With the former Marseille boss declining the vacancy, Julien Laurens assesses the Les Bleus' landscape now Noel Le Graet has exhausted his list of preferred candidates
Normally, there should be no concern or anxiety that the France team has no coach. After all, it has happened regularly in the past. The latest incumbent will be the 17th boss in Les Bleus’ history, and he will not be the last.
However, the atmosphere is not normal at the moment. Clouds are forming overhead and the current situation only worsens after a European Championship where the French were still conspicuous by their shameful behaviour and their mediocrity on the field
On reflection, within 15 days, we went from a positive situation to a complete mess. On June 15, after the 2-0 victory over Ukraine and four days after the encouraging 1-1 draw against England, the Tricolores were gaining momentum. Their expectations were increasing as the days went by.
However, come June 30, Laurent Blanc had stepped down from his role as manager and the dressing room was in disarray. The team had been eliminated from Euro 2012 following a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Spain and Samir Nasri was being ridiculed from all quarters leaving his international career, at least for a while, severely threatened.
And it must be said that the FFF is fully responsible for this fiasco. President Noel Le Graet seems to have done everything to plunge the national team into crisis.
He demanded contract stipulations which made it impossible for Laurent Blanc to continue as head coach, leaving him to walk away. He never appreciated Blanc, never accepted his aura or his decisions – the extended staff, the squad spending the eve of game in Enghien les Bains rather than Clairefontaine, the list goes on. Blanc could not stand to feel challenged and decided to leave. Frankly, it's hard to blame him.
After the departure of Blanc, Le Graet convinced himself that Les Bleus' future was bright. But it is only an illusion. He believed that Didier Deschamps would accept the job, but the former Marseille manager politely declined the offer. The 44-year-old was reluctant to "betray" his friend Blanc.
|No name that would excite the players, supporters or media. Le Graet finally gets what he wants: a yes man, that will cost very little|
Taking into account the imminent arrival of Andre Villas-Boas at Tottenham, Le Graet has no other options because Arsene Wenger, who represents the absolute fantasy in terms of an appointment, declined even the notion of an approach.
After the departure of Blanc, the president is now at an impasse. He lost the only two credible candidates for the job and again failed to attract the greatest coach in French history.
In addition, time is running out. The aim is to name a new manger on Tuesday, but the list of contenders is still a little short. The FFF, unlike the FA, will not opt for a foreigner - by principle and by lack of means. Blanc's salary was €100,000 per month, far from the £6 million Capello received annually!
That leaves the French: Smerecki, Giresse, Mombaerts, Denoueix, Le Guen. It seems that Paul Le Guen is now the favourite for Le Graet.
No name would excite the players, supporters or media. Le Graet finally gets what he wants: a yes man, that will cost very little.
Blanc has had an interesting two-year adventure with France. He advanced the team despite his inexperience and lack of resources and the adverse mentality of some players. Le Graet destroyed everything by choosing to start over again. It is a continuous cycle, and no good can come of it.