Chelsea legend send club warning after Enzo Maresca appointment

Chelsea legend send club warning after Enzo Maresca appointment

A potential Chelsea catastrophe has been predicted by club legend John Obi Mikel – and he claims it’s inevitable if the team doesn’t come out the gates flying next season.

With the appointment of former Leicester City manager and student of Pep Guardiola, Enzo Maresca, Chelsea are hoping to break back into the top four of the Premier League next season. The Blues finished sixth last season on 63 points with a runners-up medal in the Carabao Cup to their name.

Former boss Mauricio Pochettino left Chelsea at the end of the season in a decision that was agreed mutually, allowing Italian coach Maresca to taken the reins for the 2024/25 season.

Fans have been eagerly anticipating the former Manchester City academy coach’s tactics and playing style since the announcement was made. However, Mikel has warned the new boss on what could happen if the Chelsea team don’t come flying out of the gates at the beginning of the season.

Speaking on the Obi One podcast, Mikel said: “Fourth position next season is a step forward but we want to be winning trophies.

“So I’m sure the Chelsea fans, they’ve been patient, but if we don’t start the season well next season, that is going to be a catastrophe. It will be a bad, bad decision from the owners and they will have to… I don’t know what they have to do because the fans will turn on them, and they will turn on them massively.”

Co-host Chris McHardy dubbed Maresca’s appointment as the “worst-kept secret” in football and asked Chelsea legend Mikel how he felt about the new manager. He added: “It’s massive [going from] Leicester to Chelsea, also from the Championship. So for me, I mean no disrespect to Leicester, they’re a great side, they’ve won the league, but that’s Leicester and this is Chelsea.

“I’ve watched Leicester play, I’m not going to lie, I like the way they played. They started the season really well and everyone thought they were going to run away with it, but then they were a bit shaky towards the end, lost a lot of games, drew a lot of games.

“Obviously we’ve talked about him – Enzo – a student of Pep Guardiola. Obviously if you work with Pep then you must love the game, you must know the game, you must read the game, breathe the game, eat the game, sleep the game because that’s how Pep works. You must be somebody that like to be able to work for Pep for such a long time so for me, looking at it and watching Leicester play, it seems to me that he’s a manager who knows exactly what he’s doing.

“Sometimes when I watched Chelsea last season, it felt to me like some of the players didn’t know exactly what they were doing on the pitch but I think with Enzo, I think it’s going to be different. You have to know exactly what you’re doing, when you’re doing it and what your job is on the pitch.

“Tactically he looks like he is very tactically sound – if he’s going to bring the tiki-taka way of how Pep plays, then we’ll be laughing.”

Maresca will officially take charge of the London side from July 1 on a five-year contract, with an option to extend this for a further year.

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