Joined: 12 Apr 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
|Posted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 1:29 am Post subject: Full-er frustration, but....
|SEAN A WILLIAMS, Observer staff reporter
Saturday, July 09, 2005
FULLER... "I am the striker and often I am the one who is creating the chances, but we also need people to create chances for the strikers as well, because I can't be the striker who wants to score and still not getting the opportunity to score"
LOS ANGELES, California - Few people can even begin to question the outstanding skills of Ricardo Fuller. But many have indeed expressed concerns about the Jamaican striker's goal drought. It has been a long spell since he has scored for his country, and only got one goal last season with his English Premier League (EPL) club, Portsmouth.
What is interesting though, is that despite the dry season when it comes to goal, the 25 year-old is the most sought-after Jamaican player. And although he claims he has two years left on his contract with Portsmouth, British clubs have gone into a mad rush in trying to woo the crafty player on their side.
But the former Tivoli Gardens (Jamaica), Hearts (Scotland) and Preston North End (England) player said he is "a bit" frustrated that he has not been scoring goals of late. "It is a bit frustrating to be honest, because obviously I make runs and create chances, kick penalties, but it seems like nothing is going right.," he told Sporting World.
He attributed his bad spell to the fact that he is not provided for often enough. "I am the striker and often I am the one who is creating the chances, but we also need people to create chances for the strikers as well, because I can't be the striker who wants to score and still not getting the opportunity to score," Fuller argued.
In Jamaica's last World Cup qualifying campaign, Fuller was instrumental in creating a number of goal-scoring chances for his team-mates with his amazing skills. One cannot forget when he cleverly slipped between two El Salvador defenders in the box before passing to Marlon King for one of the team's three unanswered goals that evening in San Salvador.
"I have been making the opportunities for others to score, even midfielders, but hopefully things can change in this tournament (Gold Cup), but in football you never know, as one moment you are scoring and the next you are not," he said.
Fuller is hoping that the goals will flow in the current CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament in the USA, but said that will only happen if the passing is right. "It just depend on if the game is right and the passes come, then definitely I will score, and if I don't make those chances myself, hopefully my team-mates will make them for me," said the player known as 'Wily Boo'.
Jamaica, who are competing in Group C of the Gold Cup, will tackle guest team South Africa in their second game here tomorrow and Fuller believes that "hard work" can lead the Boyz to victory.
"Actually, I think we have to go out and work hard in this tournament. We have to prepare ourselves to defend hard and give 100 per cent in every game. If we give our best with our usual ability and talent and team spirit, then we should be able to come out of this round on a positive note, which could set us up for bigger things," he said.
"We have to look at every opponent in a positive way, as we know that no team is easy to beat and we will be giving every team in this tournament their respect and will be playing them as hard as we can," he added.
In two friendly internationals against South Africa, Jamaica were able to hold the African powerhouse to draws in Kingston and Cape Town.
"We know that South Africa are a good opponent, as they are one of Africa's prominent teams, we played and drew so we know what they have got, although that was a long time, but we still have the capability in our team," Fuller said.
Fuller, who is no stranger to the Gold Cup, said he is looking forward to Jamaica's final game against CONCACAF kingpins Mexico, in Houston, Texas, on Wednesday.
"Mexico, as you know, are one of the favourites in this competition and we have to just try and give 100 per cent against them as well. We know that they are the best team in the CONCACAF region and we will just have to try and beat them and if we can do that, it would be a tremendous result for us and a big morale booster.," said the former Preston North End striker, who scored 15 league goals in the English Championship in the 2003/04 season.
Jamaica played Guatemala in their opening match of the campaign here yesterday. Despite being plagued by injuries over the years, Fuller is still able to survive in the British game, always the target for scouts on the hunt for his special talent.
"I have two more years on my contract and the clubs that have been showing interest in me may think I am not happy at Portsmouth, but playing in the top flight is where I want to be and hopefully I get some goals in the upcoming season. I scored only one goal this season and that was due to a lot of things, which I won't even bother to go into," he said.