Saturday, June 30, 2012

Blanc says stop - Merci Laurent

After 48 hours of reflection, it appears that Laurent Blanc will not look to renew his engagement with the French national team. This is not entirely surprising. While France "fulfilled" its sports goals - reach the 1/4 finals - overall the Euros have to be viewed as more of a disappointment than a success. Here is his "line" -

  • 27 games managed
  • 16 victories
  • 7 draws
  • 4 defeats...unfortunately they book end his tenure!
  • Qualified for Euro 2012 by finishing first in their group
  • Reached 1/4 finals of Euro 2012
  • Notable victories - Bosnia, Brazil, England and Germany
  • Notable losses - Belarus, Norway and Sweden
Le President decides to go home

His record gets a grade of an incomplete from the Frog...why? For me when Blanc took over Les Bleus I saw this as a 4 year project, taking France to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. After the disaster that was the Dumbenech era, I felt that both the federation and the coach needed to look at a 4 year window, barring complete implosion. From the outset I felt that Blanc was looking to develop his "core" find the handful of players that he would build around. The bad ending of the Euros aside, he was progressing towards that goal with the likes of Cabaye, M'Vila, Lloris, we will have to start over again.

Of course Blanc might have felt he lost the dressing room. After managing these egos for the past two years, and doing a good job of it, what took place the last few days at the Euros might have been an eye opener for Blanc. He hadn't gotten through to the likes of Nasri, Menez or M'Vila. Maybe Blanc realized that he was on a slippery slope with these players and if he was still going to struggle holding the dressing room together why deal with this headache?

So France now moves on...most likely with Blanc's former teammate - Deschamps. DD has been itching to run the national team for many years and he finally gets his opportunity. I think Deschamps has the chance to be a good manager - like Blanc he has the trophy case as a player and unlike Blanc a larger body of work as a club manager. But he will have his work cut out for him. Like Blanc he does have a wealth of riches to select from, but does he have the right "mind set" from his players?

Merci Laurent, I wish you could have seen this adventure through to Brazil.


Anonymous said...

When FFF will declare their new coach.. I miss LB lot...France need now another Aimé Jacquet.



GFC said...

The rumors are that Deschamps is in pole position. When they will announce this I am not sure, they have a friendly in early August, so assume it has to be announced a few weeks prior.

With regards to Jacquet, he was given 4 years to get his team together - building to the 1998 World Cup. I was hoping that Blanc would have the same mandate...alas.