Fulham Looks to Sustain Improvement

Posted by admin | Teams | Wednesday 18 August 2010 3:22 pm

Perhaps if the Barclays Premiere League took after your football camps, they would offer a most improved trophy to boost the spirits of clubs who gave outstanding performances that exceeded expectations over the course of the year. Were this the trophy to exist, Fulham FC would most certainly be a deserving candidate for back to back awards, unless of course, having a two-time winner would seem too counterintuitive to the spirit of a “most improved” award. While the club itself will receive no trophy for their efforts, manager Roy Hodgson is walking away with a prize of his own, the high paying highly esteemed position as Liverpool’s new manager.Prior to Hodgson’s arrival, Fulham floundered to consecutive 16th and 17th place finishes in the Premier League standings, eligible only for League Cup play and excluded from the higher prestige tournaments better finishing squads would enjoy. In Hodgson’s first full year as manager (he played a part towards the tail end of their 17th place season, though by the time of his arrival there was little hope to right the sinking ship), the club would rocket up the standings ending the season in 7th position, inside the top 10 for the first season since 03-04. Though Hodgson’s second season would see a slight slide back to 12th place, Fulham’s performance in the UEFA Europa League would more than make up for any regular season shortcomings. Fulham advanced to the tournament’s final rounds, knocking out high profile teams from across the continent, including defending champs Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus and Wolfsburg, before finally falling to Atletico Madrid in extra time.New manager Mark Hughes will lead Fulham in coming seasons, hoping to pick up where Hodgson left off. Hughes last managed Manchester City where he led the team to 5th place finish, narrowly missing out on a berth in the Champions League, though management apparently expected a stronger showing. Hughes has gone on record saying he believes Fulham can build upon their success and become a surefire bet to finish in the Premiere League’s top 10, year in and year out.

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