Thursday, May 20, 2010

Laurent Blanc costs the FFF 1.5m Euros...too bad he cannot take over now!

The worst kept secret of the past few months - that Laurent Blanc will be the next manager of the French National Football team will also cost the association 1.5m Euros to pry him away from Bordeaux. I would gladly see the sum tripled if they could get him to take over the squad today...a boy can dream.

I realize we have not even played game 1 of the World Cup, but here are some

  1. Be more PR savvy. One area that Domenech has been terrible with is his ability to communicate with the media and fans. Criticism will always come when you are managing a high profile nation such as France, but realize that the press and fans want to like you so make sure you do not give them a reason not to. Do not pull crazy stunts like propose to your girlfriend on TV after you and your team were embarrassed in a major tournament!
  2. Build bridges with club managers. Wenger and Mourinho are 2 high profiled managers that Domenech had open spats with...um not intelligent. I realize there is always a battle between club and country, especially when clubs are paying astronomical wages for players who get injured playing for their national sides. First thing Blanc needs to do is ring the club managers where he will be pulling players from - develop a relationship with these managers. Blanc needs to be able to pick up the phone and have a working if not amicable relationship with the clubs.
  3. Give Domenech banished players a second look. Players such as Benzema, Nasri, Mexes, Mavuba to name a few. The current manager seemed to call these players into the squad and then drop them without any real rhyme or reason. Unlike Domenech, I hope that Blanc communicates more effectively about the reason behind his selection or non-selection of players (see point #1). I have no problem when a manager decides to not select certain players but I think it is the managers responsibility to give some understanding as to why said player is not included.
  4. Show flexibility when it comes to formations. I feel as if Domenech has fallen in love with his 4-2-3-1, granted many managers are using that formation at the international level. However managers need to be flexible especially when, unlike at the club level, you cannot necessarily acquire the type of players to fit your system. Sometimes you need to play 4-3-3 or 4-4-2, depending on the players you have available. What I do think will be better with Blanc is the fact he managed Gourcuff at Bordeaux, maybe you stick with  a 4-2-3-1 but the 2 deep midfielders could be the Gourcuff - ADiarra pairing that worked at Bordeaux, something to be said about players that have spent time together at the club level. Just a thought.
  5. Make better use of the time with your players. What drives me mad is when Domenech shows some creativity and calls up players such as Cheyrou or Remy for a friendly - see the Spain game. But then decides to use his usual rotation during a game that does not count! Monsieur Blanc, if and when you call up new players for a friendly please use them in a game, allow us and yourself to see what they can do in a real game. Also please do not be afraid to try different strategies and formations during these matches. Domenech, too often, seemed to use these matches haphazardly using his usual players, not trying variations of his formations, not blooding uncapped players and overall not appearing to have any strategy. 
Finally...just don't be Domenech. I guess that is already covered, therefore Blanc is already ahead of the game. Short of World Cup victory, I cannot see anyone shedding any tears seeing Domenech finally leaving the head of the national team.

The biggest goal of Blanc's career...still gives me chills watching the video.





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