The tactical trick which Enzo Maresca developed with Pep Guardiola during lockdown

Enzo Maresca’s appointment at Chelsea has triggered a host of pieces from journalists looking to explain what he’s all about, including a long read in the Athletic today.

Of course, we all know what to expect from a piece like this – it’s pretty much just fluff and puff and some mostly meaningless anecdotes. But there is some interesting stuff in there too which gives you some insight onto why this man has been fast-tracked to the top.

Impressing Txiki Begiristain, the Man City and former Barcelona sporting director who has been behind the best teams of the last 20 years is no mean feat, and it seems that Maresca did just that. He picked up the positive feedback from Manuel Pellegrini, who had Maresca on his staff at West Ham a few years ago. “He was a winner, that stood out right away,” noted one source quoted in the piece.

Romeo Lavia and Cole Palmer with Enzo Maresca at Man City

A trick he developed with Guardiola

While coaching City’s youth team, this article notes that he started using a full back in midfield during the build-up phase. That was something Pep Guardiola would go on to do with the first team, the implication being that the maser had learned something from the apprentice – or at least been a little inspired.

“Guardiola was no stranger to doing that long before that season, of course, but it is thought that the two discussed it before deploying it with their own teams,” the piece claims.

That very modern move is something we saw Chelsea do a lot last season towards the end of the campaign, with Marc Cucurella looking far more solid when asked to play in that role. Given we’ve got the right personnel and a coach who is a fan, we expect to see plenty more of it this season too.

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