Latest: Championship coach “favourite to take over” at Chelsea; Blues “making checks” on his rival

Jacob Steinberg of the Guardian had some interesting updates last night in the immediate aftermath of Mauricio Pochettino’s sacking, and he continues that run today with details about the coaches now top of the Blues’ list to replace the Argentine.

Steinberg says that Chelsea are “making checks” on Leicester coach Enzo Maresca, but that it’s widely acknowledged that Ipswich’s Kieran McKenna is “favourite to take over” at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea made contact with KcKenna’s representatives several weeks ago, sensing that Pochettino wasn’t likely to stay. But they’re aware that they are by no means guaranteed to land him – Brighton and Manchester United are also keen, and there remains a major chance that the 38 year old stays put at Ipswich after taking them to consecutive promotions. That risk explains the serious interest in Maresca.

Enzo Maresca celebrates promotion with Leicester City.

A risk even bigger than the last one

Going for Championship coaches certainly feels like a big risk for the Blues. We all remember what happened when we appointed Graham Potter not long ago, he simply felt out of his depth competing at the very top level and managing the biggest names in the squad. And this was a guy who was already in the Premier League.

KcKenna and Maresca both look like they have awesome potential as coaches, and are showing the kind of qualities both in their personalities and in their football that Chelsea want. But they’re undercooked even compared to Potter, and this is a gamble even bigger than the one which brought the former Brighton and Swansea coach to Stamford Bridge.

Clearly the football that Maresca had his Leicester team playing is something that has attracted the attention of Chelsea’s ownership. But the context of managing the Foxes in the Championship immediately after their relegation is totally different to what would be happening at Chelsea.

Tags Enzo Maresca Kieran McKenna Mauricio Pochettino

1 Comment

  1. The Chelsea FC job is a pressure cooker. To imagine that a manager is ready for the job just because he’s done good work in the Championship is to ignore the nature of the gig, lol! Graham Potter had shown success in the Premier League, but demonstrated pretty quickly that he wasn’t equipped to handle the intensity of the media coverage or the expectations of the fanbase at Chelsea. These are critical pieces of the job and it seems silly to recruit a manager who doesn’t have the requisite experience to handle the OFF THE PITCH aspects of the job.

    The fact that the owners aren’t casting their net more broadly and taking a look at emerging managerial talents like Thiago Motta (who not played at the highest level but this year has managed tiny Bologna to a remarkable finish—currently 3rd in Serie A) is also concerning. Why are we looking at Championship managers instead of guys who have proven themselves at the highest levels around Europe?

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