Even the most pessimistic of prognosticators for Quique Setien at Villarreal did not think he would average 0.25 points per match, yet that is where we are.
With just one point in his first four matches, and that a draw against Hapoel Be’er Sheva, I can understand if you are preparing your torches and pitchforks to run the former FC Barcelona and Real Betis man out of town.
We have two matches left before the World Cup. It seems almost inconceivable that Villarreal lose both of them, given that we travel to Santa Amalia in the Copa Del Rey this Saturday, but even if we destroy the lower tier side by an absurd scoreline it is not very likely to curb the irritation of the fanbase if we lose to Espanyol first.
It is clear, at this point, that the club has no offensive second option when the ever injured Gerard isn’t available, and it’s clear that letting Boulaye Dia go without a replacement this summer was a massive mistake, but neither of those things explain how easy we have become to play through or the loss of the defensive solidity that was almost constant during Unai Emery’s tenure.
If Setien wants to possess the ball in high volume, fine, but there has to be a plan for how to defend when we lose it and so far that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Maybe extra work with the majority of the squad during the World Cup fixes that problem, maybe it does not.
My contention though, is simple. Successful clubs with our financial resources just do not sack managers after six matches. If we have that short of a leash on a new man in charge, no one of comparable reputation is going to arrive to take the job.
Regardless of whether Quique Setien is the right man for the job (and like you, my initial optimism is gone and I have major doubts), we simply have to let things shake out a bit more before we conclude that with the sort of finality that comes with firing a coach.
Stick with the manager so that even if he isn’t the right man, the next person we offer the job to knows we are going to operate in good faith. We obviously have every right to be frustrated, but for the sake of the football club’s future, the ‘Setien out’ calls are premature.