When Laurent Blanc replaced Raymond Domenech as France coach at the end of June 2010, Les Bleus were reeling from an ignominious group stage exit at the FIFA World Cup; they approach UEFA EURO 2012 a renewed force.
Blanc quickly set about overhauling the squad that had failed in South Africa. There were teething problems as he lost his first two matches in charge, yet his new-look squad have since gone unbeaten, topping their EURO qualifying group and taking high-profile scalps in friendly wins against England, Brazil and Germany.
The 46-year-old has got the best from his charges, even if the journey has not always been smooth. However, Blanc explains that during such a transition period it is results that matter. "When you're making a team, you have to go through irregular periods concerning performances. The only issue, despite the ups and downs, is that you have to qualify: the results are crucial."
With qualification checked off the list, Blanc is now looking ahead to his next challenge – lifting the Henri Delaunay Cup in July. France could hardly be in better hands, as Blanc was on the pitch the last time Les Bleus managed the feat, beating Italy in the UEFA EURO 2000 showpiece.
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