So far, so good for Enzo Maresca at Leicester City, with the Foxes sitting pretty at the top of the Championship having won nine of their 10 matches in the English second-tier so far in 2023/24.
Just like Mikel Arteta before him, Maresca left the comfort of being by Pep Guardiola’s side to branch out on his own, and similar to the Arsenal manager, success has come quickly.
However, it’s not all plain sailing for the manager and he’s particularly unhappy with one of his players it seems.
“I’ve spoken with Wout (Faes) many times,” he said in his pre-match press conference (h/t Leicestershire Live).
“For me he has the potential to be a big-team central defender. But at the same time he needs to understand that the only way is to always be on the game, to be focused, and every time to give 100 per cent.
“Because you can see there are some moments during the games where he looks a little bit like he’s not present in the game. If he can be able to be focused for 95 minutes, for sure he’s a good central defender. The difference between a top central defender and a good central defender is that they are able to be focused for 95 minutes in the game.”
Leicester have certainly set the pace so far but Maresca will be acutely aware that the Championship is one of the most unforgiving leagues.
To be able to keep up the same level of intensity and performance over 46 games is almost impossible.
Not to mention that by sitting atop the pile the Foxes are there to be toppled from their perch, and opponents will delight in being able to take them down.
The extra effort they’ll give for the scalp of the league leaders could prove too much for Leicester on future occasions and that’s why Maresca wants total focus from his staff.
Wout Faes has been warned.