What have Southampton F.C. got in common with Boca Juniors?

No, it’s not the creaking of the shelves in their trophy room. Nor (since the demolition men did their stuff at the Dell) is it a tightly-packed stadium whose stands almost reach the touchlines. And whilst the Boca faithful would no doubt have loved Matt LeTissier, the current playmaking situation on England’s south coast isn’t quite as strong as that in La Boca. No, this point in common is a less salubrious one: they’ve both got players in trouble for thievery.

Back in June, Nathan Dyer and Bradley Wright-Phillips, both Southampton players, were charged with burglary after allegedly being caught on CCTV stealing items from an open handbag in a nightclub in the city. It seems the problem isn’t unique to England. On Tuesday it was reported that Boca Juniors striker Lucas Viatri, 21, was being called up on trial for involvement in a robbery involving use of a firearm in the Gran Buenos Aires partido of Castelar.

Viatri, along with his brother Sebastián and two friends, is accused of having robbed a hairdresser’s (yes, really) in March of this year in Castelar, in the west of Gran Buenos Aires, and a judge in Morón has made the pair’s names public in recognition of the seriousness of the allegations. The player himself denies the incident took place, telling the press: ‘I’ve been taken [by the police] in error. They think I’ve assaulted a hairdresser’s and it’s not true. I spent a lot of time in the police station, it was a difficult situation.’ Viatri has spent the last month under condition of arrest in the station.

‘Boca is my work. I’ve got to think about that,’ he said in the interview with Radio La Red. Boca have a match against San Martín on Sunday which they have to win if they’re to keep up the pressure on San Lorenzo and Tigre at the top of the table.

One player who’ll return in that match is Paraguayan full back Claudio Morel Rodríguez, who told Olé on Tuesday: ‘If I was a fan of San Lorenzo or Tigre, I wouldn’t be too calm.’ He’s still confident Boca can do what’s needed to claim the title. Now, personally, if I were a fan of Tigre I wouldn’t be calm either. I’d be over the moon. Eighteen months ago their highest-ever finish was 6th place over half a century earlier. Out of three championships since their promotion last year, they’ve been challenging for the title in two of them…

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6 thoughts on “What have Southampton F.C. got in common with Boca Juniors?

  1. Hee hee Sam, I think you *are* a fan of Tigre, you do give them a lot of positive coverage! : )

    But as no self-respecting Racing fan can want one of the other grandes to win anything, I’m going for Tigre to be champions as well!

    Mind you, a Boca win on Sunday would be handy in the promedios for Racing and GELP.

  2. Well yes, in a way. I try and keep my River bias out of things on HEGS but I’m not ashamed to admit I enjoy writing about a small club who are doing far better than they ‘should’ be doing. It’s the kind of thing we don’t get in England – Hull are doing fantastically at the moment but no-one actually thinks they’re in with a shot at the title or even, realistically, a European Cup place – and it’s a big part of the reason I love writing about Argentine football so much.

    Boca or River winning a title gets me a lot more hits here (and comparing River’s title win this year with Lanús’s eleven months ago, we got FAR more visitors for River). But I’d far rather write about Tigre doing it, just as I enjoyed covering Lanús’s win last year – because it’s more interesting.

  3. Say what you will about the Clausura-Apetura system, but it makes these surprise title winners possible. If the season were drawn out over 9 months, I think you wouldn’t see smaller teams with smaller squads and lesser resources being able to keep up the challenge that long.

    Rodriguez is correct in that Boca are still in with a good chance. There’s no shame in losing to Velez, but it’s not the kind of result that wins you titles.

  4. To be fair, I’m certain that Boca would have won that match with a fit, first choice defensive formation.
    I’m not Paletta’s biggest fan, but if he had been playing, he would had too much know how to allow those goals that Velez scored.

    And Morel Rodriguez as well. The time and space that Cabrera was allowed after he came on as sub, dribbling down the right as if he were in a training session, was a joke! Did you see where he nutmegged Vargas? It was funny if you’re not a Boca fan, but presumably infuriating if you are, as you know that under normal circumstances, Boca have the defensive capabilities to deal with this.

    Nanni could have had at least two goals himself!

    Cabrera is infuriating for Racing fans, though, he never played like that for us! : (

  5. Having worked in San Fernando for a while I can tell that most of the “Tigre” Fans are also “River” Fans, although I never heard of the opposite case (like yours Sam)
    I’m a Boca Fan but if I have to “wish” for a champion… let Tigre be! they deserve it… not only for being the smallest of the three… but also for being the most beautifull to watch (out of the three again)

  6. I don’t think Tigre are quite as beautiful to watch as Lanus at their best, but Lanus aren’t at their best very often.
    Martin Morel is scintillating. Any club would be pleased to have him. Amazing that he wasn’t even guaranteed a starting place early this season.

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