This is a very sad day for me. Roy Hodgson has been an incredible manager at Fulham. I want to say "Thank You". I also wish him good luck at Liverpool. I am being sincere when I say I wish him the best at Anfield.
After today I can move on from this Liverpool saga with Roy Hodgson. Fulham can now take the next step towards the future. The club now needs to build on what Roy Hodgson has started. The foundation is still there for a great upcoming season.
I wanted to write about the man and what he brought in his time at Fulham. Roy Hodgson came to Fulham when they were in a relegation battle in December of 2007. At that point the future for the Cottagers looked dim. There was a decent chance Fulham were going to be relegated into the Championship. Hodgson turned it all around. The now Liverpool manager changed the future of Fulham that first season.
Every week in the beginning of 2008 was a battle for survival. But, what I noticed early on was a different team. They were more disciplined and just played solid football. When they had an opportunity for a free kick, Jimmy Bullard scored. When there was a need for a key goal I remember Diomansy Kamara coming through. When it came down to the final week and Fulham needed a win at Portsmouth they succeeded. I don't think any of this was possible without Roy Hodgson. He saved Fulham from being relegated. He put his players in positions to succeed.
After survival the question was what could Fulham do next? Well, Hodgson brought in some reinforcements with players like Mark Schwarzer and Bobby Zamora. In 2008 Fulham didn't just survive. The Cottagers were thriving in the League. Again, what I noticed was a team that would not beat themselves. You had to beat them. They were making the climb up the table. That season the win that stands out is beating Manchester United at home. How could a team that was almost relegated pull off that feat? Roy Hodgson put Fulham in position to win. The club finished an amazing seventh. What an incredible season.
What could Roy Hodgson and Fulham do for an encore? Well, in the 2009 season let's start in the League. It was a good result where the team ended up based on the amount of games they played. They still had a few signature wins at home against Manchester United and Liverpool. But, last season was more about another League.
Fulham started in late July in the Europa League. They were in the qualification stages. They needed to get through these stages first to get to the Group Stage. They did get to the Group Stage and survived it. They were then poised to enter the Knockout Rounds. No one thought at this point Fulham would progress through the league. Fulham would beat Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus, Wolfsburg, and Hamburg on their way to the Europa League Final. Hodgson's current club Liverpool did not make it to the Finals.
For a club like Fulham everything I have listed are incredible accomplishments. Roy Hodgson has a huge amount to do with the recent success of Fulham. I am disappointed that he is leaving. But, that doesn't change the fact that I am very grateful for the moments he was involved in as the manager of Fulham. I can't thank him enough for what was accomplished. To Liverpool fans I hope you realize quickly what type of manager you now have. He will get you back to the top in a short period of time.
Roy Hodgson is now at Liverpool. He will be missed but he won't be forgotten. Thank you Roy Hodgson. Good luck at Liverpool.