Enzo Maresca confirmed as new Chelsea manager

Chelsea have announced the appointment of Enzo Maresca as their new head coach.

He signed a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge with an option for a sixth.

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

An agreement between Chelsea and Leicester was also signed on Sunday, providing for compensation of around £10 million.

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

“I look forward to working with a very 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 disruption caused to Leicester ahead of their return to the Premier League and appreciate the professionalism they have shown throughout.

Maresca, 44, was appointed to Leicester last summer and guided them to the league title and automatic promotion to the Premier League.

The former Manchester City assistant was on the coaching staff of Sevilla and West Ham United, before a short stint as head coach of Parma in the Italian second division at the start of the 2021-22 season , where he was fired after just six wins in 14 games. .

Maresca’s attention to detail immediately impressed at Chelsea, having already requested performance analysis of every player in the team, from the youth teams to the senior team.

Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, Chelsea joint sporting directors, said: “Enzo has proven himself to be an excellent manager capable of delivering impressive results with an exciting and identifiable style.

“Enzo deeply impressed us in our discussions leading to his appointment. His ambitions and work ethic match those of the club. We are really looking forward to working with him.

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

Maresca becomes the sixth manager since the club was acquired by Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital in 2022.

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

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 Europa Conference League.

Enzo Maresca confirmed as new Chelsea manager


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

What Chelsea fans can expect from Maresca

Analysis by Leicester City correspondent Rob Tanner

There will obviously be doubts and questions asked about Maresca by Chelsea fans. What cannot be questioned is how committed Maresca is to the job at hand and how hungry he is for success. Maresca is simply meticulous. You could even call him a workaholic.

After going from being Pep Guardiola’s assistant at the English and European champions to resigning in the Championship, Maresca has done his homework. In fact, he watched every game of Leicester’s relegation season – sometimes more than once – in order to see for himself what he was working with. His preparation for each match also consisted of hours of filming the opposition, studying their approach.

Maresca is friendly and jovial with his team and has an open-door policy for players needing to share problems, on and off the field. But none of them left any doubt about their expectations.

“What I don’t like and don’t negotiate on is bad behavior or disrespect towards me, my team or my teammates,” he said. Athleticism. “But I like to be open. I like to talk with players about general things. Everything they need. No problem.”

Maresca may not be the manager with a great reputation and long, distinguished track record that some Chelsea fans want, but he knows who he is and how he wants to proceed. It may seem like a step into the unknown, but Chelsea fans can know exactly what they would get from Maresca and his team.

After all the recent failures of Chelsea’s top managers, perhaps it’s time to move on to something different.

Maresca guided Leicester to the league title (Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

How Maresca likes his teams to play

Analysis by Mark Carey

Maresca oversaw a change in style as Leicester City returned to the Premier League for the first time as league title winners.

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

Maresca’s 4-3-3 quickly becomes a 3-2-5 in possession when he asks a full-back (usually Ricardo Pereira) to come inside to form a double pivot alongside the former midfielder. English field Harry Winks – allowing his No. 8s to push high. alongside the wingers and the central striker.

Also focused on building from the back, Maresca encourages goalkeeper Mads Hermansen to join the defensive line to create overloads and disrupt the opposition press. No goalkeeper in the Championship has had a lower “throw rate” – defined as passes over 40 yards – than Hermansen this season, highlighting Maresca’s desire to be patient in possession.

Much like a Guardiola side, Maresca wants his team to exert territorial dominance and regain possession quickly when they lose it. As proof, Leicester had the second-highest tilt rate (62%) and the most possessions won in the attacking third (five per 90) of any second-tier team this season.

While some may point to a style that can be too dogmatic at times, Maresca was quick to highlight the flexibility his team has shown since arriving at newly relegated Leicester last summer.

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

go further


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

(Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)

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