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Enzo Maresca has been confirmed as Chelsea’s new coach

Enzo Maresca has been confirmed as Chelsea’s new coach

Chelsea announced the appointment of Enzo Maresca as the team’s new coach.

He has signed a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge plus the option of a sixth.

He will bring with him six members of the coaching staff, including former Chelsea goalkeeper Willy Caballero, who was Maresca’s assistant at Leicester City. Danny Walker, Michel De Bernardin, Marcos Alvarez, Javier Molina Caballero and Roberto Vitello will also move to Stamford Bridge from Leicester City along with Maresca.

An agreement was also signed between Chelsea and Leicester on Sunday, providing compensation of 10 million pounds sterling.

Maresca said: “Joining Chelsea, one of the biggest clubs in the world, is a dream for any coach.” “That’s why I’m so excited about this opportunity.

“I look forward to working with an extremely talented group of players and staff to develop a team that continues the club’s tradition of success and makes our fans proud.”

Chelsea are said to be sensitive to the turmoil caused to Leicester ahead of their return to the Premier League and appreciate the professionalism shown throughout.

Maresca, 44, was appointed at Leicester City last summer and led them to the Championship title and automatic promotion to the Premier League.

The former Manchester City assistant spent some time in the technical staff of Sevilla and West Ham United, before a short period as coach of Parma in the Italian second division at the beginning of the 2021-22 season, where he was sacked after only six wins in 14 matches. .

Maresca’s attention to detail immediately impressed him at Chelsea, having already asked to analyze the performances of all players in the squad from the youth teams through to the first team.

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Lawrence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, Chelsea’s sporting directors, said: “Enzo has proven himself as an excellent coach capable of achieving impressive results with an exciting and distinctive style.

“Enzo has greatly impressed us in our discussions leading up to his appointment. His ambitions and work ethic align with those of the club. We very much look forward to working with him.”

During his long playing career, Maresca played for clubs including West Bromwich Albion, Juventus, Fiorentina and Sevilla, before retiring in 2017.

Maresca becomes the sixth head coach since Todd Buhle and Clearlake Capital acquired the club in 2022.

Thomas Tuchel was sacked in September 2022, with his replacement Graham Potter also sacked less than seven months later in April 2023. Bruno Saltor and then Frank Lampard took charge of Chelsea on an interim basis, before Mauricio Pochettino was appointed ahead of the 2023-24 season.

Chelsea and Pochettino mutually agreed to part ways last week after the club finished sixth in the Premier League and secured a place in next season’s European Conference League.

Go deeper

How and why Chelsea appointed Enzo Maresca – and the seven things they were looking for

What Chelsea fans can expect from Maresca

Analysis from Leicester City correspondent Rob Tanner

It is clear that there will be doubts and questions asked by Chelsea fans about Maresca. What cannot be doubted is how committed Maresca is to the task at hand and how much he wants to succeed. Mariska is nothing if not meticulous. He could even be described as a workaholic.

After moving from Pep Guardiola’s assistant at the English and European champions to stepping down from the Championship, Maresca has done his bit. In fact, he watched every game of Leicester City’s relegation season – sometimes more than once – so he could see for himself what he was working on. His preparation for each match also consists of hours of footage of the opponent, studying their technique.

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Maresca is friendly and cheerful with his team and has an open door policy for players who need to share issues, on and off the field. But none of them were left in doubt about what to expect.

“What I don’t like and don’t negotiate with is bad behavior or disrespect towards me, my staff or my teammates,” he said. The athlete. “But I like to be open. I like to talk to the players about general matters. Anything they need. No problem.”

Maresca may not be the manager with the huge reputation and long track record that some Chelsea fans want, but he knows who he is and how he wants to go about things. It may seem like a step into the unknown, but Chelsea fans can tell exactly what they are getting from Maresca and his team.

After all the recent failures of Chelsea’s senior managers, perhaps it’s time for something different.

Mariska led Leicester to the Championship title (Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

How Marisca likes his team to play

Analysis by Mark Curry

Maresca has overseen a change in style as Leicester City return to the Premier League for the first time claiming the title.

The Italian adheres strongly to his coaching principles of positional play, and it is no surprise that his style closely resembles that of Manchester City under Pep Guardiola – given his time as assistant to Guardiola’s first team during the treble-winning 2022-23 season.

Maresca’s 4-3-3 soon turns into a 3-2-5 in possession as he asks the full-back (usually Ricardo Pereira) to come inside to form a double pivot alongside former England midfielder Harry Winks – allowing the No. 8 by pushing up. Along with the wingers and central striker.

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Likewise, Maresca focuses on building from the back, encouraging goalkeeper Mads Hermansen to join the defensive line to create overloads and disrupt the opposition’s press. No goalkeeper in the Championship has had a lower ‘run rate’ – defined as passes longer than 40 yards – than Hermansen this season, highlighting Maresca’s willingness to be patient in possession.

Like Guardiola’s side, Maresca ensures his side exerts territorial dominance and wins the ball back quickly when they lose it. As evidence of this, Leicester boasted the second-highest field mileage (62 per cent) and won the most possession in the attacking third (five per 90) of any side in the second tier this season.

While some may point to a style that can be excessive at times, Maresca was quick to highlight the resilience his side have shown since arriving at newly relegated Leicester City last summer.

“The players really surprised me in terms of how they adapt and how they can change the structure during the game,” Maresca said. “I think there have been a lot of games this season where we started one way and finished another way.”


Go deeper

Why Pochettino and Chelsea parted ways: “loneliness”, injuries and resistance to the club’s structure

(Malcolm Cousins/Getty Images)