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Ben Walker, London24 Fulham blogger
Monday, November 12, 2012
“He doesn’t run enough.”
"Personally, I will happily cope with a player not sprinting after every single lost cause if he can do what Ruiz does"
“He should be stronger there.”
“He didn’t even challenge for the ball there.”
These are the types of comment I’ve heard around me at Craven Cottage about Bryan Ruiz in the last 12 months or so. Ever since his debut against Blackburn last year people have continued to cast doubt on his abilities to cope with the rough-and-tumble of the Premier League.
This is all complete rubbish. Five assists already this term (equal top in the league) along with 11 key passes and the Costa Rican is well on the way to coming good.
Name: Ben Walker
Twitter handle: @Walks11
Season ticket holder in the Hammy End
Favourite player: Current - Brede Hangeland. All time – Barry Hayles
Most memorable game: Fulham 4-1 Juventus, March 18, 2010 - It had to be didn’t it...
Predicted finish: 8th
Watching Ruiz and Berbatov together is joy to behold at the moment and whilst Berba has had a plethora of justifiable praise for his immediate impact, the former also deserves his fair share of the spotlight.
I’d be the first to admit that Ruiz had a mixed first season and it took him a while to adapt after his move.
When he was beginning to find his feet, a broken foot curtailed that progress, but we saw glimpses of his quality when two stunning goals and a few assists showcased his talents.
However, the same opinions stuck and even despite his good start to this season some of the negativity can still be heard from certain sections of the Cottage crowd.
It is a particular English obsession with praising hard working players over a more languid quality on the pitch. Fans will love players for ever, even with limited quality, if they seem to give their all on the pitch.
Personally, I will happily cope with a player not sprinting after every single lost cause if he can do what Ruiz does.
Rooney is a classic example of this. At his best he is a great player but when it’s not happening he goes chasing after the game, popping up all over the place to try to win the ball back and starting attacks even in his own half.
It looks great for people judging his work ethic but it means he isn’t always in an advanced enough position to make a decisive impact on the game.
Bryan looks notably stronger on the ball this season and the new role playing off Berbatov seems to be really suiting him.
I appreciate that his style means that he will not be everyone’s cup of tea and when we aren’t playing well then he is an easy scapegoat. However, I love watching us play at the moment (although not watching us defend set pieces) and a massive part of this is the partnership that Berba and Ruiz are forming.
Long may it continue.