Barca squad losing faith in ‘out-of-depth’ Setien


Several members of Barcelona's squad are reported to have lost faith in head coach Quique Setien in the wake of a poor start to his reign.

Barca lost top spot in the La Liga standings on Sunday after they slipped to a 2-0 El Clasico loss to Real Madrid, who now sit one point clear of their great rivals.

That was the third defeat of the Setien era, which began on January 13 following the sacking of Ernesto Valverde in the wake of their Spanish Super Cup loss to Atletico Madrid.

Alongside the league defeats to Real Madrid and Valencia, Barcelona have also been dumped out of the Copa del Rey by Athletic Bilbao since Setien took over.

Having failed to hit the ground running, Catalunya Radio are now reporting a large faction of the Barca dressing room have told them they don’t believe the former Real Betis and Las Palmas boss is the right man for the job.

The players are thought to have started to doubt the 61-year-old and his coaching staff after their loss to Valencia in January – and those fears have only be exasperated by their poor showing in the Clasico.

The Spanish radio station says a number of players have told them they felt Setien made a mistake taking Arturo Vidal off at the Bernabeu in the second half, believing the decision contributed to the loss.

The news of potential dissent in the ranks comes on the same day Ronald Koeman revealed he spoke to Barcelona about replacing Valverde in January.

However, the ex-Barca man turned down the opportunity due to his commitments to the Netherlands national team, with the reigning Spanish champions eventually appointing Setien.

Under-fire Setien will hope he can change the opinion of his squad by guiding Barcelona to victory on Saturday when they host sixth-placed Real Sociedad in La Liga.