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Hand of Brod: Is Laurent Blanc's Time Running Out at PSG?

Laurent Blanc’s future as Paris Saint-Germain manager could be in jeopardy despite being offered a new contract according to a report by Reuters. The Frenchman has a deal on the table to extend his contract past June 2015 and he will decide his own future after the final of the Coupe de la Ligue this weekend.

It just seems ironic that in this day and age we seem to cast doubt over the future of football managers when a contract extension has been offered. Yet it is the evolution of the modern game that has commanded a “win now” philosophy, something that Laurent Blanc has faltered on as of late.

Which makes this entire scenario even more ironic when Blanc is about to guide his team to their second consecutive league title with four games to spare. But the defeats suffered against Chelsea in the Champions League as well as Lyon (who they will face in the final of the Coupe de la Ligue this Saturday) in Ligue 1 has dampened the spirits of Blanc’s successes.

According to a report from French newspaper L’Equipe, when Ancelotti’s men lost to Barcelona at the same stage of the Champions League last season, the club’s owner decided to congratulate him. Blanc received nothing for suffering an even narrower defeat to Chelsea—a team who won the Champions League more recently than their Catalonian rivals.

May be it is the manner that the Parisian club lost their Champions League tie. They were ahead 3-1 heading into the second leg at Stamford Bridge and all they needed was one goal against a Chelsea side who are not that good going forward. Instead all attacking flair was lost with Cavani heading up the attack instead of Ibrahimovic and the defensive tactics that the French club played went against them big time.

It would not be that audacious to say that PSG are a “one man team” and that without Ibrahimovic they seemingly fade away into an average side. This could be exemplified by their 1-0 loss to Lyon even though they had around 70% possession and more chances in the match.

Another fumble down the stretch and Blanc could be unemployed at the end of the season despite talks of a possible contract extension. Their match against Lyon this Saturday could be one of the many deciding factors.

Blanc is quite used to managing teams to success before witnessing an implosion. He managed Bordeaux to league success in 2009 before watching them fall to sixth the following season and completely missing out on European football. The same happened with the French national squad when a 20+ game winning streak was soon swiftly ended by two dismal defeats by Sweden and Spain in Euro 2012.

It also depends on how trigger happy the Qatari owners are feeling and if there have been discussions on who will take over as PSG manager if Blanc is forced to depart.

There are numerous managers that could potentially take up the role. Before Blanc was handed his current role, there were a lot of rumours circulating that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was ready to succeed Carlo Ancelotti—but they were just merely rumours. However, with Wenger staring at a possible fifth place finish and the fact that he has yet to extend his contract suggests that he might be leaving Arsenal for good. Yet, the idea of Wenger being involved in another club just seems a bit stupid to me.

There are other managers that could be available. The current manager of the Dutch national team Louis van Gaal, who is seemingly bound towards the Premier League, could be interested in moving to Paris. If Manchester United decide to stick with David Moyes as their manager then van Gaal could become the next Tottenham manager. The only thing that could stop that from happening is a move to a bigger club like PSG.

Jurgen Klopp could also be available at the end of the season too. It’s unlikely that he would leave Borussia Dortmund as he seems determined to make them on a par with Bayern Munich. Although if he is fed up with his best players being sold off elsewhere (especially to his rivals too) then he could easily throw in the towel. Heck, even the Catalonian press have suggested that he’s next in line to replace Gerardo Martino as Barcelona manager. Maybe that will happen, maybe it won’t, but I think Klopp could be more tempted to move to PSG if enough money is on the table. But that’s just reckless speculation from my part.

The only thing that is seemingly certain is that Blanc definitely looks like a transition manager. He’s not going to be there for much longer, contract extension or not. And it would not surprise me if a new name was in charge by the summer of 2015. Blanc’s on borrowed time—although it won’t be the last time that will be said of a manager in the modern game.

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