Fulham boss Jol: Bryan Ruiz is more than a match for Santi Cazorla
07:50 12 November 2012
Martin Jol lavished praise on Bryan Luiz after Fulham’s scintillating 3-3 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates, saying the Costa Rican overshadowed Gunners star Santi Cazorla.
Ruiz endured a difficult debut campaign in England following his £10.6million transfer from FC Twente last summer, but he is playing with a new lease of life this time around and was influential against the Gunners.
“He’s a bit sharper now,” said Jol. “He always looks for runners; he always looks for the opportunity to pass it. He will never play square.
“I don’t think there are a lot of other number 10s who could do that.
“Last season sometimes he was caught out a bit, maybe you need time in England. But this year he is one of our best players every time.”
The 27-year-old was a constant menace to Arsenal on Saturday, providing two assists to help the Cottagers come from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 before Olivier Giroud’s equaliser ensured the points were shared.
Jol was delighted with how Ruiz influenced the game as Fulham’s number 10, saying he posed a greater threat than his Arsenal counterpart Cazorla.
“Cazorla he was their number 10 but he was playing so high up with Giroud that it was a problem for us,” said Jol.
“So I knew that if we did that with Ruiz it could be a struggle for them.
“I think, tactically, Bryan did better than anyone else.
“He came back and every time you saw us break he got the ball and that is what we want.
“Then he plays it to Berbatov and everyone supports.”
Ruiz and strike partner Berbatov have both been accused of laziness in the past, but Jol rubbished those claims, saying: “They are not lazy. Look at the stats.
“What do you want, a player without quality who works hard or a quality player who maybe works hard?”