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Quique Setien Apologises to Barcelona Squad for Coach Eder Sarabia's Behaviour

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 6, 2020

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 19: Quique Setien, Manager of Barcelona and his assistant Edu Sarabia (R) look on prior to the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Granada CF at Camp Nou on January 19, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona boss Quique Setien said he apologised to the squad for coach Eder Sarabia's behaviour during their defeat to Real Madrid on Sunday.

Footage emerged of an animated Sarabia vocalising his displeasure at the team during the 2-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu (warning: NSFW language):

Ben Hayward @bghayward

@vamos Full translation below. Enjoy!! #ElClasico #FCBlive https://t.co/vBT2YG8kBP

Setien told El Periodico (h/t Reuters, via ESPN):

"We apologised to everyone, we cannot behave like that.

"We don't like to see things like this, we have committed an error and we should try to avoid something like this happening again.

"This situation has affected me a lot, because I am concerned about the image of the club. We need to take care of that image, because we can be criticised for substitutions, tactics, etc, but not for our behaviour."

Per The Spanish Football Podcast, he added on Sarabia:

The Spanish Football Podcast @tsf_podcast

Quique Setién on Eder Sarabia: "Eder is a guy with a great temperament. He has to learn to control himself. He's trying to improve because we've already had situations like this. More infrequent all the time... It's something we don't like" https://t.co/qCDSnXYhxR

Setien also said he dislikes cameras being pointed at the dugout:

Goal @goal

🗣️ Setien is sick of being filmed on the sidelines: "That is embarrassing, that the media use a camera that is permanently following you on the bench. "It is something that should be eradicated. It is something that should end." 🙅‍♂️ https://t.co/fLA67qXMWQ

Amid reports that Barcelona's players were unhappy with Sarabia's behaviour, The Spanish Football Podcast suggested there was nothing out of the ordinary with the way he spoke:

The Spanish Football Podcast @tsf_podcast

We should say: what you see from the Barça bench there looks absolutely normal to us, and that kind of language is what you'll hear all day, every day in Spanish football...

ESPN's David Cartlidge and Football Espana's Colin Millar were similarly in agreement:

David Cartlidge @davidjaca

Genuinely can’t believe the furore around Eder Sarabia’s actions on the Barcelona bench. Everything that has come out in that video is pretty normal within football. Magnified because it’s Barça and during a defeat (in a Clásico too).

Colin Millar @Millar_Colin

@davidjaca Tallies with all the indications that the players have de facto total control at the club and that power subsequently means any internal challenges or criticisms are magnified and blown up. It's clearly an unhealthy situation. Sarabia was just...doing his job?

It's little wonder Sarabia was unhappy with what he saw from Barca's players during the match. The Catalan giants had the better of the first half, exerting a degree of control over proceedings and containing Madrid when they attempted to put pressure on the visitors.

They failed to make the most of their first-half chances, though, as Los Blancos goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois twice kept out Lionel Messi and also denied Arthur.

Real were much improved after the break, while Barca's performance dropped off significantly. Vinicius Jr. broke the deadlock in the 71st minute, and Mariano Diaz sealed the result in injury time.

Barca could have opened up a five-point lead atop La Liga with a victory—which would have effectively been six because they would have the superior head-to-head record—but instead they are one point behind with an inferior head-to-head record.

The Blaugrana face a tricky clash with sixth-place Real Sociedad on Saturday, while Madrid travel to Seville to face Real Betis, who are 14th, on Sunday.

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