Leicester City new head coach Enzo Maresca has made several impressive comments post announcement. Here is everything he has said and what it means.
The King Power club have appointed the Italian head coach ahead of their return to EFL Championship football in the 23/24 season. The Foxes will be looking for an injection of passion, a winning mentality, and the development of their youth side.
What Leicester City’s Maresca demands
Enzo Maresca has tough demands to place upon the players which remain at the East Midland’s Championship club. According to his own view, there is a simple need to win matches.
"“At the beginning, the target is to play in the best way we can. From there, we can build, day by day, our idea and our philosophy, and the most important thing is to try to win games”"
The players will be expected to play in a certain way, developing a particular play style and mentality over the course of the season. Play well, play to a style, then start to win matches as a result. This is the crux of his demands: play to win.
"“also the players that stay with us from last year, they need to change their mentality. The players that we brought in, they need to understand that Leicester is a demanding club”"
Beyond just playing well, those who failed Leicester last season must change their mentality. They were complacent, believing the Foxes were a European-place challenging Premier League side, and that very little could change this. Their ignorant belief led the side to the drop zone. They must see things differently.
"“The reality in this moment says that we are a Championship club, so we need to have all the players with the same mentality thinking that we are in the Championship”"
No more can the players see themselves as a Premier League team, they must understand themselves as a Championship team needing to gain promotion to the EPL. The Foxes need a winning and promotion mentality, not a PL maintenance mentality left over from the Brendan Rodgers era.
"“We will… focus on the squad and try to find as soon as we can the best players for…. our philosophy… We have many friendly games… I think they are all important, but not for the final results. It’s important to see the team grow and understand the idea”"
Leicester City’s Enzo Maresca is demanding players who stay or arrive to prove themselves during the friendly fixtures. The new Foxes will need to understand the philosophy behind the play style and develop along that philosophy as friendly games progress.
The Italian head coach has one reason for these tough demands: stature.
"“I consider Leicester City as a big club, a Premier League club… we’re going to give 100 per cent, absolutely, because the club deserves this. It’s our job, our duty to do that”"
The King Power club is a Premier League club let down by a team which did not believe they could go down, did not give 100% for the badge, and did not take on their role properly. The Foxes need a mentality reset, as Maresca says, because it is their duty to the supporters and for the club to do so.
Enzo Maresca’s comments are important in setting the tone for his three-year tenure. Dean Smith opened his by saying he believed the club could stay up and should stay up. He did not reset the mentality though he did recognise the issue the club had: the team. Smith did not go far enough, and nor would he have had enough time. Maresca needs time.
This being said, the Italian head coach will definitely be getting quite a large amount of new signings with the exodus of talents through expiring contracts and players leaving for Premier League football. Whether or not Leicester will see a side designed for ‘MarescaBall’ or more of ‘Rudkin & Co.’s’ continued managed decline, is yet to be seen.