Quique Setien talks Ansu Fati, Arthur, Pjanic, Barcelona-Celta, Rafinha and Riqui Puig

Barcelona manager Quique Setien spoke to the media ahead of Catalans’ trip to Vigo to face Celta. He spoke about Arthur Melo, Miralem Pjanic, Rafinha, Oscar Garcia, Riqui Puig and Ansu Fati.

Here is a transcript of Setien’s press conference on Friday:

“In principle I still have Arthur, he is important like the rest of the players. He is going to train and in principle he will travel with us with the possibility of playing tomorrow. I hope that all this noise does not affect him, and that he shows the best version of himself if he plays.”

“Arthur is going to train, he is going to travel and he is sure to be with us until the last game, and I am going to manage it saying that he must keep his commitment until the last day and be a professional in the club that pays him. I am sure Arthur will keep at it until the final day.”

“What is happening is abnormal. Any player in this situation must take into account that the season is not over and that if he has to leave, he must leave a good memory and try to win a title. I hope that the honesty and professionalism of all the players will be shown until the end of the season.”

“What can happen with Arthur has happened to many clubs and players. There will be those who will think that it is a good opportunity or who believe that they should wait on him due to his young age. We will never know that. In general, and not only because of Arthur, he is not the first or last player with high expectations where things in the end do not turn out as expected.”

“Pjanic? I am not going to talk about hypotheses although I am in full communication with the technical secretary. I do not ask for too many explanations every day either, because I can’t get worn out on things we don’t know whether will happen or not. I focus on tomorrow’s very important game.”

Talking to The Barcelona Podcast, I discussed the many reasons why Arthur’s time at the Camp Nou has come to an end much earlier than expected – Listen now:

Setien also discussed the impact that Riqui Puig could make in the game against Celta:

“It could be a good chance for Riqui Puig, with us having absences from players as important as De Jong and Sergio Busquets. He also had chances before but these are things that we assess day by day, through the daily work and depending on the game at hand.”

“Riqui has had an important development in this time. Indeed, the attitude has always been excellent, extraordinary at work, but we have had to point things out to him so that he adapts to what the team needs and what he can do. We have seen lately that he has shown a good level in the minutes he has played, and in training we have seen the same commitment to what we ask for, and that is the way of doing things. It is a process that for some takes a little longer and others a little less. Now it’s a matter of keeping that version permanently because that is what gives more chances for him to play, in considering that we are in Barcelona and that this club is the best club.”

“I am not very aware of everything that is said, because it is true that there are so many and varied opinions that sometimes few people agree with. I do normally listen, but other things influence me more than what I see and what each player can give the team in a certain moment. All this is backed by the closest people who work with me. I accept that there is a variation of criteria but in the end you have to decide and be quite aseptic because I have to pay attention to what I see and what I believe in.”

“Refereeing controversies? Since I was a player, it was like this. This is inherent in football and what I try to do is stay on the sidelines because it will continue to be like this.”

“We are just one more piece in this gear. We don’t have much to say, other than to accept what comes and how it comes. Everyone can complain about the signings, the schedules, VAR etc. I think we should all think that circumstances have caused all this to happen and fortunately we can play a championship that was stopped; but that has a series of consequences that we must accept.”

“Of course, I am still convinced that Real Madrid, as well as ourselves, can drop points. We have tied. They are in a good stride, like we are in many aspects, but of course I believe that at some point they wlil make a mistake.”

“The reality is that the games against Celta and Atlético are complicated games, but anyone can provide a complicated game. We are already seeing how tight the results are, but I think we will have to wait for the last day. Two complicated games are indeed coming, like the previous ones were.”

In our latest The Barcelona Podcast, I argued that Barca should fully focus on their own performances rather than wasting time complaining about the very strange relationship between La Liga referees and Real Madrid – especially since the league recently restarted.

Setien continues to be optimistic:

“A lot of things can still happen in this league, even that we arrive even to the last game and something unexpected happens — we’ll see.”

“Celta? All the teams would like to defend very well accumulating a lot of people and then when they have the ball, they attack well too. In the last three games they have not conceded and it is a sign that they are doing well. They are also very talented in attack, with players who know what to do with the ball — they are very smart. In principle, it will be a difficult game that I hope to get ahead and win, but [it would happen] with difficulties.”

“Rafinha is playing very well and his team too, by raising his spirits with the results. Rafinha is doing very well, he has a lot of talent like Denis (Suárez) or Iago (Aspas) … There are players in Celta that I like a lot, and when they are associated with each other, it influences the performance of the team.”