PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 11: Coach Laurent Blanc of France looks on during the International Friendly between France and USA at Stade de France on November 11, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Laurent Blanc, Manager of the French National Team
Career Record: 105-35-34 (90-28-32 at Bordeaux, 15-7-9 at France)
Accomplishments: Though Blanc's time in management has been somewhat brief, his overall win record of just over 60% speaks to successes that should give Daniel Levy and the Tottenham board considerable pause. In his second season in charge of Bordeaux, he achieved a league and league cup double and set a French record for the most consecutive wins with an 11-game streak in the closing stages of the campaign. Blanc also deserves plaudits for overhauling a moribund French national side that tanked at the World Cup 2010 and converting them into one of the favourite sides for this year's Euros; the team are currently on an unbeaten streak which stretches past 20 games.
Before He Was A Manager: Of all of the candidates that are reportedly under consideration for the managerial post at Spurs, Blanc arguably boasts the most distinguished history as a player. Having started out his career at Montpellier, he garnered a reputation as an imperious sweeper with spells across Europe at Napoli, Barcelona, Marseilles and Internazionale which lead Sir Alex Ferguson to reportedly pursue him for five years before signing him in the twilight of his career in 2001, where at the age of 35 he helped the side at lift the League title. Known as Le Président for his cool-headed performances and the magnanimous presence he brought to the sides he played in, Blanc was also a pivotal player for the national side for over a decade until his international retirement in 2000, during which time he lifted the Euro trophy; in 2006, he was voted the fourth most important player for the side by the readers of France Football.
Tactical Analysis: At both Bordeaux and France, Blanc has been known to covet the 4-2-3-1, occasionally adapted to a 4-1-4-1/ 4-3-3 (depending on how the deep-lying player functions) to pack out and add extra creativity to the midfield. This means that his style favours holding players, which Spurs have an absolute abundance of at the moment in Scott Parker, Jake Livermore, Sandro and promising youngster Massimo Luongo, attacking wide forwards, which Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon certainly can be, and a fairly complete number 9 type, the signing of which Spurs would be forced to look into should Blanc take over. For my money, Blanc's side play a possession-dominating, highly attacking style of football which well suits the style and manpower already in place at Tottenham Hotspur. His rotating and fluid use of his forward players isn't that dissimilar to the way Spurs have played this season already. Blanc's preference for full backs which get forward should also tesselate just fine with the tendencies of Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Kyle Walker, while his emphasis on tight passing in the team's 'engine room' would accommodate Luke Modric's stylings well should he stay with us next season.
What Else Can He Bring To The Table?: For one, Blanc's straightforward and commanding managerial style, which stems from his highly controlling presence on the football pitch, would bring stability and direction to a Spurs squad which needs setting on the right track as quickly as possible in the wake of the sacking of Harry Redknapp. His stint as French manager kicked off with a general suspension being placed on the 23-man squad which went to the 2010 World Cup on account of their disgraceful displays both on and off the pitch during the tournament, illustrating that he's not afraid to stamp his authority and oversee a shakeup of a side, a quality which has no doubt contributed to his catching of Daniel Levy's eye.
Furthermore, at Bordeaux he also demonstrated a preference for French players and has of course continued to work with the very best extensively in his time at the helm of France. Notably, he has managed stars such as Yoann Gourcuff, Benoit Tremoulinas, and Alou Diarra at both a club and international level. It is thus not inconceivable that Spurs will have access to some of the cream of French talent should Blanc be appointed manager.
Finally, Blanc is known to favour a painstakingly intricate approach to coaching, discreetly analyzing every way in which his sides can technically and tactically raise their game. Added to his disciplined yet fluid approach to lining up his squads, this respect he'll be the perfect anecdote to the 'Arry-bashers who were dismayed at the FRAAB tactics employed by the Spurs management over the past season.
What's The Catch?: The primary issue that must be raised with Blanc is that he has thusfar only been managing for five years, only three of which were served at a club level. Those currently experiencing the jitters over Spurs' immediate future may not be reassured by the hiring of a manager who compared to figures such as David Moyes appears a relative gamble. It's difficult to argue that a double and his successes with France are indicative of someone who doesn't know what he's doing, however, and the issue of experience shouldn't blight Blanc's obvious credentials for the role.
Do you want Laurent Blanc as Spurs manager next season?
Yes, he excites me (413 votes)
No, he's not proven himself yet (18 votes)
Too many crazy manager options, I just want to lie down (101 votes)
532 total votes