One of the front-runners for the managerial job at Celtic, Enzo Maresca, has been speaking to Italian media about his coaching philosophy and relationship with Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
Maresca remains third favourite for the vacant position at Celtic Park, despite never holding a job in management at senior level. [Oddschecker]
He’s the current Man City U23s boss, however, and is still one of the most discussed names by the online Celtic support, in relation to the job.
Maresca refused to speak to The Sunday Post last weekend about the Celtic speculation but was in a more talkative mood with La Gazzetta dello Sport in his homeland today (04/03 print edition, page 21).
The subject didn’t rear its head, but the 41-year-old did talk about life at City and how his coaching philosophy is based on his love of chess.
He said: “My thesis at Coverciano [Italian coaching centre] is called ‘Football and Chess’. There are a lot of similarities.
“The most important is positional play and strategy. For a coach it’s important to have the mentality of a chess player: develop a plan, study counter moves, choose the arrangement of the pieces.”
Asked about how he ended up working with Guardiola, Maresca replied: “The first meeting was after a Barcelona-Malaga game. Pep told me about his time with Brescia and [Carlo] Mazzone. In Manchester, the relationship was consolidated.
“Manuel Pellegrini had just been sacked by West Ham. I was his assistant and I tried to take advantage of my free time to study Pep’s football. The academy idea came later. There was some doubt at first relating to my staff but we managed to fix those problems and I accepted.
“I was offered a unique chance.”
Elsewhere he talks about his adaptability for living in different countries around Europe, learning to become fluent in English and his daily routine.
It’s all of interest amid the Celtic links.
Celtic move for Enzo Maresca feels risky, but…
Given he has never taken charge of a senior club, nevermind one with the pressures and media glare of Celtic, a move for Maresca is always going to be seen as a risk.
However, perhaps the Bhoys do need a bold new coaching direction.
If Maresca is working under a senior, experienced Director of Football and is judged to have the coaching expertise needed, it could be a masterstroke on Celtic’s part.
He’s clearly a student of the game and you don’t get to work under Guardiola in that capacity unless you have competency on the training ground.
For me, he remains one of the most intriguing options speculated on so far, and well worth taking seriously over the coming weeks and months.