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Villarreal dismiss Quique Setien after disappointing start to the 2023-24 season

Villarreal have sacked their manager Quique Setien following an underwhelming start to the 2023-24 season. 

The Spanish boss took over the club in October last year, replacing Unai Emery who left to join Aston Villa. 

The 64-year-old led the Yellow Submarine to a fifth-place finish last season to qualify for the Europa League. 

However, they endured disappointment in Europe and were eventually knocked out of the Europa Conference League in the last-16 by Belgian side Anderlecht. 

Setien failed to lead Villarreal to a good start this season, losing three of their first four La Liga matches. 

Apart from their 1-0 success at Real Mallorca, they suffered defeats at the hands of Real Betis, Barcelona and Cadiz to drop down to 15th in the league standings

The Spanish outfit have confirmed they have parted company with Setien, installing director of football Miguel Angel Tena as their interim manager. 

They released a statement on their website that read: “Villarreal CF can announce that the head coach of the first team, Quique Setién, is leaving the club.

“The club highlights his great professionalism and commitment and appreciates both him and his coaching staff for having charge in a complicated situation taken last season.

“Under the coach from Cantabria, the team had a great season, promoting many youngsters from the youth academy and qualifying for the UEFA Europa League after reaching fifth place in La Liga.”

Setien came at a difficult time last season but managed to guide them to a fifth-place finish after a series of impressive results. 

Villarreal’s performances in their first four league matches were highly disappointing, but the Spanish boss didn’t receive much help from the hierarchy during the 2023 transfer window

Three of their best players – Nicolas Jackson, Pau Torres and Samuel Chukwueze – were sold and were not replaced sufficiently. 

The decision to sack Setien so early in the season feels a little harsh. 

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