Laurent Blanc was officially unveiled as the new coach of France on Tuesday morning and fielded questions from the press for the first time since taking his new position, promising a stricter rule than that imposed by Raymond Domenech.
Les Bleus imploded amidst embarrassing infighting while in South Africa and ultimately crashed out at the group stage of the World Cup. Former Girondins de Bordeaux coach Blanc, who won the competition in 1998 as a player, has guaranteed a more united front.
Blanc has vowed to impose “rigour and discipline, which no one will be exempt from, whether they be called Pierre, Paul or Jacques”.
“I take the France team as it is, but I cannot of course act as if nothing had happened in South Africa,” he continued. “I have followed events with great sadness. I was disappointed by the sporting record but especially outraged by certain conduct. I will integrate these elements into my thinking in the near future. I’ve always had principles and rules of behaviour. I will not change.”
The whole briefing was not conducted in such a tone, with ‘Le President’ starting by confessing his pleasure at his new post.
“For me, the team of France is the best of the best,” Blanc confessed to the press. “I am very proud to be here.”
Blanc has yet to finalise his backroom team, but Jean-Louis Gasset and Alain Boghossian will be involved as his assistant and coach respectively.
France’s first game under Blanc is a friendly trip to Norway on August 5.