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Roy Hodgson Has To Be The Manager Of The Year

HodgsonEmpics Roy Hodgson Has To Be The Manager Of The Year

Roy Hodgson, surely the Premier League manager of the year?

On 28 December Roy Hodgson accepted the managers post at Premier League side Fulham. The Cottagers’ immediate future was looking bleak – in the bottom three, with just 14 points on the table. The revival was hardly immediate either, taking just two points from his first five league games in charge. Further to this Fulham only managed two wins in the first three months of  Hodgson’s tenure.

Relegation looked like a mere formality by the time April had arrived. But, following a 3-1 home loss to Sunderland something incredible happened. Fulham for the first time since 9 September 2006 won an away game in the Premier League – prevailing over relegation rivals Reading by a 2-0 scoreline. Fulham went on to win four of their last five games including that superb encounter at Manchester City and sealed their survival on the final day away at Portsmouth.

Hodgson’s spending in summer shows that chairman Mohammed Al Fayed must have been impressed. Andy Johnson arrived for a fee reported to be between 10 and 13 million, a Bobby Zamora and Johnathan Paintsil also arrived from West Ham for a combined fee of £6.3 million. Those signings aside Hodgson appears to have been fairly shrewd, landing Zoltan Gera and Mark Schwarzer on a free.   

Fast forward a year later and the same club is now not only leading the ‘race for seventh’ but playing decent football on the way. The defensive partnership of Aaron Hughes and Brede Hangeland has also been instrumental, Fulham have conceded just 32 goals in 36 games - only 14 of which at home. Although Fulhams record away from their beloved Craven Cottage is still questionable, I firmly believe we will see improvement in this department next season. Despite only winning two away games so far this season, only Liverpool and Manchester United have taken more points at home than the Cottager’s (although Manchester City can also claim this).

A superb second half performance helped to overcome fifth-placed Aston Villa to win 3-1 shows just how far the club have come. I still remember Franck Queudreue publicly criticising then manager Lawrie Sanchez, he was quoted as saying “Sanchez told us to hit long balls and pick up the rebounds” and “He wanted us to play like Neanderthals. But I am not a Neanderthal man and I told him I could not continue.”

I for one certainly don’t see these tactics present with Roy Hodgson in charge and cannot help but admire the counter-attacking brand of football that I witnessed when I have had the opportunity to watch.

Granted there are some justified calls for Tony Pulis after guiding Stoke City to safety. Alex Ferguson is always likely to be in with a shout – especially if he completes a four trophy haul. Martin O’ Neill, David Moyes and Gianfranco Zola will also not have gone unnoticed. However I believe Hodgson is the one that deserves to be recognised. After escaping relegation on the final day of last season, the club is not only within two games of the highest finish in its 130 year history but are also on the verge of a European adventure to boot.

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7 Responses to Roy Hodgson Has To Be The Manager Of The Year

  1. Tyson says:

    He’s done very well but I think Guus Hiddink and Fergie both deserve a mention.

    It’s very well making your way from the bottom of the table against 2, 3 and 4 star teams but since Hiddink has come to Chelsea they’ve played a few of the worlds elite teams and done very well holding their own in the worst of circumstances.

    I think Fergie is in with a shout but in reality I don’t think he would really win unless he actually won the Champions League title. If he makes history by capturing the biggest prize in football twice in a row I don’t really see it going to anybody else.

  2. Good article, very persuasive, and yet the case for Tony Pulis is just overwhelming. I am no Stoke City fan at all, I fully expected them to get relegated and was confident that would be the case even at Christmas. To be able to turn it around the way he has trumps the arguments for any other manager. In my humble opinion anyhow.

  3. Thomas says:

    For me it’s between Ferguson, Moyes, and Hodgson.

    If Fergy wins the CL again, I think the award is going to him.

    What Hodgson has done is nothing short of impressive. Especially if you go back to the end of last year.

    My choice would be David Moyes, however. He’s built a consistant top 6 side on a rather limited budget. He’s had to deal with some serious injuries this year, and his side continues to perform. Take any of the 6-10th place teams in the Prem, and factor out their best player (Arteta), not to mention a striker of Yakubu’s class, and I doubt they would be able to continue to put together good results.

    Martin O’Neill had to be the favorite when Villa were pushing for 3rd/4th. But his side seriously tailed off as the year went on.

    Hiddink has done a remarkable job at Chelsea, but I don’t think he warrants the award.

  4. ryan says:

    The award needs to go to a manager who’s team has shown marked improvement from last season. With this in mind I don’t see how anyone but Hodgson can get it. If not him than I would like to see Pulis win it. Both men are dealing with payrolls that are fractions of what Fergie and Hiddink play with, and they still getting the job done.

  5. Chris Walker says:

    It may be worth noting that George Burley is the only manager who has won the award who didn’t win the league.

  6. Thomas says:

    “The award needs to go to a manager who’s team has shown marked improvement from last season. With this in mind I don’t see how anyone but Hodgson can get it. If not him than I would like to see Pulis win it. Both men are dealing with payrolls that are fractions of what Fergie and Hiddink play with, and they still getting the job done.”

    By the same token, I think there are plenty of managers who would fail to replicate the success of a manager like Ferguson or Hiddink. Scolari had the same resources as Hiddink, and he even had the luxury of bringing on Deco and Bosingwa. Yet he failed at Chelsea.

    Sure Ferguson has as many resources as any manager in the game, but he’s also gotten most of his gambles right this season.

    Though I agree with your point that what Hodgson and Pulis have done are strong achievements. But in some sense, Pulis did his job. As a newly promoted side, your first objective is to remain in the Premier League. I don’t think that by him doing his job, he should be given the MOTY award. Hodgson on the other hand, has far exceeded and expectations, and if you couple that with what he achieved at the end of last year, I think he needs to be in the conversation for sure.

    And again, you can’t overlook the resourcefulness of Moyes at Everton. Arteta and Cahill are two shining examples of players he brought in on his limited budget that have paid huge dividends for him. The capture of Jo was another brilliant move on his part. And like I said, the amount of injuries he’s dealt with at Everton would make most other managers crumble.

  7. Proctor says:

    Yes, Roy is good; if Fulham ends seventh he must call Tevez immediately! Long odds, but Mohammed can take him to Paris for a week at the Ritz to sell him on Roy and Fulham.

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