Chelsea stars ‘change tune’ on Enzo Maresca after making Pochettino’s feelings clear | Soccer | Sport

Chelsea players have changed their minds about the club parting ways with Mauricio Pochettino after many initially disagreed with the mutual decision, according to reports. Pochettino’s departure was said to have been poorly received in the dressing room, but Chelsea’s stars are now preparing to welcome incoming manager Enzo Maresca.

The Blues have finally clicked under the former in recent months, losing just one of their last 15 Premier League games and finishing the campaign with five successive wins.

They sealed a sixth-place finish, booking a place in the Europa League before Manchester United’s victory in the FA Cup demoted them to the Conference League.

And the late surge made Pochettino’s departure a real surprise externally and, reportedly, within the dressing room.

The Guardian claimed that Chelsea’s players were surprised by the development, convinced that the Argentine was leading his young team in the right direction.

A fifth managerial departure under the Clearlake-Boehly regime was said to have been met with disbelief and disapproval among playing staff, who strongly supported Pochettino.

There were reportedly fears that the outcome of talks with co-sporting directors Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley and co-owner Behdad Eghbali would see Chelsea return to square one.

However, new reports suggest there has been something of a U-turn among players after Maresca emerged as Pochettino’s likely successor.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea have reached an agreement to appoint Maresca as their new coach on a five-year contract, with the option of a further 12 months.

Leicester City will receive around £10million in compensation for the Italian’s services after they secured an instant return to the Premier League by beating Ipswich Town to the Championship title.

And CaughtOffside reports that Chelsea players are excited by the prospect of working with him next season, having built momentum at the end of the 2023/24 campaign.

It is added that there is also a belief that Maresca’s favored 4-3-3 should favor the team’s characteristics before his first transfer window in charge.

The 44-year-old represents a risky appointment, especially after the negative reaction to Pochettino’s departure.

His brief spell as Leicester manager was his only full season as a senior head coach. He also managed Parma in 2021, but lasted only a few months before the Serie B team fired him.

However, Pep Guardiola added Maresca to his coaching staff at Manchester City in 2022, which is a promising endorsement of his qualities.