Happy with the new boss then, Antoine? Griezmann leads Barcelona stars cheerfully on their way to the first training session of Quique Setien after Ernesto Valverde was fired despite being top of LaLiga
- Quique Setien was in charge of his first training session as manager of Barcelona
- The former Real Betis coach was appointed as successor to Ernesto Valverde
- He went straight to work on Tuesday prior to a LaLiga collision with Granada
- Valverde left Barcelona at the top of LaLiga and in the last 16 of the Champions League
Quique Setien wasted no time exerting his influence on Barcelona as the club’s new manager attended training for the first time since the appointment – and the players were delighted with their new boss.
Ernesto Valverde was fired on Monday evening despite the fact that the club was top of LaLiga and in the last 16 of the Champions League.
But Setien, a student of Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff, was brought in after the loss of the club’s Spanish Super Cup to Atletico Madrid and he quickly got to know his players in an early morning training with Antoine Griezmann among those who seemed delighted with the top modify.
Quique Setien (center) took the lead in his first training session since the takeover in Barcelona
Antoine Griezmann (right) beamed when he came forward on Tuesday morning for training
Lionel Messi was one that looked happy when players went to work with their new manager
FIRST SIX GAMES OF QUIQUE SETIEN
January 19th: Barcelona against Granada
January 25: Valencia against Barcelona
February 2: Barcelona against Levante
February 9th: Real Betis v Barcelona
February 16: Barcelona v Getafe
February 23: Barcelona against Eibar
Players beamed as they entered the training field, with one eye on their upcoming home game against Granada.
The Spanish minnows surprised Valverde’s Barcelona in September with a 2-0 win and it was one of a number of games that had affected Setien’s predecessor.
Griezmann smiled at the camera while Gerard Pique and Lionel Messi saw a joke sharing for Setien’s first session as a manager.
This is by far the biggest job in the 61-year-old’s management career because he inherits part of the race to win a third consecutive title.
After the training ended Tuesday, he faces a busy schedule of obligations.
He would sign a contract in the President box for a photo session on the field at Nou Camp later in the afternoon.
Ernsto Valverde was fired by Barcelona on Monday despite the fact that they were top of LaLiga
WHO IS BARCELONA’S NEW MANAGER?
Born: Santander, Spain, September 27, 1958 (age 61)
Clubs managed: Racing Santander, Poli Ejido, Equatorial Guinea, Logrones, Lugo, Las Palmas, Real Betis
Performance: Sixth ended with Real Betis in 17-18
Won promotion to the Spanish second class with Lugo in 10-11
A press conference would then be held where he will address the media for the first time since his surprising appointment.
Setien is far from a glamorous appointment to replace the increasingly unpopular Valverde.
But what he will bring is a return to Barcelona’s long-standing Cruyff playing style.
The self-confident student of Cruijff once said: “I would have given my little finger to have played in Cruyff’s Barca team” before he upset Real Betis supporters when he added “, of course he would like to coach Barcelona someday.”
He brought Betis into Europe two seasons ago and got better from the man he has now replaced, which led Betis to a 4-3 last season compared to Barcelona of Valverde.
Setien has a nice run to start with four games at the Nou Camp in the next six.
Difficult journeys to Valencia, and to his former club Betis, will prove more o an acid test of his credentials.