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10-Nov-2020, 07:30 pm

‘Setien shouldn’t have made Messi excuses’ – Former Barcelona boss shot himself in the foot, says Bojan

Lionel Messi, Quique Setien

Quique Setien should not have dragged Lionel Messi’s name into his list of excuses for failing at Barcelona, says Bojan Krkic, with an ousted coach considered to have shot himself in the foot.

Setien has accused Barca talisman Messi of being “difficult to manage”, with the six-time Ballon d’Or winner considered to hold too much power at the Liga outfit.

Bojan, though, believes that the 62-year-old is merely looking to cover up his own deficiencies, with anyone taking the reins at one of the biggest clubs in world football fully aware of the pressure and challenges they will face.

The former Blaugrana star, who graduated out of the famed La Masia academy system alongside Messi, told Sport: “Being part of Barca comes with a lot of hard work but it's also a privilege.

"Quique Setien landed the top job and, despite everything, is now part of the club's history. No one can take that away from him, regardless of the fact Barca could clearly have done better with him in charge.

“Not everything that went wrong would have been to do with him but when things don't go as you hoped, what you shouldn'tdo is look for excuses elsewhere - especially in a public forum.

“For that reason, Setien's recent comments seemed unfortunate to me. To resort to excuses and to focus on the best player, I think is to shoot yourself in your foot if you want to coach a club of a certain size again in the future, where there are always strong characters in the dressing room.

“Because what was Setien's real problem? That Lionel Messi is difficult or that he and his staff were not capable of managing the level of demand that comes with these types of players? I think that's the key question.

“Setien was wrong to look for excuses outside and not look at himself, but what really concerns me is that this is a problem that's found too frequently at Barca.

“That's why I like Ronald Koeman's attitude so much. Beyond what's happening, he's showing that he's a coach with charisma and character. He's making decisions with the club in mind (which may later prove incorrect) but at least he's making it obvious that he's not looking for excuses despite the difficulty of the situation.

“He could use many things as justification for results, but what he's done is make big choices without shaking. You feel something's being built and that is something right now.

“No one is looking for guilt at the moment and that invites me to think that a positive evolution is afoot. That motivates me. Time will tell.”

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