Wednesday, February 08, 2012

France out of the Euros...and the England game isn't for another 4 months

Ugh, just when we thought that France had some sanity with the national side and some stability with Laurent Blanc, all seems to be crashing around the team. And the tournament has not even started! All signs point to Le Graet wanting to move on from Blanc once the tournament comes to a conclusion. What happened???

This situation became dicey when the FFF did not want to commit to Laurent Blanc beyond the Euros (that is when his contract runs out). Since he took the role, Blanc has fed the media and others the line that he understood the situation and implied that he should not continue if France fail to show well in Poland/Ukraine. Le Graet recently reiterated that he wants Blanc, but will have to see what happens this summer before committing long term. Of course this has all degenerated in recent days and now it appears that Blanc and Le Graet have reached an impasse. The FFF is now claiming that Blanc is not working with the federation, that he has too big a staff, that Blanc is a prima dona with his own PR team etc...and that since no one (supposedly even Blanc) think France will do anything this summer, maybe not even get out of the group stage, it is time to think ahead. Again...WHAT IS GOING ON!!! After going through the disaster that was Domenech that we endured for THREE tournaments, the fact we finally have someone who commands respect, has the team on the right track and is giving some promise why are we looking to sack him before we have even reached Valentines Day?

From the outside it appears that La Graet wants to put his stamp on the FFF and Blanc is not allowing him to stamp what he wants. Does Blanc have an ego? I am sure he does...what manager at this level doesn't...Mouinho anyone, Wenger, SAF, Klinsmann, list goes on...

Barthez is being paid 90,000 Euros a year, if that is the problem tell Blanc to get rid of him, don't cut your nose to spite your face. Blanc has a PR person. Again is that a fire-able offense? Blanc certainly appears responsive to all the FFF press demands, if his ego needs his own PR then so be it, maybe he is just a good businessman. I understand that no one should be bigger than the federation and nation, but these are fixable issues. Don't leverage these as reasons for telling your manager to take a hike in July!

If Le Graet wants to put his stamp on the FFF, give Blanc a vote of confidence - allow him to be prepared for the Euros by knowing he has a contract to get through to the World Cup. France need to focus on a two tournament strategy, with Brazil 2014 as the main objective for this cycle (with Euro 2016 being in France). A nation like France cannot "take off" any Euro, but it cannot also be so myopic as jettisoning a successful manager at the first sign of "issues."

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