By Nick Teale

Fulham have punched above their weight more than any other side and Roy Hodgson should be named Manager of the Season, according to Arsène Wenger.

The Cottagers defeated Hamburg 2-1 on Thursday night to progress to the Europa League Final where they will meet Atletico Madrid.

Fulham's only honours to date are an Intertoto Cup success in 2002 and a brace of English second-tier titles. Their only appearance in a major final came in 1975 when they lost 2-0 to West Ham United in the FA Cup Final.

Hodgson took charge at Craven Cottage in December 2007, with the club stuck in a relegation battle. He saved them from the drop and then secured a seventh-place finish last season before taking Fulham to the cusp of European glory this term.

That’s why Hodgson will get Wenger’s vote for the end-of-season individual prize.

"Fulham and Roy have been fantastic," he said. "They are the ones more than anybody else who have punched above their weight. And maybe that's why Roy deserves it [manager of the season].

"[Their] intelligence, experience and his scouting has been good. His buys have been good. He's bought players who aren't not in the top three or four but have the level to flirt with it.

"Zamora, Duff have played at top clubs, Murphy has played at top clubs. They have players who can play at the top level but at some stage lost out.

"Hodgson is a fantastic manager - but there's no secret. You need good players and they have good players."

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30 Apr 2010