Roy Hodgson Deserves LMA Manager of the Year Award

11 May 2010

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson with the LMA Manager of the Year award sponsored by Barclays. (Credit Image: © Action Images/ZUMApress.com)
On Monday, Roy Hodgson was awarded with the League Managers Association Manager of the year award according to LMA Chairman Howard Wilkinson, "by the most significant margin in the history of the award".

To be given this award by his peers throughout all levels of the English League pyramid is quite an accomplishment. While he did not win the Premier League manager of the year (that award went to Harry Redknapp), Hodgson's job at Fulham has been no easy task. From only having five games to save Fulham 2 seasons ago, he guided the team into an Europa League position last season. Having started their Europa League campaign in July, they are now one match away from a trophy no one ever imagined them winning. Add the fact that Fulham's squad is not exactly deep, and it's amazing they have been able to do the things they were this season.

Let's face it, once Fulham decided that winning the Europa League was their top priority, some knives came out of the drawer over their 'team selection' in Premier League matches. While under the current rules I cannot condone what he did, Roy did what he thought was the right thing. It was apparent that they were safely going to be playing Premier League football next season. After their dramatic Juventus victory at Craven Cottage, Fulham still picked up 8 additional points (2 wins and 2 draws) to comfortably finish in twelfth while knocking out Wolfsburg and Hamburg out of Europe in the process.

At the start of July, Fulham would have been more than happy just to make it to the group stage of the Europa League. They also made a respectable run this year in the FA Cup, making the quarter finals. Sure they were knocked out of the Carling Cup in the third round to Manchester City, but you can't have them all.

Let this award given to Hodgson be a lesson for further award winners of the LMA Manager Award winners. Here's hoping future award winners are given the award not just based on the merit of their league campaigns, but because of expectations being exceeded in competitions one wasn't expected to do well in.

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Johnathan Starling, the self proclaimed 'most brutally honest man on the net, dishes out his own unique brand of opinions, and analysis on the Premier League, Bundesliga, and all things US Soccer.

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