The Cantabrian returned to the Valverde plan (he recovered the drawing from 4-3-3) and lived a couple of games of truce (Leganés and Levante), but Barça, without Griezmann in the eleven against all odds, was eliminated from the Copa del Rey by Athletic Bilbao. In San Mamés, and after Madrid’s defeat against Real seemed to open the door to the title, he played a correct game but did not take advantage of his chances. Setién, like the dressing room, was beaten at the last minute with surprising acceptance. The Cantabrian went on to say: “I am satisfied”. “It has happened so fast that I am sorry I could not have enjoyed it more. I would like this to last a lifetime.” Quique Setién served two months this Friday at the helm of Barça and, although everything has happened to him, as a direct manager or notJust a week ago, he assured that he was delighted. So what his stay in Barcelona, for the moment, has been absolutely volcanic and, in the method, somewhat contradictory. Setién said upon arrival that he would speak to Valverde, but a few days ago he admitted in an interview to ‘The newspaper’ that “finally” did not. Also, in his presentation, on January 14, he advanced that he could change things in the drawing. Which he did, but soon forgot.But let’s go by parts. Quique Setién made his debut as coach of Barça on January 18 in a Barça-Granada that, despite solving with a very short 1-0, generated an artificial current of illusion among certain sectors of the culé environment. Barça gave 1,005 passes but, of them, only 203 went forward. The 3-1-4-2 activated by the Cantabrian coach finished questioning the next two games. Griezmann saved Barça from a disaster in Ibiza and, finally, the invention went to waste with the 2-0 of Valencia, where the team was a toy against the Celades team. The 3-1-4-2 was boring and sterile in attack and very fragile in defense. For that reason, and with the ‘recommendation’ of some player, he went on to a better life then.Before the game against Valencia, Setién had experienced his first crisis in the offices. The Cantabrian coach aligned with the club in the decision to send Carles Pérez to Roma with Suárez already injured. “Dembélé is going to leave,” he said to combat pessimism. Days later, the Frenchman broke and Barça was stiff with troops. In between, other news altered the locker room ecosystem. In addition to the doubts about the change of the coach, the players reproached each other for the final guilt of the dismissal of Valverde. In addition, an incident between two heavyweights of the team in the course of training emerged. Setien, however, was able to control the chaos. Before reaching his first month as coach of Barcelona, Setién was already under the spotlight in the previous match at his previous home, Benito Villamarín. Aided by a refereeing push (Sergi Roberto could be sent off before the break), Barça won 2-3 thanks to three assists from Messi. That victory and that of Getafe made Barça the leader of LaLiga. Setién thought that these two victories would serve to calm the Barça environment and that he would live calm days at last, but they were the days of the I3 Ventures scandal, which culminated in a racket against Bartomeu in the match against Eibar.Then came the most important week of the course. In Naples, Barça tied (1-1) but disappointed its people, who were bored, saw a team without a soul despite the draw and feared for the future of the team as soon as they faced a more powerful team. San Paolo’s bad feelings were confirmed at the Bernabéu, where the lousy second half weighed more than a neat first half. As in Bilbao, Setién was again a denialist. So much so that, a week later, he repeated up to five times in the pre-match press conference against Real Sociedad that they had generated seven scoring chances at the Bernabéu. The worst of the Classic was not that, but the noise that was generated around the fuss of Eder Sarabia. Like so many other things, the vehemence of the second coach divided Barcelona’s. A group applauded Sarabia’s public censorship of footballers, accused of absolute power. Others saw it as a populist and disrespectful act that would only have been legitimized if they had been told from you to you to the players. From the club they had no doubts. Sarabia had to apologize for the forms and Setien, reproach him in public. He had no other choice, no matter how soon Sarabia came out to say that he was “proud” of being the way he is and that he would not change. From trouble to trouble, from convulsion to convulsion, Barça reached two points from Madrid last day, with the goalaverage lost and with very bad feelings.But perhaps it is true that Setien has something of Cruyff. And not in his romantic idea of the game. But in the winks of football, the flower. Despite accumulating three defeats since he arrived, two of them in the League where, without going any further, Barça only lost one game in the entire LaLiga two years ago, the Cantabrian celebrates two months as leader of LaLiga after the victory against Real Sociedad and the defeat against Betis. An absolutely unexpected but real scenario. Setien, the stoppage due to the coronavirus, confirmed shortly before completing his second month as coach of Barça, will allow him to do the preseason that he could not in the summer, physically recover their players and insist on concepts that have not yet been well implemented by their players. Two months later, Setién is still standing, leader in LaLiga and with all the Champions League options open. He already warned: “The north wind is pushing me.”
The Pakistan Cricket Board has failed to rope in West Indian great Sir Vivian Richards as the mentor of the team for the upcoming World T20 in India.PCB chairman Shahryar Khan told the media that negotiations with Richards had been wrapped up as the two parties could not agree on financial details and the West Indian legend also had prior commitments. (Pakistan appoint Azhar Mahmood as bowling coach for Asia Cup, ICC World T20)”We are now considering the name of Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara to work as mentor of the team but nothing is final as yet as we have to first see how much benefit our team can derive from his presence,” Khan said.He said Sangakkara’s presence in the Pakistan Super League had left a big impact on everyone including the players.”He is under consideration for sure and we will decide soon what to do as I am going to Bangladesh for the Pakistan and India match on Saturday,” he added.The PCB chief said a lot would also depend on Sangakkara himself and his commitments and whether he was interested in the short-term assignment.Richards was mentor of the Quetta Gladiators team while Sangakkara played for the franchise. (Pakistan legend Saqlain Mushtaq blasts Indian cricket. Here’s why)Khan also minced no words in stating that he had spoken to chief selector Haroon Rasheed about recent selections and changes in the national team.”When they brought the initial squad for the Asia Cup and World T20 to me I told them to consider either Sharjeel Khan or Ahmed Shehzad instead of Khurrum Manzoor. But they insisted it was a unanimous decision. Now they themselves have brought in Sharjeel.”advertisementHe said that even when he saw Iftikhar Ahmed’s name in the squad he had raised questions but now the selectors had dropped him for the World T20.”I have told the chief selector that selection process must be non-controversial as the wrong impression should not go out of the PCB,” he added.Khan confirmed that former Pakistan allrounder, Azhar Mahmood, had been appointed bowling coach of the team for the Asia Cup and World T20.”Azhar will join the team in Dhaka on Thursday while Mushtaq Ahmed, who was bowling coach till now, has returned to the national cricket academy in Lahore,” he added.He also made it clear that head coach Waqar Younis will continue to work until the tour of England in July and August.”After that tour we will decide and discuss whether his contract is to be extended,” he added.