Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Importance of Roy Hogdson to Fulham

You need talented players to build your team. Unless you have someone to guide that talent it will go nowhere. Roy Hogdson took over a squad that 2 years ago that was fighting relegation to the Championship. To the present he has taken a team that is in the final 16 of the Europa League. To me this is an incredible accomplishment and I don't think he is getting the credit he deserves.

The big question is how did Hogdson accomplish this feat in 2 years? To me it all starts on defense. In American football if you have a strong defense you pretty much can be competitive in all of your games. I have a feeling that football in the EPL you can have a similar result with a strong defense. Hogdson brought in players like Brede Hangeland, John Pantsil, and Mark Schwarzer. Hangeland came in during the January transfer window of his first season. John Pantsil and Mark Schwarzer came in the following summer. Fulham now had 2 really good defenders and a top notch goalkeeper in Schwarzer. Defense is the first quality he brought to Fulham.

Hogdson also brought a work ethic and discipline that is shown every week on the pitch. His team is always in position and does not tend to beat themselves. The team keeps it shape which is difficult for their opponents to break down. This is a quality I admire. You are going to have to beat Fulham. They will not do it for you.

Roy Hogdson has also been able to get everything he can out of the talent he has at his disposal. Fulham do not have an unlimited budget like a team in the big four. He needs to find good players on a limited budget. For example, he got Mark Schwarzer for next to nothing. He also bought players like Bobby Zamora and Brede Hangeland. These players again were accomplished players but they weren't superstars at the time. Instead of acquiring talent Roy was building a team that is disciplined, plays a great defense and has an incredible work ethic.

As a fan all you can ask is that your club is put in position every week to win. Roy Hogdson has done this since January 2008. It blows me away how the media looks at Fulham. I listen to the commentary and I read the articles in the media. Just like the New England Patriots the media does not get it. They just see the names on the back of the jerseys. Someone needs to put those names in position to win and Hogdson does this week after week. It is a combination of the right players and the right manager.

How else would you explain how Fulham were able to beat Shakhtar Donetsk at Craven Cottage and then tie this team in the Ukraine. Shakhtar are more talented and play "beautiful football". Where did that get them in the end? Fulham moved on and Shakhtar are out. Shakhtar could not break down Fulham no matter how hard they tried. All Fulham did was take advantage of an opening when it was there. The free kick from Duff and headed in by Hangeland in the last game just shows me what Fulham is all about. They again won on defense, discipline and work ethic.

The importance of Roy Hogdson to Fulham to me is huge. Hogdson picks the players to play, puts them in position to succeed and just watches them play hard. If I were Chairman, Roy Hogdson would be manager for as long as he wants. I think the future is bright for Fulham Football Club. In my humble opinion Roy Hogdson has a great deal to do with it.

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