He’s going okay isn’t he?
It’s interesting. If you look at the numbers he’s doing the same kinds of things he was at Fulham. Still dispossessed 2.6 times a game (one more than an average player might lose the ball – KILL HIM!), but he’s taking part in fewer aerial duels and shooting twice as often.
He’s passing at the same accuracy (about 80%) too. The above numbers suggest that it’s not necessarily the ‘pace’ of the Premiership that did him in, otherwise he’d be more accurate in his passing now and wouldn’t lose it as often, would he?
Philippe Senderos is doing okay for Valencia as well.
We’ve shipped out the “waste of space players” and are doing no better.
Ultimately you need players to root for, to get behind. My favourite player for a long time was Clint Dempsey, who didn’t seem to have universal backing, but whom I loved to watch. I liked how he developed over time. After him I admired a number of players, but Ruiz really caught the imagination. I wanted it to work for him, but to this day I honestly believe that he was one of our best players. We know he played through a back injury this season, and struggled – like absolutely everyone else in the club’s squad – to perform well. Last year Whoscored had he and Berbatov as our best players, which I agree with.
By removing him Fulham cut down on their attacking options. Martin Jol said this, which made sense to me:
‘Maybe they don’t need me but they need Bryan Ruiz believe me. I can cope with it because I know football. I have 1,300 games, and I know if people in football are not happy they will give you stick but for a player like Bryan… sometimes he is my best player and sometimes he gets caught on the ball and there are a few other players in the past like that. One of my heroes is Glenn Hoddle and people never gave him credit because he was sometimes like Bryan. People have to get used to him and if they don’t get used to him then we have a problem because I need Bryan Ruiz. He can give us a few goals. He came on against Leicester and was the best player on the pitch and that was only a few days ago.
One of the more disappointing elements of a disappointing season has been the treatment of Ruiz. It’s funny, since I started writing this site my default view has usually been that people who are certain of things shouldn’t be so certain, that there’s a need to question everything. But on this I feel quite certain: Ruiz could have been a very good player, and was a good one. It’s like political leanings: I know I’m right on this. And the people who disagree, well they know that I’m wrong. In any case, getting rid of Ruiz hasn’t done us any good, has it?