Forget it Jake, It’s Chinatown

August 4, 2010

The Mark Hughes press conference on Tuesday brought a degree of closure to the last few months for Fulham. Finally a new man was officially in place, ready to help everyone look forward to the next season. Of course, the press conference also helped to drag up what some would consider ‘unfinished business’. I am of course referring to the comments of Mohamed Al-Fayed on the subject of Roy Hodgson.

“This other guy let us down and just walked away. But we have a nice guy now. Don’t mention Roy Hodgson any more.

“He (Hughes) is the man in charge. He’s much better than the previous one. I am sure he’s going to do a great job. He knows what he’s doing. Fulham’s a wonderful club.

“There are no complications, no bureaucracy here. I am sure he will deliver. I’ve given him £50 to buy a new striker.

“This guy (Hodgson), after we put him where he is now, he took advantage. But I’m sure he’s (Hughes) going to win us the championship.

“We gave him all the support, we believed in him and he just let us down. It’s no problem because Mark is much better. He has a great team and we had some fantastic results, but this guy (Hodgson) after we put him where he is now, took advantage.”

Not the most flattering stuff from Al-Fayed there. Many fans were quick to jump to his defence, saying that he has done more for Fulham than Hodgson ever could of. Whilst this is undoubtedly true, I cannot back MAF with these comments. Hodgson was a faithful servant to Fulham. He should be considered as one of the most successful and popular managers who have had the delight of managing Fulham.

The sad thing for me is not the loss of Hodgson but the response to his departure by some fans. There  is a section of Fulham support who are acting like children saying that Roy has gone back on his word etc etc.  Hodgson left for a bigger club, a club in a position of relative distress. Another challenge for Hodgson, similar to the one he took on at Fulham. I can’t bring myself to blame him in any shape or form. He did not ‘string Fulham along’ nor stab us fans in the back/heart. He took a great job offer and a shot at footballing immortality at Liverpool. After his nomadic managerial career who would begrudge him that? I hope that he is a sucess at Liverpool (as long as we do the double over them) and gets the plaudits that he deserves.

As for the rest of us it is time to move on.  We should all take a step back like Jake Gittes in Chinatown and remember what we are dealing with here. This is the business of football. Loyalty is a nostalgic premise which simply no longer exists (if it ever really did, as people wish to believe it did). If Hughes is successful at Fulham over the next few years he will surely move on to a bigger club. When this happens, I will thank him for his success at Fulham and move on. Because after all, It’s Chinatown.


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