Things seem to be progressing rather nicely on the pitch, but as ever with Fulham, uncertainty’s not far around the corner.
Roy Hodgson has turned down overtures from international federations to concentrate on the task in hand at Craven Cottage and, while talks have begun over extending his current deal which expires in the summer, there’s no word on how close we are to a conclusion. Hodgson himself wants to stay – he’s made that very plain in his last round of media interviews – but I don’t buy the excuse offered by MAF (almost certainly via Michael Cole) that there just hasn’t been enough time for the two men to sit down and talk.
The clock’s ticking and in more ways than one. You get the sense that the senior players are watching developments with interest. Hodgson brought Brede Hangeland to the club and the Norwegian clearly feels he owes both Fulham and his manager for giving him the chance in the Premier League. After some fairly promising snippets of information about a month or so ago, it’s gone very quiet on the Hangeland contract negotiation front too.
The more pressing concern for me though is Aaron Hughes. The Northern Ireland international’s contract is up in the summer and he’ll be able to talk to potential suitors come the turn of the year. Whilst Hangeland’s the important man in the eyes of the lazy hack, Hughes’ contribution can’t be understated. Football’s about partnerships and we’ve gone from having no commanding centre backs at the club when Hodgson replaced Lawrie Sanchez to having at least two (and arguably more). Resigning Hughes is massively important.
Fulham have the potential to go places under Hodgson. Let’s hope the board are on the ball.