Enzo Maresca at Chelsea is ‘utterly bizarre’ as PL manager standard dives

Editor F365
Chelsea manager target Enzo Maresca
Enzo Maresca is the new head coach at Stamford Bridge.

Eight years ago the Big Six managers were Guardiola, Klopp, Conte, Wenger, Mourinho and Pochettino. Now look at the list…

Send your mails on Premier League managers to theeditor@football365.com


Premier League manager downgrades ahoy
There was a period at the start of the 2016/17 season, where the managers of the ‘Big Six’ Premier League clubs were Guardiola, Klopp, Conte, Wenger, Mourinho and Pochettino. Big names.

Next year we’re looking like having: Guardiola, Slot, Postecoglou, Arteta, and possibly De Zerbi and Maresca. It’s quite a stunning change in the managerial landscape.

Ten years ago it would have been almost unfathomable, certainly for Chelsea and Man United to make such appointments. Given that they haven’t even sacked their manager, it’s clearly speculation, but De Zerbi is a major gamble. Brighton finished 11th and are 17th in the Premier League form table for the last 10 games. It doesn’t scream elite. However, at least he has some track record of Premier League success. I find Maresca to Chelsea utterly bizarre. His track record is as follows:

Wins the Premier League 2 title with Manchester City
Goes to Parma, fails to get promoted with a strong squad, gets sacked
Goes to be a coach at Man City
Wins the Championship with Leicester, who have by some considerable distance, the largest wage bill in the division.

It hardly screams ‘next Chelsea manager’ and there must be genuinely hundreds of managers around Europe who have more impressive CVs. I mean Rob Edwards getting Luton promoted and giving the Premier League a good fight, is a lot more impressive than winning the Championship with Leicester. But it seems to be, if stories are true, it’s just about getting a ‘yes man’ in through the door. Someone who won’t rock the boat. Good luck to all, but I can’t see this one working at all.
Mike, LFC, Dubai

👉 Leverkusen sack Alonso, Chelsea press Mourinho button, Slot quits and other Managergeddon predictions
👉 Five Chelsea players who should be delighted by the arrival of Enzo Maresca
👉 Who will be the next Manchester United manager?

Why City will keep dominating
Interesting reaction from some Utd fans in the mailbox to winning the cup final. After a dominating and deserved victory over their cross town rivals who have been sitting nicely on the ‘perch’ for the last decade pretty much wiping the floor with Utd in that period, the natural thing is to to have a go at Arsenal, who had a very good season and just came up short on winning the league, had a good run in Europe, been 20 years since they and Utd competed for actual real trophies, etc,

It’s almost like fans of other clubs don’t really care about the existence of City and couldn’t be bothered to develop a rivalry with them. If Palace and Brighton can develop beef sure United fans should be bigging this one up over City?
Mel – Dublin, Berlin, Athlone Town

PS. The proposed Club World Cup is a nonsense and just a power grab by FIFA, don’t watch it.


Love for Lee Sharpe
I loved Lee Sharpe. I wore my football shirt tucked out at the front like he did. Had the same barnet and would celebrate goals with the old Three Amigos celebration. Pleased to say I was fourteen at the time and not in my twenties.

He was the player I was always desperate for Spurs to sign, which makes sense really, lots of style but not quite enough substance – and loads of injuries.

Ceefax once announced Anderton was going to United in exchange for Sharpe and Kanchelskis – straight to Championship Manager exchanging the players in the editor mode, only for Kanchelskis to hand in a transfer request and Sharpe to get injured ‘warming up’…
Dan Mallerman


Is it ManUtd365?
Just looked at the Football365 homepage. 14 of the first 15 articles or features all referenced Manchester United – either the club, manager or players – in the headline. I get they’re the biggest show in town, and click-bait pays the bills, but dearie me. Really poor stuff.

As per Saturday, nobody should have been surprised, at least with the City performance. I watched most of their games in the run-in, and while they ran out comfortable victors versus Wolves and Fulham, both of those teams were utterly pathetic on the day – on the beach, as they say.

Against teams with some skin in the game – Forest and Spurs – they struggled. Forest should have beaten them, and beaten them well. Chris Wood had a shocker, missing big changes, and cost his team a match they deserved to win. City were poor. Against Spurs, it was much of the same. City were extremely poor, saved only by Spurs lack of cutting edge in the final third, and of course, Son missing an absolute sitter in the last minute when one-on-one with the keeper.

Even against West Ham, they were not convincing. I felt they were limping over the line, “getting the job done” perhaps, but spared – by meek opposition – the beating their performances deserved.

On the other hand, we knew that United can turn up in these games, as they did with Liverpool in the QF, we knew they’d be fired up, we knew some of their best players were coming back, and we knew they had a point to prove. They also finished the season with a couple of wins, to add a bit of confidence.

So all talk of a City rout to me was nonsense, en-masse group think with nobody capable of rising above the hyperbole to actually analyse the facts objectively. A media frenzy, in effect, with F365 very much part of that, foaming at the mouth at the prospect of a United hammering.

So well done United, very much deserved.


…F365 – seriously? Please admit your disgusting bandwagon-jumping bias.

YOU may have literally written 1 (singular) feature about not sacking ETH, but you have written 100’s more with nauseating regularity about the inevitability of his sacking and who will take his place.

The media coverage has been disgraceful. God help your ‘writers’ if they were subject to the same scrutiny (failed schoolteacher out as website opinion pieces fall short).

I wrote several weeks ago when the media (inc. F365) were glorying in Utd having their worst season since 1989-90 (when they finished 13th their worst position since the relegation year of 1974).

Even in the aftermath of FA Cup victory, journalists couldn’t help reminding us of that. And it is worth repeating: Utd had their worst season since 1989-90 when they lost 16 league matches (vs 14 this year).

Pretty damning. Let’s sack the guy.

But maybe it’s worth completing the sentence to put things in context: Utd had their worst season since 1989-90 when they lost 16 league matches under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Imagine the feeding frenzy the media would have had back then.

So, is ETH the right man for the job?

Who knows. We don’t have a crystal ball. But we do have the benefit of history and we can see that sometimes sticking with a manager through a sticky period whilst they build a squad can pay dividends.

Everyone seems to accept that the club has been a shambles behind the scenes for the last 10yrs, so would it not be sensible to get a structure in place that enables a manager to be effective and then assess him?

After all, if someone can win 2 trophies in 2yrs at a club so (apparently) badly run as Utd, maybe he isn’t that bad?
Lee (not THAT one)


Should Arsenal trophy come with an asterisk?
Just a quick one that it seems nobody mentions. But if Liverpool’s title win in 2020 was a covid title (It really wasn’t, the covid season was the one after) then poor old Mikel has not only won 1 FA Cup in his time, but at that it doesn’t really count as its a covid cup *


An Arsenal season review
Since we are throwing around who had the better season or not, I thought it was time to throw out my Arsenal season review. It’s important to do these before the summer so you aren’t influenced as you set out your hopes/expectations for next season based on this. I hate that people think expectations should change mid-season. Spurs were top in match week 10, should their expectations for the season have changed to win the league and they are now a failure? No, obviously not.

Expectations at the end of last year’s review:
“Based on what happened this season and deals we are looking to get done, has to be a title challenge and a trophy or late stage champions league this year.”

Key words there being OR and whether you see quarter finals as late stage. Title challenge was definitely there but performances in FA Cup and EFL were poor. Hard to argue we didn’t meet my expectations here and generally happy with the progress we made.

Results (A-)
Can’t fault an 89 point league season, results there were amazing. However, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and to a lesser extent Porto/Bayern were under par. We played great football for a lot of the season so a lot to enjoy here.

Transfer Windows (A-)
Rice, Raya and Kai have all proven to be great signing for us already one season in. Timber looks very promising in the limited minutes. However we still can’t sell, Balogun shows this might be changing but a long way to go to prove we can do it. Selling is essential for us to add the squad depth we crave.

Manager (B+)
He is better. He’s now starting to use subs more effectively and has toned down his stubbornness, accepting his Kai in midfield wasn’t working for the team at the time. But, he still doesn’t use his squad properly. Whether he doesn’t trust them or if he just doesn’t want to, if he doesn’t start using the full squad he’s going to have injured players and replacements that aren’t match fit or up to par.

Player of the season:
Plenty to choose from, I’m going with Gabriel as Saliba gets plenty of plaudits. Gabriel is the aggressive defender who dramatically reduces the number of chances we let in, Saliba mops up the rest. Saliba is amazing because of how Gabriel plays his game. Great partnership

Goal of the season:
Rice’s winner at United. 4 games into the season, looking to build momentum and United come to the Emirates. Rice comes up with a huge goal to let us take the 3 points and allows us to build momentum in the first half of the season. 87 points and a loss to this United team paints the season in a different light completely

Overall, another positive season. We made some great signings, results were for the most part very impressive but sales and results in cup competitions remain disappointing, as does Arteta’s trust issues. A- for the season (up from a B+ last season).

Expectations for 24/25
This is where it gets tough. Expectation for next season is another 85+ point season, whether that results in a title win or not is unimportant but at 85 points we should be competing for the title again and that’s where we want to be. I also want to see the FA Cup final or Champions League semi final. As others have pointed out Arteta probably needs a trophy in the next few seasons so I would say minimum is getting to the very late stages of competitions now to show we can before players start having their heads turned. Better if we can get ahead of schedule and win a trophy though obviously.
Rob A (Pep leaving at the end of the season, just as the 115 charges come to some sort of fruition, pure coincidence I’m sure) AFC


No trophy, no bother
The vast majority of Arsenal fans have watched good football this season and have dared to dream. Man U fans have watched a few notable games and a lot of painful ones. Granted they ended up with a cup as the plucky underdogs which must grate as they are apparently the biggest club in the world.

Arteta is on the right path and I remain hopeful that a couple of retrospective league titles are only 115 charges away and optimistic of another great season 24/25.


…I will keep it brief because I can’t believe it is even a topic of discussion but finishing in the top 4 is clearly better than winning the FA Cup. The sane and not ‘in denial’ fans and ALL of the players and management staff at each club would swap the FA Cup for a top 4 finish every day of the week. The game is entertainment after all and everyone wants the best players at their club and to get the best players you need Champions League football. Also, there is a hell of a lot more money in the Champions League which also helps pay for the best players. United will struggle with recruitment this summer, largely because of not being in the Champions League.

It’s funny how it’s always the fans of the team who have won the FA Cup and not finished in the top 4 pushing this narrative and never the other way around. Where are all the Arsenal, Liverpool and Villa fans moaning about not winning the FA Cup? Notice the first e-mail regarding this subject, wasn’t an Arsenal fan crowing about having a better season than Man Utd? I think that alone tells us a lot.

Also, why were the ‘powers that be’ considering the use of a place in the Champions League as a prize for winning the FA Cup (to get teams interested in taking it seriously), if winning the FA Cup was already better? The argument ‘all anyone ever remembers is the winners of the competitions and not who qualified for the Champions League’. I’m pretty sure I could name the top 4 finishers for the last 5 years but would struggle to tell you who won the FA Cup each year during that time.

If your team wins the FA Cup, you obviously remember it but you always remember finishing in the top 4 and even more memorable are the seasons you don’t finish in the top 4. That feeling hangs around like a bad smell all summer and don’t Man Utd fan just know it. Maybe not so brief after all.
Seamus, Sweden