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Maresca: I'll improve Chelsea by improving the players

8 Jul 2024
Enzo Maresca-first interview

Blues' new head coach gives first interview as he discusses his plans for the club

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Chelsea’s new head coach Enzo Maresca says he will improve the team by working with the players to help each of them fulfil their potential.

In his first interview since taking charge of Chelsea, the 44-year-old Italian has spoken about several topics including the managers who have influenced his style and what he wants for the campaign ahead.

“I’m very excited. One of the reasons I’m here is because I’m convinced the squad is very good and full of talent,” Maresca told the club’s official website.

“The most important thing now is we are able to create the right culture that drives us for the season.

“I always say the same: if you are able to improve players then you are able to improve the team. So it’s our target to try to improve all of them day by day.”

Style of management

Last season, Maresca oversaw promotion at the first attempt with Leicester City, leading the Foxes to the Championship title and back to the Premier League after their relegation in 2022/23.

Many observers have compared his style of management to that of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, who Maresca once worked alongside as an assistant, while he also played under several noteworthy names during his near 20-year career as a midfielder.

“I think every manager has their own idea or style,” Maresca added. “Mine is quite clear. Last year was very good but that is finished. It’s a new chapter, a new squad and a new club. I’m very happy to be here.

Enzo Maresca dugout

“As you say, [I played under (Carlo) Ancelotti, (Marcello) Lippi, (Manuel) Pellegrini], all of them are very important managers. We all try to take things and then we create our own box with all these things inside."

Proud Italian

Over the years, several Italians have played for or managed Chelsea, from the late Gianluca Vialli to Gianfranco Zola, with Maresca the latest of his countrymen to grace Stamford Bridge.

“[It's] one of the reasons for sure [why I joined]," he said. "I’m very proud to be an Italian manager here again. Probably there is something between Chelsea as a club, as a family, and Italian people that works well!”

With Maresca taking over a Chelsea squad that features Cole Palmer and Reece James, in addition to four new players which includes his former Leicester midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, the Italian has expressed the importance of building a bond with each other quickly to deliver positive results on the pitch.

“It’s very important because we need to know each other," he said. "I already feel I know all of them to be honest, because I’ve watched so many games in the last two or three weeks. So I feel I know all of them.

“But it’s always different when you spend day by day with the person. You can see them through games but when you spend day by day with the players, with the human beings, the people, you receive a different kind of feeling.”

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