Pundit concerned Enzo Maresca can be “manipulated” by Chelsea’s board

ESPN pundit Steve Nicol is concerned incoming Chelsea manger Enzo Maresca could be “manipulated by the people above.”

The Blues announced the departure of Mauricio Pochettino last month after just one season in charge and have moved swiftly to agree a deal with Leicester City for Maresca.

The 44-year-old, who led the Foxes to the Championship title last season is set to sign a five year contract at Stamford Bridge, with the Chelsea hierarchy believing he’s the right man to lead the club forward.

Nicol worried Chelsea board could “manipulate” Maresca

For Maresca it’s a huge opportunity to test himself at the highest level so early in his managerial career, but for Chelsea it can’t be looked at as anything other than a huge gamble.

The Italian has just one full season of coaching experience under his belt, and endured a miserable 14 game spell in charge of Parma, but has worked as an assistant under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.

Maresca already has an existing relationship with three Chelsea players having coached Cole Palmer and Romeo Lavia during their time in the City academy, whilst he worked with Cesare Casadei for the first half of last season at the King Power Stadium.

Nicol feels Chelsea’s owners could manipulate Maresca.

He will be the fifth manager in just over two years under the new ownership, and more than any other appointment the club simply have to make this one work.

Many people have said the Chelsea ownership were looking to a appoint a “yes man”, someone who wouldn’t challenge their thought process or decision making.

Nicol believes Maresca got the job because the club’s owners were looking for someone they could “manipulate.”

“They’re looking for somebody who they can manipulate, so that’s what this looks like,” Nicol told ESPN.

“Absolutely looks like a guy who, if Vincent Kompany can get the Bayern Munich job, then there’s no reason why this guy can’t get the Chelsea job.

“I’m not saying a yes man, I’m saying exactly what I meant, he can be manipulated by the people above.”

Pochettino had clear disagreements with the club, and Chelsea will hope that’s not the case under Maresca, and it will be fascinating to see how his relationship with the ownership develops during his time at Stamford Bridge.

Tags Behdad Eghbali Chelsea Enzo Maresca Todd Boehly

1 Comment

  1. I’ve lost a lot of respect for Nicol these past few years. The producers obviously coach these guys to be more emphatic than they might otherwise be in order to create drama and drive viewership, and this is a perfect example. Nicol can’t even clearly articulate his thought, but that hasn’t stopped him from stating it emphatically and repetitively. It’s actually kind of sad to watch as he’s asked whether by “manipulated” he means that Maresca was hired as a “yes man” (which seems like the most obvious interpretation of what he’s saying) and he responds, “no!” Huh?! Well, then what DOES it mean when he says Maresca was hired because he can be “manipulated”??? We never get an articulate answer from Nicol. It’s all just word salad delivered with passion (as if the disgusted tone in which he opines on the managerial change is supposed to replace thoughtful analysis, lol). Pretty pathetic coming from a guy who I used to think was not only knowledgeable but thoughtful.

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