It emerged yesterday that Tottenham Hotspur are in preliminary talks with France coach Laurent Blanc about the vacant managerial position following Harry Redknapp’s sacking last week.
The 46-year-old’s contract at Les Bleus expires at the end of Euro 2012 and it is thought that Blanc would be interested in a move to the Premier League.
But is the Frenchman the man to take Spurs forward?
The ex-Inter Milan, Barcelona and Manchester United player’s managerial career only started in 2007 but he has performed admirably at both club level with Bordeaux and international level with France.
At Bordeaux he won a total of four trophies, winning the league and cup double in his second season. Of the 150 games he managed, he won 90 and lost only 32 with a win percentage of 60%. Despite finishing his last season at Bordeaux without a trophy the 1998 World Cup winner was named France boss in July 2010.
Taking over from Raymond Domenech following France’s disastrous World Cup campaign in South Africa, Blanc had to deal with a controversial squad which had boycotted training sessions during the tournament.
However, under his management Les Bleus have only lost two games in 25 and are currently on a 23-match unbeaten run, one game away from the Euro 2012 quarter-finals.
If the north London club did appoint Blanc, chairman Daniel Levy would not want a repeat of the 2004 fiasco when then-France manager Jacques Santini was appointed following the European Championships. Having resigned from his post at France during the tournament, he repeated this at Spurs only 13 games into his tenure following disagreements with the board.
The question on many Spurs fans’ lips will be whether the Frenchman can duplicate his Bordeaux achievements in the Premier League. Villas-Boas’ short spell at Chelsea proved that previous league and cup wins with Porto did not guarantee success in England’s top-flight.
The Frenchman’s first job would be to persuade key players Gareth Bale and Luka Modric to stay at the club, both who have been linked with moves to Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively. The Croatian would have done himself no harm with his impressive displays for his country in Poland and Ukraine.
At Bordeaux Blanc employed a 4-2-3-1 formation, playing attractive, passing football with the majority of attacks coming from the wings. This formation would suit Tottenham’s attacking style of play with the likes of Aaron Lennon and Bale out wide and either Luka Modric or Rafael van der Vaart playing in the hole behind the striker.
As a manager held in high regard Blanc may have the pedigree to attract big-name players to the club who only have two established strikers in their squad in Jermain Defoe and on-loan Emmanuel Adebayor with uncertainty surrounding the latter’s future.
Although early talks have taken place with Blanc’s representatives, former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas is also thought to be a candidate for the job. Official talks with Blanc will not be able to take place until France’s stay at the tournament is over meaning Levy will have to wait until July 2 if the French go all the way.
Were Tottenham to appoint Blanc, they would be in capable hands if he could carry his previous success into the Premier League.
He may well be the one for the future Daniel Levy is looking for.