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Four of the vibiest replacements for Luis Boa Morte

Written by Dan Cooke on 22nd March 2024

Monday’s news was bittersweet. Having Luís Boa Morte back at the club is something we’ve all enjoyed. A throwback to days gone by, the return of the iconic chant, but also the return of a wonderful man. He always seems to have a smile on his face, he adores us as fans, and the players seem to love him.

The reason it was bittersweet, and also somewhat inevitable, is it always seemed like Boa was working towards his next big step. He’s been great as Marco’s right-hand man, but I’m sure his eyes were on being the number one somewhere. The fact that he’s got his chance is wonderful, and we should all be happy for him, but he will be sorely missed.

Therefore, with our attentions turning towards the summer and his replacement, I couldn’t help but wonder – who could possibly match the wonderful vibes that Boa brought? I’ve worked off the following criteria:

  1. Cult status – I’m sure we’d have all liked Boa as an assistant manager anyway, but the fact that he joined us pre-loved, played a large part.
  2. Coaching ambitions – They have to be someone who is, or wants to be, in coaching. I’m sure we’d all love Jimmy Bullard in the dugout, but he’s way too busy playing golf to take up the offer.

Honestly, none of these are meant to be taken seriously, so let’s have some fun.

Bryan Ruiz

Our Costa Rican creator felt like a Marmite player during his time at the club, especially given how much we paid for him. I loved him. A visually beautiful player to watch, with a laid back, languid style of play, but overflowing with technical excellence. Most will remember a couple of his dinks over the ‘keeper, one against Everton, the other against Bolton. The Bolton one being my favourite, due to the groans it extracted from the Hammy End as they initially thought he’d spooned it way over the bar. 

Up until last season, he was playing for LD Alajuelense back in his homeland, and now finds himself without a club. If these articles from last year are to be believed, he is supposedly looking at getting into coaching. There was always something very suave and stylish about him as well, which is a bonus.

I firmly believe he is deserving of cult status, and I can picture it now: Bryan stood beside Marco in front of the Riverside stand next season, getting serenaded to the tune of the Depeche Mode classic. 

Vibes rating: 8.5/10

Mark Fotheringham

As the cliche goes – from the sublime to the ridiculous. Fotheringham holds a special type of cult status; never to be forgotten, and for all the wrong reasons. He joined Fulham at our lowest point this side of the millennium, and for a team that played some dreadful football, he looked right at home.

Widely regarded as one of the worst players to play for Fulham in recent memory, Mark mustered three appearances before being released midway through the season. Fast forward eight years, and he would become assistant manager at Hertha BSC in the Bundesliga. The manager he was assisting? The equally infamous Felix Magath. A little piece of Fulham in Berlin – one that none of us were proud of.

He has since been appointed, and swiftly fired, as head coach of Huddersfield Town, and currently appears to be unemployed. If Luís Boa Morte could be described as “happy-go-lucky”, miserable-go-luckless feels more apt for Mark. He sparked some social media fame while at Huddersfield for his spiky post-match interviews, coupled with a slightly baffling mixture of accents, they’re well worth a watch. Marco has a habit of resurrecting careers, he could do the same for our former central midfielder.

Vibes rating: 0/10 (but also 10/10: it would be hilarious)

Denis Odoi

Right, I’m going to break my own rules here. The only thing I’ve seen that suggests that Denis wants to go into coaching, are those lovely glasses he wears. A man that looks that intellectual is destined for a career on the touchline, I’m certain. He certainly hasn’t said he doesn’t want to coach.

Possibly the ultimate cult hero, Denis was the provider of many iconic moments during his time at the club. The header against Derby County, sitting on top of the crossbar at Wembley, and of course… the back thing he did on his debut. 

He spent half a season playing under Marco Silva, and was pretty excellent when called upon in the twilight of his career. He’s made 29 appearances this season for Club Brugge, as well as starting three games for Ghana at AFCON. He also had the horrific misfortune of signing for Brugge, only for them to bring Scott Parker in as manager. Turning 36 in May, he may well be looking to hang up his boots. I say we bring him home!

Like Ruiz and Boa, Odoi had a chant befitting a player of such cult status, and I think I would probably cry if I heard being belted out to celebrate his return to the club.

Vibes rating: 9/10

Kevin McDonald

The midfield trio of McDonald, Johansen, and Cairney is up there with the best the Championship has ever seen. KMac was the glue that held it all together; a magnificent reader of the game, he would sit at the base of the midfield and simply run games.

The screamer he scored at Millwall on our march to promotion was magic, as was the one he scored whilst on his arse on the goal line at Barnsley, and there was also the one he scored with his arse against Leeds. 

He’s still pulling the strings in midfield, playing for Bradford City, where he was recently interim player-manager, demonstrating his coaching ambitions. It’s rarely this simple, but a player with such a high footballing IQ feels made for management. Like Odoi, KMac must be close to retirement, as he turns 36 this year.

It’s also one that feels feasible and I’m sure that Tom Cairney will be having a word with Marco about getting his mate back on the scene. 

He had a very flattering song that was chanted on loop during the peak of Slavisa’s reign, and is one that I’m sure everyone would love to be able to sing again.

Vibes rating: 10/10


Unfortunately, I don’t think I’d be putting my money on any of these options. The sad reality is, Boa’s return to the club was a happy coincidence, and not an intentional ploy from Marco to make the fans happy. This means the likelihood is that our next assistant manager will have no Fulham connection at all. This is all very sad, but you’ve always got to look at the long-term picture, so I’m very much looking forward to Boa’s triumphant return as Marco Silva’s replacement when he calls time on his Fulham career.

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