What is the real deal with Boca??????

Discussion in 'Fulham FC News and Notes' started by FFCMiami, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. FFCMiami

    FFCMiami New Member

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    What is going on the benching of Boca the last 3 games. I think Sanchez really needs to look at the back line and put Boca back in there. What do you think????
     
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  2. Clevelandmo

    Clevelandmo Active Member

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    Sep 13, 2007
    Bottom line is that the defensive results are no better with Stef in there. Boca feeds the offense better and is more of an offensive threat on set pieces. Also, what's up with making Boca captain for several games and then benching him. Starting to think LS is Bipolar.
     
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  3. timmyg

    timmyg Well-Known Member

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    Nov 20, 2006
    Boca was "benched" three games ago because he accumulated too many yellows. So Hughes (arguably because of nepotism) was given the arm band. LS liked Steph's play and earned the starting role, thus relegating Boca to the bench.

    I wouldnt say the defense has been worse in his absence, but it sure isnt any better.
     
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  4. BC

    BC New Member

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    I posted this elsewhere but I don't understand how a guy who earned the armband after Mac's injury is suddenly not good enough to start in Fulham's horrible defence. I mean, for f**k's sake, Baird started several games! C'mon! Boca is a leader and a strong presence on the pitch. He's been with Fulham for a while and has given the team his all. You can't tell me Stefano is doing any better than Boca. To me, it's almost a slap in Boca's face to be sitting on the bench now. I hope Sanchez pulls his head out of his ass on this one.
     
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  5. omsdogg

    omsdogg New Member

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    agreed.
     
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  6. jmh

    jmh New Member

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    That makes me wonder - is the Baird experiment over in favor of promoting Omozusi's continued development (or potentially a shot for Volzy to crack the lineup)? Or is he not playing because he's hurt or something?
     
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  7. timmyg

    timmyg Well-Known Member

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    not that i want to cite myself(see:January Transfer thread), but considering as how he's been replaced by an academy player...its safe to assume he's done.
     
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  8. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    Remember that Baird's best position -- at NI and Southampton -- has been CB. If Omozusi/Volz is the new RB battle, then Baird becomes backup CB.
     
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  9. Spencer

    Spencer New Member

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    Not sure I'm with ya on that one Don. My impression when we originally bought Baird was that yes he was a CB(because we needed CB's not RB's). But clearly Sanchez intended for him to be a RB all along, never once trying him at CB even in preseason as far as I can recall.

    I remember one specific post right after we bought Baird by Mike about a conversation he had with two S'hampton supporters whom Mike told we intended to use Baird at CB. There comment was something along the lines of he'll do alright there but that he's really a RB.
     
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  10. FFCMiami

    FFCMiami New Member

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    Does this really mean the end for Boca on the line for the Whites?????
     
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  11. Lyle

    Lyle New Member

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    Jan 21, 2007
    I think Boca is done until someone gets hurt or carded out. He's borderline Prem material. He plays just good enough, but doesn't shine and he does get burned by superior talent routinely.

    Stefanovic was the captain at Fulham and apparently captained Yugoslavia/Serbia at some point. Hughes is NI's captain. Baird deputized. Everybody was a leader in the back so Boca doesn't get extra points for leadership skills.

    He seems to be liked by the fans, but they all recognize he's limited in skill. So I doubt he has a long-term future as a regular starter for Fulham.
     
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  12. Clevelandmo

    Clevelandmo Active Member

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    Why do you think Stefanovic is better than Boca?
     
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  13. Lyle

    Lyle New Member

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    Jan 21, 2007
    I just think he is. He's more experienced, i.e., played at a higher level for a longer time than Boca. His positioning seems to be better. He's also taller.

    Stefanovic won't be around for long either but he's adequate. Him and Hughes have played well together though. There's no signifigant difference between any of the 3 CB's, but Boca had to sit out and Stefanovic stepped up and is now there, and you just don't change your back four if you have to. It is just one of those things.
     
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  14. BC

    BC New Member

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    I'm a totally biased, Yank homer but I don't think Stefano has played any better than Boca. Furthermore, is that how you treat a long-time Fulham player who's given his all for the team? Maybe Sanchez sat down and told him what's going on, maybe Sanchez was fair about it. As bad as Fulham is playing, some changes were inevitable, I suppose. It still bothers me, though. I hope Boca's days at Fulham aren't finished just yet.
     
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  15. richardhkirkando

    richardhkirkando New Member

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    Stefanovic and Bocanegra are about as close to the same as any two players on the team, and are mostly interchangable, though I rate Mustard Man a bit higher. He had a good run of form when he first came on (at Sunderland I believe), but has slowed a bit recently. At his age, he may just need a rest.
     
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  16. nmancini04

    nmancini04 New Member

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    May 21, 2007
    I thought the defense played better when Boca was out, which is why I was happy LS stayed with the Stef/Hughes combo in the middle when Boca came back, but Stef hasn't been great lately. I agree there's not much to choose between the two.

    But I definitely disagree that Hughes' selection is nepotism. He has been their most consistent defender this year.
     
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  17. jmh

    jmh New Member

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    Did you SEE the Everton game? :shock:
     
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  18. Lyle

    Lyle New Member

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    Jan 21, 2007
    Everton are good and would have done the same thing to Bocanegra. There midfield is one of the best in the Premier League and could do as they pleased.
     
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  19. claude

    claude New Member

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    Aug 19, 2007
    Absolutely right, imo.

    There was a stat in the paper the other day: Boca is third in the entire league in percentage of passes that are 'long' - about a third. At the other extreme, a couple of Arsenal players were at around 5%.

    Not that Sanchez appears to value ballplaying defenders, but Boca really isn't going to add much with the ball (aside from that nice habit of scoring from set pieces that he picked up last year). Stefanovic is solid enough, works well with Hughes, and does a reasonable job all in all. He was also terrific in the Reading game with young Nathan Ashton, helping him out all the way, talking, backing up, etc.

    Add to this the infuriating lapses in Boca's game (many of which have been costly) and you can see why he's a backup again. This talk of being 'done' isn't appropriate; things change so quickly, someone'll be injured, and in Bocanegra will step again (as will Baird, who hasn't actually played that badly since the first few games of the season). It's a squad game these days, after all.
     
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  20. HatterDon

    HatterDon Moderator

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    Boca is custom made for a bench role. He can play CB, LB, and defensive mid. Stefanovich's game and partnership arrangement with Hughes improved by leaps and bounds during Boca's suspension and that's why he's there. I don't see Boca as a defensive liability at CB, but Stefanovich's improvement is undeniable. I just always wish that Boca was in when we get a corner. He has a deadly near post flick and he was our only consistent scorer in the second half of last season.

    Baird is a solid player. I agree that he only had one or two bad games early in the season and has been a victim of piling on on this and other sites. I like Omozusi at RB because he has good pace and aggression. His "mistakes" wouldn't have made a difference had we a midfield that could, just once in a while, take some of the pressure off the back four.

    I think that with Omozusi, Baird, Hughes, Stefanovich, Bocanegra, and PK, we have a solid defensive corps. We just need to find a strike pair who can work together, sort of like McBride and Healy were rounding into before Macca went down.

    More than that, though. We need a kick-ass midfielder and a creative midfielder. Since we can't get both in one guy [like Michael Essien, for instance], Bullard and Volzy could do it nicely. A little more toughness and creativity from our midfield would take pressure off both the defensive 4 and the front two. Let's hope that's what's in store for us in January.
     
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