Yesterday I argued Guus Hiddink would be a good replacement for Sir Alex Ferguson. I still would take him as our manager no questions asked but I suppose the flaws with the argument are that Fergie might not be ready to go when Guus’ Russian contract is finished and it’s not as if he’s a spring chicken.
So that means we turn to former players. Steve Bruce, Roy Keane, Mark Hughes… nah. Laurent Blanc is the man we want.
Reasons for Blanc to be our next manager:
1. He’s a former red who has played under Sir Alex Ferguson. He has learnt from the master.
2. He’s only 43-years-old, similar to the age Sir Alex was when he took over, meaning we could have a good 20+ years out of him.
3. In his first season with Bordeaux he lead them to second in the league, won the Trophée des Champions, and was voted manager of the year, four points away from the winners Lyon. The season before he took over they finished sixth, 24 points away from the champions.
4. In his second season with Bordeaux he won the league, breaking the dominance of Lyon who had won the league every season for the past seven years. You might say he knocked Lyon off their perch… Or it could be compared with breaking the Rangers-Celtic dominance in Scotland…
5. Whilst he didn’t do great work on the field for United, he was instrumental off it, with Sir Alex discussion tactics with the Frenchman. Ferguson also claimed Blanc was a good influence and helpful to players like Rio Ferdinand.
6. “When I was a player my philosophy was always to play an attractive style,” he said last year. “Even though I was a defender, I liked to play the ball whenever I could. I was lucky enough to work with some coaches who advocated that same style, especially Sir Alex. When you are Manchester United, you have the players to play like that. It is easier for him than others because of the players he can call on. I am in contact with him a lot. We tell each other about our teams and talk about English and French players. His knowledge of players in France always astonishes me. For me it is a question of principle. I want my team to play with the same philosophy as me.”
7. His intended managerial career path is to do well in France, succeed abroad (I’m happy for him to succeed with us), then return to coach the national team. He has a clause in his contract which would allow him to leave if a big club came asking.
8. Zinedine Zidane has recommended Blanc for the Real Madrid job.
9. “For me, playing football means having the ball, conjuring moves, harnessing your strengths, posing problems to your opponents, scoring goals and taking risks,” he said last week. “Obviously I want my team to win, but I also want them to play ball. That’s a state of mind, a fundamental principle, and Manchester United and Barcelona share it.”
Larry White, join us again?