former midfield mainstay Xavi as the Valverde's successor but Xavi reportedly refused to take the job. Barcelona then opted for a rather surprising option in the form of Quique Setien.
Quique Setien's arrival failed to have a drastic impact on Barcelona's form. The Catalans lost to Valencia, were eliminated out of the Copa del Rey and drew their Champions League clash against Napoli. The biggest low in Setien's spell so far came when Real Madrid romped to a 2-0 win over Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid cruised past Barcelona with the win and it was the first time since 2014 that Los Blancos won in their backyard against the Lionel Messi and co. It was a troubling loss for the Barcelona supporters and even the players were seen disheartened.
The results in the last couple of months have raised many eyebrows towards Quique Setien and his attempt at emulating Johan Cruyff's tactics at the club. Valencia overshadowed the Catalans as Quique Setien was left clueless on the pitch. As stated by Spanish journalist Laia Tudel, some Barcelona players have now lost their trust over Setien. The players, including Lionel Messi, believe that Quique Setien might not be the man to manage a big team like Barcelona.
However, Quique Setien is not to be entirely blamed as fans claim Barcelona's board is equally responsible for the blunder. Laia Tudel added “Barcelona players do not blame everything on Quique Setien as some players think "the management by club directors” shares equal responsibility".
Lionel Messi and co are just one point behind Real Madrid in the LaLiga standings and also have an away goal advantage over Napoli in Champions League. They are still in the running in both competitions and can very well end up winning the LaLiga as well as the Champions League. For Quique Setien, there is a consensus among the Barcelona faithful that either trophy would be a welcome addition to their trophy cabinet in his first season in charge.