As France haplessly limp out of this summer’s European Championships, scarcely putting up a fight against the Spanish, Les Blues are yet again deemed a failure by their compatriots. The man at the helm, Laurent Blanc had seemingly turned the fortunes of his nation before the ill-fated journey to Ukraine. An unbeaten run stretching way back to last year; Blanc seemed to have catapulted the side he once played for, back to its world beating proficiencies. However, after a performance against their neighbours from the south in the last 8, that seemed both lethargic and reluctant, Les Tricolores have reverted back to square un.
With Blanc now facing the unenviable wrath of the French media, Daniel Levy has his eyes set on the former Inter defender to take the hot seat at White Hart Lane, if reports are to be believed. A three horse race is ensuing between Andre Villas-Boas, Ralf Rangnick and the aforementioned Blanc. If ‘Larry White’ (as Blanc was affectionately known as by supporters of Man United) gallops over the finish line first questions will surely need to be answered by Levy and co. in regards to the appointment. To put a coach who has had only 3 years in domestic management, in charge of one of the most pre-eminent teams in Europe is certainly a risk. Spurs fans will remember the last time a Frenchman had the reigns in North London; Jacques Santini and his 13 games in charge of the club was an unmitigated disaster. Unfortunately for Tottenham fans, the notable comparisons between Santini and Blanc are verging on the uncanny; the two Frenchmen were former players who both spent time at Saint-Etienne and Montpellier. Both coached their respective French sides to Ligue 1 titles, both winning manager of the year for their achievements. Santini and Blanc both managed the French national team and took them to quarter finals of European Championships. Spurs will certainly be hoping that the comparisons firmly halt there, as Santini’s reign at White Hart Lane was almost laughable. He could not speak a word of English, fell out with Sporting Director at the time Frank Arneson and quit after 13 games. The concerning similarities for Blanc is that he too will be working under a sporting director and his English is fairly basic. Surely Levy is not blind enough to overlook the obvious connections, between one of the worst managers the club have ever had and the man that is second favourite for the current vacancy.
Positives are untraceable when perhaps unjustly comparing Blanc to Santini. The former played in the English league for two years so is aware of the style and pace of the Premier League, despite his comedic lack of it when protecting the net at Old Trafford. Blanc is also renowned for his leadership qualities, having been nicknamed Le President by Marseille fans in 1999. His professional career has helped him gain plaudits in his homeland and fits of praise on the continent. However, the echoes of previous managerial disasters at Spurs are just too much to look past. After all, Santini was no also-ran in his days across the channel. He almost single-handedly elevated Lyon to the stature of greatest team in their country over a period of three years. Maybe Levy feels a risk is necessary to shake things up at Tottenham. Blanc may be the only current candidate prepared to work with a sporting director. However, whilst soliciting a move for the current French national coach on his form prior to the European Championships is certainly justified, a more experienced coach with anglicised tendencies may be more efficient long term.
Spurs fans what do you think? Would you be happy with Blanc at WHL? Go Tête à Tête with me on Twitter. @mattpegg1