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Gera Wants Out

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Zoltan Gera has informed the club, albeit via a Hungarian media source, that he's not wholly enjoying life on the banks of the Thames.

Despite being crowned player of the year for the 2009/10 season thanks to his fantastic exploits in the inaugural Europa League competition, the International midfielder has moved down the pecking order somewhat, and he puts it down to the change in management.

'My situation is tougher than ever. I don't feel good and I play rarely.

'But football is like this. One moment everything is nice and in the next moment you get a cold shower.

'The turning point was Mark Hughes' arrival. I don't want to complain, because I accept that the manager puts the team together according to his own ideas.

'I also accept that he chooses other players instead of me, but when I'm sent onto the pitch I try to do my best in order to prove that I haven't forgotten how to play football.'

With that in mind, the Hungarian dropped a subtle hint at taking up the opportunity to leave Fulham and take on a new challenge after, or maybe even before, his contract expires over the Summer months.

'I want nothing more than to play but I can see I have less and less chance for this here at Fulham.

'I like the club and the city very much but I don't think it is impossible that I will leave and I'll continue my career at another club.

'If I have the chance I'll leave but at the moment I don't have these possibilities.

'My contract will expire this summer and there's an option for the extension but I'm not sure if it will be validated or not.

'The last time I talked about it with my bosses was last summer.'

It must be said that it is clear where Gera is coming from; usually, such a nose-dive in minutes on the pitch comes down to poor form or inconsistency, yet, Gera has never caused us such problems. He's a fairly reliable, technically sound player, so it seems almost absurd that Sparky is so reluctant to choose him in the starting eleven. 

However, I have to say, I defend the gaffer on this one. The ex-West Brom winger is now approaching 32 years of age, and, while he still provides a good performance for us now and then, fresh, young blood is the requirement if Mark Hughes is going to keep us up.

Hodgson and Hughes are different characters, and, as such, like their teams to play different styles of football. Hodgson was a perfectionist; he wanted his men to cut off supply lines, defend astutely and attack progressively. It gave the fans easy-on-the-eye football but it didn't really offer a thrilling ninety minutes (with a few exceptions of course). Players like Gera worked for him as they are intelligent and can read the game well, yet still offered a potent attacking threat.

Hughes, on the other hand, is a bit more sporadic. It's hard to see if he wants us to play short, attractive football or whether he just wants us to punt it and hope for the best, as I've seen both on many occasions. What we do know, though, is that the ex-Manchester United star wants to attack; far more than Hodgson did. He wants us to close down, to work hard and to make the game difficult for opponents. For that, stamina is required. Of course, all footballers, from 16 to 40 have stamina in them, but it's a fact of life that it will decrease as the years spin away.

Under Hughes, with Hughes' tactics and with Hughes' mindset, Zoltan Gera is the type of player we can let go, safe in the knowledge that the manager's Worldwide scouting network will bring in more-than-adequate cover.

A fine example is the injury-prone Belgian, Moussa Dembele, whom Hughes brought in over the Summer. Some may be shocked to hear it; but I'm still of the belief that he was a brilliant acquisition who gives us something new and unique, which is exactly what we need.

Bring on the young'ns I say!