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What Enzo Maresca said about failed Parma stint should send Chelsea owners major warning

Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca celebrates
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Copa/Getty Images)


Enzo Maresca has opened up on his failed stint at Parma which holds eerie comparisons to what he could face at Chelsea.

The Blues have held talks with the Italian over replacing Mauricio Pochettino as their new head coach. Maresca helped Leicester City earn promotion to the Premier League with the Foxes bouncing back at the first attempt with 97 points.

But the 44-year-old's managerial career has not always been a success. After leading Manchester City's development squad to the Premier League 2 title, Maresca was appointed as manager of Parma in May 2021.

Things did not go to plan for the Serie B side who won just four of 13 league matches before Maresca was dismissed in November 2021. When reflecting on his spell in Italy's second tier, the Italian was philosophical but admitted he needed more time to build a new side.

"My family and I loved Parma. My daughter Maia was even born there. I will carry it forever in my heart. I regard my experience as Parma manager as a positive one. By nature, I am a positive person and I take the good out of all my experiences," he said in an interview in Italy earlier last year.

"But I have one regret. I was only starting my managerial adventure when it was ended. We were on the right track, the problem was that we had to try and construct a new team and that takes time.

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"We needed to have the patience and strength to believe in something and over time I am certain we would have succeeded.We were at 17 points after 13 matches - three points from eighth place and with a completely new team.

"But listen in football, we all make mistakes and so did I. Parma gave me a three-year contract. And when you accept a multi-year contract it's because there's a project idea behind it. In those three years, the target was we had to reach Serie A.

"Nobody ever told me that we should have gone to Serie A in the first season, especially as there were about 15 players arriving at the club. But I repeat, we were definitely on the right track.

"I can't say why I was fired. Perhaps they thought with the squad we had, we should have been top of the table. I agree...but just not right away. With a little more time and some corrections, we would have got there. I had identified three signings in January and I am certain we would have made the play-offs."

Maresca's words are a warning to Chelsea's owners. The former Man City assistant manager will need time to build a winning side at Stamford Bridge, a luxury which may not be afforded to him.

At Leicester, he had a promotion-winning squad who were perfectly set up to achieve their goal. But at Chelsea he will be coming into an unstable environment with huge expectations.

If his struggles at Parma are anything to go by, then patience will be required with Maresca. However, the Blues hierarchy have demonstrated little patience since their takeover two years ago with five different managers since the summer of 2022.

Unless a new approach is used in West London, Maresca will need to adapt quickly if he arrives at Stamford Bridge this summer.