Michael McCarthy: An affair ends for Fulham but the love will remain
A Fan's View
Friday 02 July 2010
How long do love affairs last, if they don't end up in permanent union? Two and a half years, does that seem about right? And the more intense and perfect it seemed at one moment, the more inevitable the split comes to seem, in the aftermath. That's what it feels like with Roy Hodgson, anyway, if you're a Fulham fan. The very talents that made us love him meant that ultimately we wouldn't be able to hold on to him.
There are lots of high-grade people Fulham haven't been able to hold on to, as a relatively small club, in recent years – Kevin Keegan, Jean Tigana, Louis Saha, Edwin van der Sar – but the loss of Hodgson hurts the most. It feels wrong and unjust, as if we have a right to him, because we showed the British football world what he could really do, after all those years of not being properly appreciated in his own country. We enabled him to come into his own.
But fans' anger at the injustice of it all is muted, it was clear from looking at the club website bulletin board yesterday. There are a few angry voices, but most people haven't got the heart not to wish him well, even as he deserts us.
We owe him too much. The footballing brain (the first thing he said on arrival was: "These players are all the same size!" and he bought 6ft 5in Brede Hangeland and we stopped shipping goals at set pieces), the common decency and kindness, the public praising of players the fans hadn't taken to, such as Chris Baird. The results he delivered – unlikely Premier League salvation, seventh in the table, a great European adventure – in three successive seasons. Most of all we owe Roy a commodity which now seems in very short supply. He provided us with hope.
Yeah, it's only a game. But they were golden days at Craven Cottage, and now they're done.
Latest in Sport
Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: Compare the Barcelona and Real Madrid players in El Clasico
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo
Tim Sherwood: The mavericks have always needed special handling – but Balotelli is not delivering his side of the bargain for Liverpool
Manchester United vs Chelsea: Modesty of Louis van Gaal makes nice contrast with his old pupil Jose Mourinho
Rio Ferdinand retirement: QPR defender announces he will end career next summer
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year