Former Celtic managerial candidate sacked by new club after difficult start

By Euan Davidson

November 23, 2021

Enzo Maresca, heavily linked with the Celtic job earlier this year, has been sacked by Parma.

Maresca, formerly manager of the Manchester City U23s, was the name on the lips of Celtic supporters in March. At the time, it looked as if City Group transfer guru Fergal Harkin would become Director of Football, bringing Maresca with him to Glasgow.

Despite respected Italian journalist Nicolo Schira tipping Maresca to move to Celtic, it never happened, of course. Maresca moved to Parma in Serie B, who were hotly-tipped to return to the Italian top-flight this season.

Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

It’s not even December, though, and he’s been sacked by the sleeping Italian giants. A statement from the club read [Parma Calcio 1913]:

“Parma Calcio 1913 communicates it has relieved Enzo Maresca of his duties as coach of the first team.

“President Kyle Krause and the club’s management want to express their gratitude to Enzo and his staff for the commitment and professionalism which they have demonstrated from the day of their arrival and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.”

It’s been a hugely disappointing campaign for Parma thus far, under Enzo Maresca. The club sit a lowly 14th in Serie B, with just 4 wins [ESPN]. Italian website Serie B News have linked Fabio Cannavaro and Roberto Donadoni with the now-vacant position.

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What might’ve been for former Celtic candidate Enzo Maresca, who’s been sacked by Parma

It’s quite sad, this. When Maresca was being linked with the Celtic job, his credentials sounded excellent. A great player in his time, he’s worked with Pep Guardiola and wrote about “Football Chess” for his coaching thesis.

Admittedly, he would’ve been a risky appointment by Celtic. If Ange Postecoglou, who was considered a gamble despite managing Australia at a World Cup attracted cynicism, this would’ve been worse.

It seems so long ago now that it’s almost abstract. Harkin was to lead the footballing philosophy, with Enzo Maresca his head coach. Celtic would benefit from the expertise of City Group. It all seemed quite feasible, if morally objectionable [Guardian].

Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

Instead, we’ve got a single-minded manager who the fans absolutely adore. There’s a clear vision of how football should be played, fantastic players have been brought in, and fans are feeling good about their club again.

For Parma, the situation is markedly different. Maresca tried to create a winning culture at a club that’s been dogged by financial issues. That’s extremely tricky to do, and he ultimately didn’t stick the landing.

Whatever he does next will hold intrigue. One bad spell doesn’t necessarily define a career.

You could say “bullet dodged”, but that’s a little reductive. There’s little to suggest Maresca couldn’t succeed elsewhere.

But for now, a manager formerly linked to the Celtic dugout finds himself in the job queue.

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