Rob Hughes has always been a bit soft and besides, he is writing for the Herald Tribune which is aimed at Americans and so he has to create "sensational" storylines so that they will read his articles.
I bet Hughes used to write about how bad Roy Keane was as well. As they say, "show us your medals!" Winners impose themselves mentally, physically and every which way on their opponent. I for one am overjoyed that this team is finally showing they can handle being pushed around.