Manchester United legend linked with top job in France


Marseille will finish the season without a proper manager and are set to name their new coach in the summer. Eric Cantona has been heavily linked with the job.

Olympique de Marseille are set to finish the season without a proper coach as Sporting Director Jose Anigo continues in his caretaker role.

Marseille are set to name the new coach at the end of the season, with some top names linked with the role. Michael Laudrup, Lucien Favre and Zinedine Zidane have all been linked so far, but it is the latest name that is turning heads.

He may have only made 40 appearances in three years, but former Marseille player and Manchester United legend Eric Cantona is now apparently a contender for the position in the south of France. It would be his first coaching position in professional football and one in which the pressure would be instant.

As an idea it makes perfect sense. Marseille is still one of France's biggest clubs, with reportedly 12 million fans in France. Cantona is one of football's biggest names and was a star in both France and England during his playing career. Why not take his first position at the Stade Velodrome; there have been worse managerial decisions in football.

The move for Cantona would be exciting and magnificent to watch, but it seems a very unlikely marriage. Jose Anigo would step back up the Sporting Director position, and his relationship with the previous managers, especially those who want their own say, has been very rocky. Elie Baup only lasted as long as he did because he was a "yes" man. Anigo was the man in charge.

Comments from Cantona in a BBC interview last December also pointed "King Eric" away from a potential return to Marseille.

"If I recommit myself to football, I would rather be at a club where I could lead the team on a daily basis. I would rather coach in Saint-Étienne or Lens, the only clubs in France where the fans are similar to that of English clubs."

It seems that Cantona sees himself in more of the Sir Alex Ferguson, hands on approach, rather than just someone who trains and picks the team. There is no way he would get that sort of control in Marseille.

One day Cantona will make his managerial debut; it is likely that France will be his first stop. There is every chance he could become as good a manager as Laurent Blanc, but for every Blanc there is a Tony Adams.

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