If the newest reports are to be believed, Quique Setién might be ‘enjoying’ his last days as Barcelona coach because apparently, we could be seeing a new man sitting on that bench the very next season. Eric Abidal is considering to appoint Laurent Blanc as a ‘temporary’ Barça coach before the inevitable arrival of Xavi.
The former Azulgrana midfielder has already rejected their call once but we also know that it’s his dream to return and lead the team once he is ready and the circumstances are just right.
That means Laurent Blanc would indeed be just a ‘temporary’ Barça coach and would be that transition between Setién and Xavi – someone to keep the team from falling apart until the prodigal son returns.
Unfortunately, that leaves Setién in a lose-lose situation because either way, he’s gone. Unless he somehow manages to win the Champions League, which could be the only way the board actually leaves him in charge. But even in that scenario, he’s just delaying the inevitable.
Blanc, on the other hand, is quite optimistic and motivated. Not to mention that he comes with a hefty resume to back up his case. And then, if he performs well, there might be room for more than just a solitary year at the Camp Nou.
Only time will tell.
‘I am looking forward to this match’ – Pjanić talks ahead of his Juventus return
Tonight, Juventus will host Barcelona in Turin for the second matchday of the Champions League group stages. With both teams having won their first clash in Europe, they are looking to take control of the table by beating their biggest rival.
For Miralem Pjanić, however, this will be more than a big clash. After all, he will potentially face his former team should Ronald Koeman choose to give him a shot. Needless to say, he is excited about it, as he told the press ahead of the clash.
“I am looking forward to this match with a lot of enthusiasm, for all the people I know and I appreciate here at Juventus, but now I am a Barça player.”
The Bosnian midfielder has mostly been among the substitutes but he is ready to give his all, both in training and in games. Of course, with the coach mostly electing to field two midfielders, it was tough to get a spot in the gala XI.
“I’m at a big club and it’s normal that there is competition. We can also play three in the midfield, but that depends on the coach. All I can do is train hard.”
“It’s a new system and I have to adapt to it. I’ve also changed leagues, it’s a new country. I’ll do my best to help my team, like I did at Juve.”
Of course, Barcelona’s start to the season was rocky, to say the least. However, the campaign is long and the team is improving.
“The team has the quality to be successful. In the league we are not where we want to be but the season is a long one.”
Pjanić also had to comment on both Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, players who will definitely be in the spotlight in Turin.
“Messi is the best of all time and it is a privilege to play alongside him. It’s a unique chance to have played alongside Messi and Cristiano.”
“Griezmann is a goalscorer and a great player and I am sure he will play well in the next few games. When he start to score goals, he will be vitally important for the team.”
Finally, a couple of words on Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus and the fact that Barcelona will once again play in an empty stadium.
“They are a very strong team so it will be a difficult game but our objective is to be at our best to pick up all three points.”
“I know Juventus very well and I am waiting excitedly for the game. We would like to play in front of the fans. Let’s hope we can overcome the current situation as quickly as possible.”