Hangeland has been a rock at centre-back for Fulham after coming to the club in January 2008, and did his part in the Great Escape, helping the team stay up in the Premier League. It is great to look back, and see that he has been with the club for six seasons now, as he enters his seventh as the captain once again.
He started his career with Fulham strongly, working on a wonderful partnership with Aaron Hughes that was so solid for several seasons. Those two players together made it very difficult for opponents to score on Fulham for a long time, and it was truly special to watch them play.
Hangeland is a true leader on the pitch, as his actions of control and confidence probably affect the rest of his teammates, because they know he is doing his job. It is not what Hangeland says rather his actions speak much louder than words on the field. Don't get me wrong, he is interacting with his teammates, but his quiet confidence has always impressed me.
Another reason he shows why he is the Captain is his loyalty to the club which he has shown throughout his career. Hangeland had several opportunities to move on to larger clubs, and he never did which speaks volumes of how he feels about Fulham.
It seemed as Fulham would get deep into most transfer windows, and the speculation about Hangeland having interest from bigger clubs would start to show up in the media. An example of this speculation would come in the summer of 2009, as reportedly Arsenal were very interested in Hangeland. The funny thing about it though, is Hangeland would be quoted that summer talking about how much he enjoyed playing at Fulham.
Hangeland didn't have to come out publicly to share his thoughts on the club, but it seemed when he felt it was needed he would speak up and be heard. His comments of loyalty to the club I always felt knocked down the speculation every single time. Football clubs deal with distractions, and speculation can cause issues, and I think Hangeland was trying to do his part to take away that distraction, so his team could concentrate on the task at hand, and that was winning football matches.
Hangeland signed a new contract first in November of 2009 that was to last to the end of the 2012-2013 season. During this time period, there was speculation regarding possible interest from other clubs, but Hangeland I felt made it pretty obvious his loyalty to Fulham Football Club. The way he talked about the club made me feel he was not going to leave, and I have a feeling rival clubs probably felt the same way. In this age of players leaving for better clubs and breaking their contracts, he is a breath of fresh air, because he is a man of character who honors his contract.
Recently Hangeland signed a new deal as I stated earlier to stay with the club for two more seasons. If you have any doubt about his leadership or loyalty, just watch this video from the club below of the Fulham captain as he shows why he holds that position.
Finally, I am the host of the Fulham internet radio show Cottage Talk. Please feel free to take a listen to our most recent episode below.