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Hughes is No Hodgson

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Had Roy Hodgson been on the receiving end of Roberto Mancini's lackluster handshake on Sunday afternoon, I'm sure a swift removal of the hand and a press-conference-rant would have been the last thing on his mind.

It just goes to show how personality shapes a manager. Hodgson was always reserved, quiet and humble in his demeanor, which worked. To an extent.

Mark Hughes, however, has a wealth of fire in his belly. He may have told the media that vengeance was not on his mind on Sunday, but we all know that deep down, this was probably the most important game of his inaugural season at Fulham.

Yes, personal matters shouldn't really provide the means for a top notch performance, but, if it gets the results, who really cares?

I for one am more than delighted that we have, in Hughes, appointed a man who can and will speak his mind on any given occasion. He has an unrivaled passion for the game which extends from his arduous days as a player and his brief but extensively successful spells at Wales, Blackburn and Man City as gaffer.

I'm not saying Hodgson didn't have that same passion, as every football manager in the World has a degree of it, yet, less of it was exposed to public. With Hughes we have a man who is youthful, yet experienced, outgoing, yet popular and brutal, yet disciplined. He ticks all the boxes.

That's not to detract from Hodgson either. (Sir) Roy was so experienced, so cool headed and so tactically knowledgeable that almost every Birtish manager in the land was envious of his innate ability. However, Hughes can easily rival him with his recognition of the beautiful game. He understands football as well as El-Hadj Diouf understands what it's like to be hated.

There's no other way to see our appointment of Hughes than as a huge step in the right direction. Hodgson was good, brilliant in fact, but you got the sense that his talent as a manager had been saturated once he was awarded with a runner-up medal in Hamburg. There was no way he, himself, could better Fulham. Not with his methods. Not with his ways.

Al Fayed responded accordingly and brought in a man who still encourages nice football, still instills that winning mentality, and most importantly, still has years of petrol left in the tank.

And where did Hodgson end up? West Brom.