Nov 16, 2010
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So guys, this is my first story ever, I hope it will be succesful. I am a big fan of FM stories and I finally decided to do one of my own... This will be a story of Laurent Blanc and his revolution of French national team.​

16 May 2010
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I woke up at 7.30. I put on my best suit, tied a tie and drove to Stade Chaban Delmas, the stadium of my current club Bordeaux. After weeks of thinking over this situation I finally decided: I needed a new challenge. I had a feeling that things in South Africa will go terribly wrong, my colleague Raymond Domench already said he will be leaving after The World Cup and I thought I was the right person for the job. I entered the halls of Bordeaux and I met with the chairman Jean-Louis Triaud. We talked for two and a half hour. I said him everything I needed to say: that my path job here is done, as I won the League, my team played very good in the Champions league, I won the Manager of the Year award once, and came second this year. It was a great experience and I hope I will return when the time comes. However I did not say where am I going next.
At last Jean-Louis asked me:

Laurent, that is all okay, but where will you continue your career?

I'm not sure boss, as everything is far from over... I remained calm

Come on, tell me... Is it one of the clubs from England? Spain? Lyon maybe?

No, boss, it's not a club...

What is it then? Don't tell me that you're...

I sent my application for the manager of France national team!

Laurent, congratulations! C'est manifique! Bonne chance! He said to me and gave me a hug.

You too boss, it was great working here, thank you for support and I hope we'll see each other soon!

I decided to call all my players and tell them what I decided, and I did it from my bench. The last managerial job as the Bordeaux national team.​

17 May 2010

Jean-Pierre Escalettes: Blanc is a candidate

In his interview with L'Equipe FFF president Jean-Pierre Escalettes confirmed that Laurent Blanc was a candidate for the position. Former France star has expressed his interest in the vacant place on French bench.

„ Blanc was one of the star players of the glorious generation which brought fame to France during the late 90's. He announced his retirement from international football after Euro 2000, following the example of his captain Didier Deschamps. Overall, he recorded 97 caps and scored 16 goals. In 2006, the readers of France Football magazine voted him the fourth best French player of all time behind Michel Platini, Zinedine Zidane, and Raymond Kopa. He also did a great job as Bordeaux manager and now he wants this position. And who am I to say no to such a star? If he really wants this then there is no problem. However we'll just have to wait for a couple of days...“ said Escalettes.

I was so happy when I saw this article. This job is so close I can smell it already... I knew that I am one of the leading candidates and this has made me even more confident. I was hoping that this will be a new era of France football and I was so excited that I might be the man who will return the glory to France.

It's 11 PM. I was getting ready to go to sleep when my phone rang. It was Escallettes' number. My heart was pounding so loud I thought my neighbours would hear it. This was the moment of truth. I answered.​

Laurent, congratulations!

Those 2 words made me the happiest man on the world...

Bring back the glory to our country. Let the French revolution begins! He said these words and hung up.

Oh it will, boss, it will- in fact it started already...​
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26 May 2010


After France manager Raymond Domenech confirmed he will not be staying at his current post no matter on result, FFF president Jean-Pierre Escalettes has officialy appointed former french star-player Laurent Blanc as the next France manager.
"We were thinking about this very carefully, but we all feel that he is the perfect man for the job... The press conference will be soon after the World Cup, and you will find out everything then!" Federation members were quick in response and they left even quicker.

Here are some public reactions: we asked the ordinary people and some french stars what do they think about this decision of FFF...

Michael Legrand, taxi driver, Paris: Finally! After this clown on the head it is a true miracle our Federation has come to sense. Laurent is one of our best players ever, he has done great things as a manager also and definately deserves a chance.

Robert Moreau, salesman, Marseille: I will always remember Blanc as one of our greatest defenders ever. He was invincible at the back, real commander and leader, simply brilliant. If he brings these qualities in our team then the future of french football looks really bright. However, there is a World Cup coming very soon so I would rather concentrate on that...

Zinedine Zidane, former footballer, Madrid: I would like to congratulate Laurent for this fantastic achievement. I know he can do the right job, just look at his results in these two years. He knows some of the players who will play for him and I think he can bring glory to our nation.

Didier Deschamps, former France captain, Paris: This is great news! We are really good friends and I will call him right away and congratulate him. But I think the time of this announcement is wrong. Domenech made a mistake of telling that he will leave and that could be really hazardous to team's morale. Let's hope for the best though...

When I saw these comments I was delighted. To see that you have so much support from the people gave me even more morale boost and now I finally knew I am the right person. Support of my former team mates was also very nice, but I kind of expected it though, as we are still great friends and hear each other quite a lot. I started to dream of a great new French team, the one who will continue our path, path that has been lost for some time now. But who knows, maybe South Africa is the place to continue... However my feeling wasn't that great as my hopes... We'll just have to wait and see: let the games in South Africa begin!

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23 June 2010





Those are just a few headlines in the newspapers today... I feel sick. I never expected such a disappointment. I don' t know why our guys played like that. They are all great players, they are playing in world class clubs and are performing really well. I can't imagine that they forgot to play football for those two weeks. Newspapers were writing of some clans in the squad. We all saw what happened with Raymond and Anelka and all the other players. Some say that certain players were choosing who will play and who will not. There are many names in such stories. Gourcuff, Ribery, Anelka, Evra, Malouda... I know these guys pretty well. Yoann was my key man in Bordeaux. He is a great player and also a great guy who will always give his 100 percent in each and every game. Ribery is also a good guy and I can't imagine he would put himself in front of the squad. This counts for all of the players mentioned above. I can't be sure what happened exactly but I will give each player a chance to explain what happened. Not just Franck, not just Yoann, not Patrice, not Florent, but each and every player will have to have a chat with me if they want to play for our team in the future. I also decided to make one drastic move: all of these players will not be playing in my first fixture, a friendly against Norway. I know this won't change our past and disappointment, but I need to show these guys some things so they won't forget them... These guys need to know that France is above them all. They are not playing for themselves, they are playing for each and every Frenchman on the world. And they need to know it. If any player in my team ever forgets for who he is playing, he won't play at alll, no matter how good he is. As simple as that. Tommorow is my press conference, and the day after guys are returning... Let's hope I could do something to bring happier days for France. We all owe our people a big apology.

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Looks good mate,ill keep an eye on this. Alsoi it would be nice if you added a bit of colour into the text as it looks a bit bland i think. But its a good read so keep it up :)
Looks good mate,ill keep an eye on this. Alsoi it would be nice if you added a bit of colour into the text as it looks a bit bland i think. But its a good read so keep it up :)

Thanks for the comment mate, will try to make it more colourful in the next posts :D
Ok mate,also like the little newspaper cuts in the last post. Its a nice touch and makes it interesting.
If you get a chance check out my story.
24 June 2010


I was so excited I could not sleep whole night. I knew I will have a lot of work to do, but after last results I know this work will be even harder than I thought. My first press conference as a manager of France... God that sounds good. I stayed up whole night, thinking about my future moves, thinking about who will I call up for the next game, how will I introduce myself to the public... There are so many answers to be answered and I want everyone to know they can be confident that I can handle this job. I felt proud but also worried. What if everything goes wrong? What if I don't get on with players as I would like?

I looked myself in the mirror. Come on Laurent, you can do it. Get into car, go to FFF Headquarters and present yourself best you can. I decided to put my french national sweatshirt. Nothing formal, but I wanted everyone to see my connection with this job on the very first day.

Journalists in front of FFF on Laurent's first day

It's 9:30 now and I am already here. The nespapers are here too. I decided to say hello to each one and let them know they can ask anything they want to. There will be no secrets. People have to know what's going on. In return I want them to write only truth. May sound like a deal with the devil, but I hope this will work. They all agreed to my conditions.

10:30 The press conference begins. Jean-Pierre Escalettes goes into the room first. I come in right after him. Cameras start to flash so much that my eyes hurt. I am just smiling stupidly and waiting fot that circus to end.

After a while, the questions started...

Laurent, congratulations on your appointment. Is this your dream come true?

First of all, I thank you all for your support. Of course this is the biggest moment of my coaching career. I can say that I am starting to live my dream.

Will you live your dream or will you just relive Domenech's nightmare?

I will do my best to be a better manager than Raymond was. I know this may sound harsh, but I think he lost his way with the team. I will try to bring harmony back to our dressing room.

What do you think about conflicts in our squad in South Africa?

Firstly, I don't know for sure if they are all true. However, I do know what am I going to do as my first move. I gave this a lot of thinking and I think it's the right decision.

And what is this decision?

I decided to suspend all the players who participated in South Africa campaign for my first match against Norway. No one will who played there will play in our next match. That's my punishment for those horror displays of football and behaviour to all of them.

That's a little harsh don't you think?

I know this might sound harsh, but these guys need to know for who are they playing. They are playing for all of France, not just themselves. No matter what his name is, nobody is untouchable. Especially after that kind of displays.

How will your players take this?

I called them all and explained them everything. Someof them took that better, someof them worse, but they need to know that in my squad there must be discipline. Without discipline, there won't be any good results.

Does this mean you will play defensive game?

Not at all. Football is all about entertainment for the fans, and I plan to give them that. But we can play both entertaining and disciplined at the back. We will defend with 11 players and attack with 11 players.

Who will be your captain?

I am not sure yet. Every player must be able to carry out team on their own. They need to know they must all be captains on the field when the time is right for it. However I can say that the captain must have great leadership qualities and must set an example for all others.

And how will you be selecting your squad?

The only things I am interested are devotion to France, quality and form. And devotion comes first. I don't care about managers, clubs they are playing, their reputation or anything else. In every game I want to see passion for our nation, and if I see this I know we will be succesful. Also, I think our fans will be happy after a very long time...

Gentlemen thank you for your time, our press conference is over... See you soon; said Jean-Pierre and left. I walked out after him.

As I was heading out I heard people clapping. I just smiled and Jean-Pierre said to me:

Good job Laurent, good job...

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Looks pretty good buddy

Thanks man, any way I could improve it?

---------- Post added at 05:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:34 PM ----------

28 June 2010

Trio ends their careers in French national team!

In what was tought to be an expected decision, Anelka, Vieira and Henry announced that they are finished with playing for France.

Nicolas Anelka was first to have done it. At youth level, Anelka played for the French under-20 team at the 1997 World Youth Championship, and made his senior team debut for France in a goal-less draw with Sweden on 22 April 1998. During the 2010 World Cup, Anelka was sent home after reportedly abusing coach Raymond Domenech at half-time during the 2–0 defeat to Mexico. Following criticism of his positioning by Domenech, Anelka is reported to have said, “Va te faire enculer, sale fils de pute” which is not a beautiful translation to be said at least. The incident was later reported by the media, and the player refused to publicly apologise when asked to by French Football Federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes. He decided to retire, after playing in 69 matches and scoring 14 goals.

Vieira chose to make his debut for France in 1997 against the Netherlands. He was part of the France squad in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He was a long-term captain after the retirement of Zinedine Zidane. However, he was left out by Domenech and today he announced that he will not play for his former team-mate Laurent Blanc. In his career he played 107 matches for France, scoring 6 goals.

The last player who decided to retire was Thierry Henry. After joining Red Bull, he called his former team mate Blanc and told him that he won't be playing for him either. Thierry made his senior international debut on 11 October 1997 in a 2–1 win against South Africa.[46] Jacquet was so impressed with Henry that he took him to the 1998 World Cup. Although Henry was a largely unknown quantity at international level, he ended the tournament as France's top scorer with three goals. He leaves France after having won 123 caps and scored 51 goals for Les Bleus

It's all Domenech's fault! states Henry

Thierry Henry called up a press conference where he said that team was playing bad just because of former coah Raymond Domenech. Here are some of the most interesting comments made by Henry:

I know we played like ****, but you can't blame us for that. You all know how can we play. You've seen us hundreds of times working our socks off for France. But then came Domenech and destroyed every goo thing in our game. His constant rotations, not calling up best players... Come on, you must be mad for not calling Karim (Benzema) or Samir (Nasri)
I wish all the best to my team mates and Laurent, I know they can play great football and under Laurent they will show just that.
I am retiring because I think I have past my best, and I also think that there are players who are better than me. I won't be taking place to a player who is better just because my name is Thierry Henry. That's all for me, thank you for coming.

I knew this would happen... Losing those three was an extremely tough moment for me, but I knew that I needed some fresh blood anyways. Patrick, Nicolas and Thierry are all great players, I know them personally and they are good guys also. They are all my former team mates and I just knew how will they react. This was all expected. Nicolas is one of the most temperamental guys in football and he exploded in South Africa. I wouldn't say that's all Raymond's fault, but you need to know who you have in your squad. Nicolas was always a bomb who was ready to explode at any moment and you really need to be an excellent manager to deal with him. Thierry is one of the most talented footballers ever, but as he said, his time has past. I am very sad about Patrick. He was such a legend and to go out like that is not the way you treat your legends. He should have played in South Africa, tutor the younger players and also bring confidence and stability in the locker room. I think that he was a key man for Domenech's unsuccessful era. If he called him up, I doubt any of this would happen. Ah well... So long guys, bonne chance! French football must and will live without you.

---------- Post added at 07:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:31 PM ----------

11 July 2010

Kaboul ruled out for 3 months

Kaboul injury hits Tottenham hard

Younes Kaboul has been sidelined after injuring his right ankle during Tottenham pre-season. He will be out for at least 3 months.

When I heard this I wasn't happy at all. I was planning to call him up for our friendly with Norway and I was considering him as a player who had a chance of getting in the squa if our defensive line gets hit wit injuries. But I guess I will need to seect a squad without him against Norway... Good luck Younes, I sent him an SMS message and immediately started thinking about other solutions.
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5 August 2010

Laurent's squad named

Laurent Blanc has announced his 26 players for his debut against Norway. As he promised, he didn't call anyone from South Africa campaign so there are many new faces here. Here is the French squad


Frey returns to squad

Sebastien Frey
Stephane Ruffier
Mickael Landreau


Blanc has called up PSG wonderkid

Ally Cissokho
Cheick M'Bengue
Yanga Mbiwa
Rod Fanni
Mamadou Sakho
Phillipe Mexes
Michel Ciani
Laurent Koscielny
Adil Rami


Samir Nasri

Mathieu Flamini
Lass Diarra
Moussa Sissoko
Yann M'Villa
Hatem Ben Arfa
Samir Nasri
Jimmy Briand
Jeremy Menez
Loic Remy
Jonathan Biabiany


Gomis set for his first game under new boss

Bafetimbi Gomis
Karim Benzema
Louis Saha
Yaya Sanogo
People might be surprised with some names on this list. There are many questions raised over selecting player such as Yaya Sanogo, Jonathan Biabiany, Cheick M'Bengue... But on the press conference Laurent said:

All of these players deserve to play in French squad against Norway. These guys are some of our finest footballers and many have potential to be great players. They are mostly young and determined guys who will give their best for France. And that's the squad I'm looking to bring on the pitch. Full of enthusiasm and proud.
Nice start, will keep an eye on this one! Good to see Sebastien Frey getting a chance from you, best french keeper for the last 6-7 years mysteriously overlooked by any french manager (including Blanc IRL), will never understand why...

I have this strange feeling that you may have a slightly better chance to achieve international success with France rather than San Marino, not sure though ;)
Nice start, will keep an eye on this one! Good to see Sebastien Frey getting a chance from you, best french keeper for the last 6-7 years mysteriously overlooked by any french manager (including Blanc IRL), will never understand why...

I have this strange feeling that you may have a slightly better chance to achieve international success with France rather than San Marino, not sure though ;)

Cheers kandersson, yeah I don't know why is Frey always left out. I think that he is rtight there with Lloris, and will be getting his chances... Yeah, San Marino challenge is pretty exhausting and I needed a break... Will play two games at a time I suppose :D any idea how can i make this better? Who would you like to see in next game?
It's your story so it's totally up to you, personally I'm expecting a bit of drama and contoversies in the future, hopefully not involving Frey :)

I had tried to start a Vaduz & liechtenstein career before falling into san marino addiction (btw I remember liechtenstein had much better players, wtf!?). I am now persuaded that I will only play my san marino save at least until FM12... and maybe even after that...
6 August 2010

Hugo Lloris suffers horror injury!

Lyon's goalkeeper and French number 1 Hugo Lloris has suffered a terrible injury during a training match between two Lyon's squad. Lloris jumped for an airball but Lisandro Lopez was underneath him. Lloris didn't see him, jumped over him and fell terribly. He was just lying on the pitch as physio approached. He was sent to hospital immediately. Doctors made all the required tests: result is terrible. Broken leg, time of recovery: 4-5 months.

I am devastated. I don't know why is this happening to us. Hugo was my key player in all combinations, a top quality goalkeeper can really make a difference, and Hugo has that quality. All the great teams had a great goalie. Look at our generation for example: Fabien was our best player in numerous games. Also, look at pain: same thing, just the name is different: Iker Casillas... This is a very serious blow. Let's just hope that Frey, Mandanda and the rest can produce now that Hugo is out. I called him right away:

Hugo you alright?

Oh hi boss... So you heard huh?

Of course Hugo, I hear everything...

He smiled quietly.

Don't be scared boss. I will be fine. And I know that guys can replace me. You have some great goalies...

Yeah Hugo, but you were my number one

Thanks boss, that means so much to me. Don't be scared, I'll return even better.

Alright, take care... If you need anything just call me, okay?

Sure thing boss, sure thing... Good luck and kick Norway's ***

I smiled and hung up. I could hear in his voice that he was very disappointed. He is a great guy and it's really unfair that happened to him. There is one positive thing in this injury though. I found out that the harmony between the sticks is great and there are no hard feelings between the guys. And that's a great thing to know...
7 August 2010

Pre-Match Press conference

I wasn't happy at all. Injuries hit us really hard, and the newspapers were saying that this isn't a real team. I thought it is a disgrace. Those guys deserved a chance, and after an african disaster, I really thought this suspension will motivate those who were at the scene, and I needed to see on who I can count from the players who weren't in the first plan. I knew this was the right decision. So I decided to say that first to the press.

Good to see you people. First of all I need to say something which you will not like. I think that you attacked these guys for no reason whatsoever. They are our team now and you should treat them the right way. You owe them an apology, and they will prove to you that they can play very good football. And show you that France's interests are above any others. Now that I'm done with this are there any questions?

Laurent, how will you play against Norway?

I can assure you that we will be playing attacking football, but we will also try to be concentrated not to concede goals. Discipline will be one of my main objectives, and free flowing attacking football will be the other objective. With the players available, I think we can achieve both.

Who will start the game?

I won't be doing this in qualifying matches, but in friendlies I will be naming squad in the presses so you will be first to know. So my squad will look like this:
Lass Diarra-Sissoko
I will be playing 4-4-2 with two very offensive wingers, Nasri and Menez.

What do you think of Frey? Can he step up now that Lloris is injured?

I believe that Frey is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. He was neglected by other managers, but while I'm here, as long he is this good, he will be in my squad. He is the best goalkeeper in Fiorentina, he has been in good form for some time now and yes, he will be the one to replace Hugo.

And how will you select your squad when the bans finish?

I will be calling the best players, ones who are in top form. I won't be looking at their names, just their performances.

What about your captain?

I had a tough time in choosing my captain. After a hard time thinking about it I decided to call him on this conference so that you can hear some things from him. (Gourcuff enters)

New captain of France

Ladies and gents, here is our new captain, come here Yoann...

All I could here were camera flashes and whispers...

Yoann, how do you fell?

I feel great. I want to thank my boss for selecting me. It will be my honour to guide our team to vitory. I wasn't expecting this at all...

Laurent, why did you select him?

Well, I know Yoann best of all my players, he was a key guy for my Bordeaux squad. He is a mature player who will give his best on the pitch. I hope that he will become a new great captain in our football history, something like Didier was for our generation. Yoann will thhis team to glory!

Come on boss, I'm flattered... To hear my name alongside Didier is unreal... I need to learn a lot and play better...

You can do it Yoann, I believe in you, and so does the whole France.

And in next games? Yoann is also banned.

Yes, that is correct so I selected Philipe Mexes as my vice cptain. He wasn't in South Africa and God only knows why. He is a rock at the back and a true leader who will help Yoann. That's all from me for now. See you soon, good bye!