Often Partisan

A Serbian Problem

Despite the dearth of strikers at Birmingham City, Nikola Zigic has been left out of the last two match-day squads for “footballing reasons” with rumours abound that he and Lee Clark have fallen out.

I don’t think there is anyone who polarises opinion as much at St Andrews as Nikola Zigic. To some he is the talismanic striker who won the Carling Cup for us with goals aganist Arsenal in the final and against the mob from across the expressway in the quarter-final along with a match-changing performance in the second half of the second leg against West Ham. To others he is the drain on the club that is taking a monstrous wage without performing to the standard that salary demands and is one of the causes of the issues we have now.

I will admit, I love the lanky Serb. He is infuriating at times but I think we play better with him in the team and I think we miss him as a focal point when he’s not there. I was reading a post by MGT on smallheathalliance where he showed statistically the difference in Blues’ performances with and without Zigic in the side. I guessed we got more points with Ziggy in the side but I wasn’t quite prepared for how dramatic the difference was – he really is the talisman in the side.

I think it’s worth noting that the best runs we have had as a team under Lee Clark have ben at times when Zigic has been a focal point and playing well. At the tail end of last season Blues picked up a lot of points playing 4-2-3-1 and players like Shane Ferguson, Ravel Morrison and Nathan Redmond all benefitted from playing in and off the Serb. This season I think Novak and Lingard both linked up well with him and I think even Adeyemi has gotten into the habit of bursting into the box to gamble on Zigic winning a knock down.

With the team in the current state it is in I think we have to play him, even if he’s taken a metaphorical crap in Lee Clark’s pond every day this week – I think Clark has no choice. To leave Zigic even off the bench ensures that there is no game-changing plan available when the inevitable goal is conceded. I think back to Crystal Palace away last season when Zigic was shown in the huddle whipping up the youngsters and I think to myself that despite his wages the younger players look up to him (they have no choice considering his height). When you have players who are nippy, who are mobile and who are prepared to gamble on his flicks and headers we can create chances and if we are to win games we need to score goals.

Lee, I know you’ve had issues with Ziggy but the time has come to maybe swallow your east end of Newcastle pride and stick him in the team and try to coax some of those performances out of him. We need Nikola back – and to not have him in the squad when realistically he’s going nowhere is just cutting off your nose to spite your face.

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187 Responses to “A Serbian Problem”

  • Gianni says:

    Completely agree Dan. We play 2 types of football at City, with Zigic, and without.

    We’re better with.

  • Agent McLeish says:

    There is something afoot with Ziggy. Remember the last time he didn’t train properly? Well he got straight back in the team. This time he hasn’t so there are other reasons that we are not aware of.

  • Dave1875 says:

    Zigic was awful v Yeovil and was dropped. Simple. Happened before it will happen again and to other players. People always want to look for another reason that isn’t there. Tatts wrote a good piece a few weeks ago
    http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/birmingham-city-talking-point-colin-6298920

    • John says:

      Most supporters will forgive a player if he has a bad game. Zigic had a very bad game against Yeovil,but that was mainly because he showed a massive lack of effort. I.ve said before they need to show him a video of Bob Latchford or Kenny Burns,to see how a centre forward should play. Zigic,with his height,should win almost every ball in the air,but his timing is way out and worst of all,for a centre forward,he lacks bravery. I think its better for this young Blues team to learn to play the ball forward along the ground,not lump it up the pitch. We will do well to avoid relegation this season,but lets not forget, if this does happen,it will be because the owners of the club,have decimated it,financially !

  • StaffsBlue says:

    People often talk about Lee Clark falling out with Zigic, etc, etc…. but I’m pretty sure that (when fit) he’s played more under Clark than he ever did under McLeish and Hughton. Or it seems that way. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

    For me, no matter who the player is, if you can’t/won’t do what the manager wants/needs you to do, then he’s entitled to the option of playing someone who will. That’s not just referring to Zigic, there are other players who fall into the same bracket, players who, for one reason or another, have underperformed this season.

  • The Flying Pig says:

    What worries me is the lack of a ‘plan B’ when Ziggy is not in the side. It almost appears that we lose our focal point without him; when he was subbed v Yeovil [albeit he was poor], we looked clueless. Whilst I do not want to sound overly critical of LC who is doing a decent job in tough circumstances, it is his job and that of the coaching staff to give us that alternative option.

    • tmsblues says:

      I am not a fan but have to agree that he’s certainly a very good plan B off the bench or if we must play 1 up front it has to be him not Novak who was useless v Leicester. Novak would be much better playing off Ziggy not instead of him. This still comes back to Clark’s own management and motivational limitations in my view.

  • andy says:

    is it just me or is there always a zigic problem with clark during the january transfer window?

    no player should be bigger than the club but these stats from MGT show that if he does not play again for blues , we stand a serious chance of going down this season, especially as the teams beneath us strengthen

    There maybe a clash of egos,.. after all zigic will always look down on clark, as he has already achieved more as a footballer than clark ever did

    • Paul Carter - The Voice Of Reason says:

      The stats do not show that at all

    • chris says:

      the stats show the teams results when he starts
      what the stats don’t show is why he only played those low amounts of games per season.
      the stats don’t show his drop in form or his injuries
      you can make stats say many things

  • Macc Lad says:

    All sorts of rumours flying around that he’s off. Albion now have a coach who knows him from Spain, and they’re desperate. I’d be sad to see him go, but if it means that he’s the only one that leaves before the deadline I’d be happy.

  • Dino Tiltoni says:

    Thanks for reminding about the Crystal Palace away game last season. Definitely our best performance and it was SO good to be there. Looking forward to some JOYS again soon KRO

  • Richard Granfield says:

    The Serbian problem, in a nutshell, is that fans expect more effort,commitment,hard work,goals and better attitude from an International player earning £60k plus a week.

    • Bluenosesol says:

      Bang on Richard, we can always wax lyrical about the past, but right now he’s barely an asset.

      • mr_crosby says:

        On the 10 game unbeaten run recently how many games did he play in?

        • chris says:

          but why isn’t he playing now , because his form always drops off after half a dozen games or so, or he gets injured.
          not LC’s fault if he can’t sustain form for more than 6 to 8 games in a row

    • Mario says:

      I expect more effort from Asia rays for all the money they earn from the club not ziggy at least he turns up every day. I can’t believe blues fans they hate ziggy more than pannu and Asia rays!!!! Incredible !!!!

      • Agent McLeish says:

        Good and valid point. What’s pp doing for his massive salary and consultancy payments?

        • chris says:

          pannu and asia only!!!! on 20k a week not 72k per week, both vastly overpaid in my view and both letting the club down in it’s darkest hour for decades

          • KIDDIEVINCE says:

            I emailed pannu about the finances and never even got a reply which sums up our shambles of a club.

  • Ricky says:

    The only reason our record is better with him on the pitch is because he absorbs more opponent commitment marking him. He still doesn’t play with any passion or flair and doesn’t score enough goals. Ok he may earn us a few 1point draws but we desperately need a 3 point earning striker which is what his wage should get us.

  • TonyE says:

    Against Yeovil he was terrible and more concerning, didn’t seem to be trying. I always expect effort from players wearing the shirt, I can forgive a lack of technical ability, but they must always try their hardest for the team.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Blues fans have always appreciated hard working players. Damien Johnson wasn’t the most gifted player.. but you never got less than 100% from him. It’s the least you expect.

  • Evesham blue says:

    He won’t be here next season anyway. We need to find a way to live without him! Your comments about flick ons are inaccurate I think. The guy can’t jump. He prefers short passing.

    Think the comment earlier about tying up defenders up is true tho. He gets fouled on a regular basis.

    Seems to me he Ziggy needs to be peed off before he tries. The 4 nil demolition of Leeds is what we want to see more of.

    For me Ziggy’s reluctance to move on has been a millstone around our necks. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to think how many players we could pay on his salary. With the current wage cap an entire team probably!

  • DoctorD says:

    The embarrassing thing is my missis bought me a Blues top with Zigic’s name on the back for my birthday…apparently it was the only player she’d heard of.

  • Evesham blue says:

    There might be an inkling of truth in the rumour he may be off. He only has half season left on his contract. His Agent must be worried now about his next big contract with his age to!

    Even if we loan him out paying part salaries. LC has intimated fringe players will be moved on. Look at wade Elliot for instance

  • sandpit72 says:

    I don’t know Zigic personally so is he the type of guy that needs an arm around the shoulder or a rocket up the backside,hopefully Clark knows?

    As regards the wage surely you should give your all if your on 60k a week or 2k a week,it really shouldn’t come into the equation,but whatever we payed Zigic it was worth it for the cup win IMO

  • Wingman Blue says:

    Couldn’t understand at the time why he didn’t come on against Swansea in the second half – guess he’s become so demotivated that he doesn’t feel like playing for LC any more. This at a time when there’s no credible alternative, despite Lovenkrands pitching in the odd goal or two. Cannot understand where LC is coming from – you never get rid of anything, however crap it might be, until you’ve got hold of a better replacement, and a better replacement for Zig we ain’t got. You wouldn’t discard a rusty tin opener if you didn’t have a replacement, so why bench our only striker, and sometime playmaker? Yes, he’s had a fit of the sulks recently, but until you get hold of a better LC, don’t throw away your rusty striker!

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Why dont we loan him to Albion at full wages until the end of the season with a view to a free transfer if he performs there? We are then relieved of his salary burden which is threatening our survival and If he doesnt perform, he is out on his *rse and will live or die by the opinions of those who matter to his future. (Ziggy dont hold your breath!!)

    • mr_crosby says:

      So what do you think they will do with the 65k a week they save?

    • tmsblues says:

      There’s not a cat in hells chance anyone will pay him £65k per week. If we are really lucky I reckon we might get £20k contribution. In light of the Anelka situation, Albion might be a happy solution for all concerned since Ziggy is settled in Brum area. Maybe Pepe Mels rated him when he was in Spain and hopefully hasn’t seen some of his more recent apathetic performances.

    • chris says:

      wba don’t pay £72k a week wages, i bet no-one there gets more than £30 or £40 k a week

      • Chris W says:

        The only clubs paying that sort of money regularly are Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd and possibly Arsenal, even Liverpool are cutting back.
        KRO+DNM

  • Ali Duncan says:

    He is a resource and a dangerous option to have. He needs to be utilised.

  • Peter bates says:

    I think lc is one of those managers who wont admit when hes wrong and from time to time throws his toys out the pram and in our present position if zigic is at the club on his wages he should be playing on the other hand if clark knows hes leaving he has to try something elskro

  • Blue Stuey says:

    Wow – Just seen those stats and they are amazing. Has anyone actually verified them as I find it hard to believe? Not doubting them (I know I am!) but they are astounding.
    Feeling really sorry for LC at the moment. His job is impossible. I wonder how long he will continue for? He can’t be enjoying this. I wouldn’t blame him for walking away from it all, as I said the job is impossible. If he was to go I think they would find it very difficult to find anyone willing to replace him.

    Re Zigic, you either love him or hate him. Its not his fault he was provided with a silly contract. Put yourself in his position, would you have signed it? Would you move for less?
    I agree sometimes he seems to lack in effort. However, as previous comments said, when he was taken off vs Yeovil we looked even worse! Good quality attacking players come at a premium. We have no money, therefore hardly a surprise we are struggling to score.

  • Royalblue says:

    You can hide anything with statistics.
    To me they are not relevant to the situation we are in. The numbers just tell me how good a player Marlon king really was, he did a lot of the clever stuff for Zigic!
    The projected figures mean nothing, or else I would have took a lot more money off bet365!
    We are in a dog fight now and have been since we got relegated, so that means total commitment to the cause, play for the shirt not just your salary.
    One decent performance every now and then doesn’t cut it.
    I hate the fact he has divided the fans and even though I don’t agree with everything Clark does I think he is right about Zigic.

  • Zigic is and has always been a winner.
    Clark just cannot handle him.
    The only winner from leaving him out is the opposition.
    Lee your job is hard enough…it’s now bordering on impossible because of you.
    And I thought we could make the play-offs but didn’t reckon on Premier clubs calling back loanees
    and Lee Clark still having personal vendettas.
    Lee your problems with Zigic tell me that you could never ever manage a premiership outfit where many have multiple Zigic’s to deal with.
    Next 4 months will be a waste of time on what’s happened the last 3 weeks.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    At the end of the day, we’re all just speculating (including myself,) there’s not a jot of proof anywhere.

    Last year, Lee Clark put the problem out there and got lambasted for it. Now he’s keeping it in-house and surprise surprise, he’s being lambasted for it. Until we have conclusive proof of what the problem is, there’s no advantage in pointing the finger.

    • Blue in Spain says:

      Unfortunately Staffs we have fans, not supporters, that will lambast LC at any opportunity. It is very much like Groundhog day with some. For some reason people think they can make personal slurs about the manager, but shouldn’t have to take personal slurs themselves. They are either just too precious, or hypocrites.

      • steve says:

        These forums are where fans get rid of frustrations.He gets no abuse from supporters at the games.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          OMG! Don’t let the owner hear you calling this a forum, it’s a castration offence. :-))

        • Blue in Spain says:

          I have no problem with people abusing LC, but don’t get all precious when someone abuses you. Certain people posting on here have called him all sorts in the past yet throw hissy fits when given a taste of their own medicine. If you give it out, take it!

  • BigDes says:

    The last two games he played ( one of which I do not think you were at) he was awful – he looked like he was not interested and not trying. Kevin Broadhurst said he believed he was trying to play in the hole and not lead the line. What choice has Lee Clark got but to drop him if he is not following team orders. KRO

    • Chris W says:

      Against Yeovil LC was incensed with Zigic and constantly bawling at him to get in the box, he had to come off even if for team morale.
      Would have been nice to be a fly on the wall either after the match or at the Monday team analyst meeting.
      KRO+DNM

  • Sh!t on the villa says:

    Novak is the golden boy for LC. We have a huge midfield… Are you surprised that he would drop Ziggy for novak? I am not.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      As LC has said himself, we were on a 10-match unbeaten run, then we had the spine ripped out of the team. It’s no one’s fault, just a fact of life in the position we’re in. He’s obviously working day and night to plug those gaps, but, until he does, he’s trying to find a new formula that will get us a win. I’d be more concerned if he did nothing.

      • Evesham blue says:

        True. How many new teams has LC had to build every season. He said it himself he can only do youth loans from the bigger teams to develop them or shop for freebies terminating their contracts. Added to that financial constraints. He replaced Lingard and Elliot like for like. So the midfielder problem is not strictly true. Wait till deadline day to see if he plugs the defence and striker holes.

        I think it is was slightly unfair Prem teams recalling season long loans. I know there was the option but why loan em for a season to us?

        Fulham had a change of manager and Swansea just wanted to put their player in the shop window it seems.

        There is no stability with loans but we have no choice

      • steve says:

        Pick his best 11 and best formation and stay with it for a bit.Give the team time to get used to it.

  • Auld Bertie says:

    Having signed Aaron Martin from Southampton at least we wont have to consider playing Ziggy at CB against Derby :)

    • StaffsBlue says:

      At least we have a natural defender in and not a stop-gap midfielder. Got to be a plus.

      • Richard Granfield says:

        I agree. The other good thing is that Martin has signed permanently, rather than on loan, so won’t effect the number of loan players included in the team i.e.5.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Yes, it’s a short tern deal until the end of the season, which means he can’t be recalled by another club. If we think back to last season, Robbo was on a similar deal and look how that tuned out. I went on a Southampton forum and most of them rated him and wished him well… so I’m happy with the signing. Let’s hope it comes off.

  • Tony says:

    Just like I have been saying all along Clark cuts of his nose to spite his face, whats the point in not useing Zigic? hes there hes available put him on the bench at the very least. The comment about Clark throwing his toys out of the pram are correct, I stand by my Remarks concerning Clark he is an egotistical clown.

    • Blue in Spain says:

      How’s it cutting his nose, when Zigic can’t even be bothered to put a shift in! Funny how you anti Clark clowns think its acceptable for a player not to give 100%. whether he’s fallen out with the manager or not, he should have a little pride in himself!

      • Tony says:

        Basically BIS At its most simple Because you are saying to the opposition we have an international striker but you dont have to formulate plans to deal with him because we are not going to use him so just forget him.

        • Art Watson says:

          Tony,

          And what’s more concerning Clark is saying he can’t manage him!

          • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

            People know I’m not Clarks biggest fan but I have to agree with him on this one, How many games has Zigic been subbed in games on the stats? This season most of the time he hasn’t been interested even in the 10 match unbeaten run, so we’ve done it despite him. I will be pleased when the season ends and we lose the big wage earners off the books lets hope we still have a team in the championship. Martin looks a reasonable signing but hasn’t had game time so fear for us on Saturday. I’m resigned to Clark staying now but he still makes mistakes and doesn’t learn from them.

  • Dave1875 says:

    Blues fans moan at Zigic when he is in the team. Blues fans moan at Clark when he is not in the team.

  • Chris W says:

    I can see where you are coming from, but in another aspect you are condoning his idleness the last few games.
    There have been times when it would have been easier to score had just stuck his head in the fray.
    The younger players might well look up to him but he is not exactly leading by example.
    If he got injured, like Murphy where would that leave us? He won’t because he just doesn’t put himself in there.
    If we could get his £60 k weekly wage of the bill we could have two £10 k strikers in his place or, if the wage is £5 k we could buy a new team.
    Sorry I’ll have to agree to disagree on the big Serb.
    KRO+DNM

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think that, basically, he’s trying to change things to get away from the route 1 football we play when Zigic is in the team. I’m not saying that’s Zigic’s fault, far from it. It’s just that it’s an easy out-ball just to lump it upfield to a maypole, instead of trying to build an attack. Some people complain that we’re not playing to his strengths.. that may be so, but we can’t complain when the manager is trying to change things to get the side playing more football. Well, some can obviously.

      • chas says:

        Staffs, you have made a great point there, albeit unwillingly.. We play Route One football when Zigic is in the Team but we shouldn’t play it. Zigic isn’t a R1 Player, he is a ‘To his feet’ Player , so he has been used wrongly.. He never palyed R1 till he came to us. Others have made just as telling comments when they say he occupies 2/3 Opposition Players when he is playing, so making it easier for the rest of our lot to play. They just haven’t got the talent to do it.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          If you read it again chas, you’ll see that it wasn’t unwillingly. I said that it wasn’t Zigic’s fault that players lumped the ball up to him… and neither is it Lee Clark’s, that’s why he’s trying to change it to more football. When a player has the ball, it’s HIS decision what to do with it, not the manager’s. I’m sure the Clark has told them time and time again not to do it, but still they persist. I have an inkling that he’s run out of patience with some players and is bring in replacements who CAN play football instead of hoof-ball.

          • chas says:

            Apologies are in order, Staffs. I was scan-reading and still a tad annoyed over an earlier post .

          • StaffsBlue says:

            No worries mate. That’s why I always count to 10 before I begin typing. ;-)

            As for Zigic, I’m sure he’ll be back in the side soon. For some strange reason, he always comes back better when he’s been out a while.

          • Art Watson says:

            StaffsBlue,

            How many more excuses are you going to give Clark.?

            If his record isn’t enough to get him fired or to convince you he’s a rubbish manager perhaps the missing 10’000 missing fans will.

            A good manager will get the best out of any problem player-look what Brian Clough achieved with KB in the 70s.

          • Chris W says:

            When will the anti Clark brigade get it into their heads, we can’t afford to sack him, and he has limited funds, if any to change anything.
            I was as vociferous against Clark as most last season. I said at the start of the season to give him a chance, with what he has and had to endure I believe he is going the best he can.
            Until finances change or BIHL, CY sell out he is the best we can hope for….
            I’d love to say, “lets get Clark out”, but I am also realistic to our current plight.
            I also believe, through his loyalty, he should be given the chance to rebuild with some money, I don’t mean millions, but let him buy players that want to play for the badge and not be dependent on loans or has beens.
            KRO+DNM

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I respect your opinion, but by the same token Art, how many times are you going to say the same thing? We all know you can’t stand Clark. We get it loud and clear. Message understood. I’m going to remain positive if that’s ok with you.

  • DoctorD says:

    Well you can bend those stats any way, for example:

    1. We might have got more points in the games Zigic played in simply because the managers only ever put him in the easy-to-win games.
    2. He’s played in 69 games and not in 88 — it could be that to motivate the guy he needs to spend time out of the team. So when he plays, he shines, but keep him in too long and he goes stale.
    3. Alex McLeish and Chris Hughton both in fact played Zigic in a smaller fraction of games than Lee Clark has done — so it’s not as if Clark has been avoiding him, the opposite is true in fact.

    • mr_crosby says:

      Easy win games…. Arsenal in the Carling Cup final?
      We had other striking options with both Hughton and McLeish so they had the luxury of utilising him for certain games that isn’t the case with Clark its either Zigic up front or Novak.

      • Chris W says:

        Which poses another question. Why is LC signing midfielders and not another striker, great if we had RVP, but only have Novak and Zigic, so apart from having the heart of the defence ripped out he still looking at midfielders, we have 15 midfielders in the squad, counting Allen, but only 3 fit strikers, none of which have ever been prolific..
        LC is limiting his options.
        All very well playing the ball through midfield, how many times have we seen that this season, even against Leicester, but when we get to the goalmouth we fizzle.
        KRO+DNM

    • chas says:

      Zigic was injured for a long time after Houghton took over.

  • steveb says:

    No one has a god given right to be in the team, just because he is the highest earner does not mean he should be in the team, just imagine if you was on a 10th of someone you work with and could see they were doing bugger all??? he is not good for team moral, he is not good full stop, he is going the end of the season so ether way we have to learn to live without him

  • jim says:

    We are going to need ziggy, so clarks going to have to use him.

  • Blueboy88 says:

    This sadly highlights Clarks appaling man management skills again.

    He has got a hard job ? Show me a football manager who hasn’t ?

    4 months without a home win is shocking , the harsh fact is he is not good enough.

    Time to face up to the stark realities that we could be playing league two football next season ,
    & the club will be relying heavily on younger players . So who better than Noel Blake to take over ? Nobody has a greater understanding of the bright young Enlish talent available.

    But more importantly at this juncture, he is a Bluenose who would bring some pride back into the wearing of the Royal Blue Shirt.

    • Tony says:

      Hear Hear Blueboy88 at last

    • Chris W says:

      Think you are forgetting the £3M compensation LC would be entitled to if we terminate his contract, like Ziggy and all other footballers contracts, they get sacked, contract terminated for whatever reason they still walk away with a healthy bank account.
      KRO+DNM

      • Blueboy88 says:

        And how much will relegation cost ?

        • Chris W says:

          I agree, but that is next season and as we have learnt if nothing else, CY,PP and BIHL don’t prepare anything, let alone relegation.
          Anyone else would have sold up by now, cut their losses and run.
          KRO+DNM

        • mark says:

          Sorry to be positive but we are not relegated………….

      • DoctorD says:

        Lee Clark’s on a one-year rolling contract so as he’s earning £300k (though I stand to be corrected), that would be the cost of firing him, I believe.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          I’m not sure what the cost would be Doc, but they’d have to pay off the likes of McD, Fazackerley and Watson too. God knows what that would come to.

        • Chris W says:

          If that is so I stand corrected, but I am sure that Blackpool were told to stump up £3m to buy his contract up.
          KRO+DNM

    • Agent McLeish says:

      What a load of tosh. We’ve lost a couple of games and the moaners have come out of the woodwork. As for the suggestion of Noel Blake as manager because he played for Blues – well that is just ridiculous and shows what a warped view of the situation that the moaners have. You’ll be asking for George Graham next! It staggers me how the moaners seem to forget the perpetrators of our current plight which is CY &. BIHL. Well done to LC for even managing to get the points we have to date with an asset stripped squad, no money, no support and no good news on the horizon.

      • Blue in Spain says:

        Hear Hear!

      • Blueboy88 says:

        I suggested Noel Blake because he is the England U19 Coach & possess a UEFA Pro Licence.
        He will also have an encylopeadic knowledge of all the young English players.
        The fact he is ex-Blues is a huge bonus.

        Why is that a warped view ?

        Clark has a tough job, but show me a football manager who does not ?

        Hes had his chance, time to move on & build a young exciting team with a future.

  • Bluemat says:

    This is more deep rooted with Zigic there’s no doubt about that, i respect LC for keeping it in house but its pretty obvious. My opinion is that at this moment in time we cant afford to leave somebody like zigic completely out of the squad all together. Put him on the bench, it doesn’t mean you have to put him on does it? You can assess how the games going and make that decision. By treating him like this (whether he deserves it or not) just creates a bad atmosphere, which we cannot afford. Whether we like it or not he’s our game changer and he’s the best we have to suit the way we play. He is a frustrating figure there’s no denying that but he offers to much off the ball, football is very psychological and i think sometimes that works in our favour when he faces opposition defenders sometimes before a ball is even kicked. Sometimes you have to measure a player on how other teams see him and the likes of West Ham, who have nothing but big players hated playing Birmingham when zigic was linking up against them. KRO

  • andy says:

    A Serbian problem? An active international, played for Valencia, signed for £6 million, Granted a £65,000 weekly wage, Arsenal couldn’t handle him in Cup Final. The problem with the Serb is that he has proven to be a poor Championship player, nowhere near some of the centre forwards Birmingham have had at this level. Lee Clark does not want players in his team that are not giving everything for the badge. Those at the Yeovil game will agree, Zigic doesn’t deserve a place in the team after that showing, considering the opening line I put on here. The guy has had more than enough patience given to him and remember, the Cup Final win was 3 years ago, thanks for the memories but nothing to thank Zigic for since.

    • Chris W says:

      I have a question that keeps bugging me.
      Scott Allen is in the wilderness because Albion don’t want him back and we keep being told that loan deals have to be agreed with all 3 parties, we had both Bartley and Burn on season long loans so why didn’t we disagree with their recall?
      Am I missing something, I can understand public relationships and if we spit the dummy out we might struggle to find other loans in future, but surely a contract is a contract has should be honoured.
      If not then terminate Allen’s and stop paying his wages, he is no good to us as it stands.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I’d like to know the difference between Scott Allan’s deal.. and Bartley and Burn’s. Did we have to agree to the latter two’s return solely to maintain good relations, or was there a difference in the terms?

      • steve says:

        Remember Man City getting arsey over Joe Hart when we wouldn’t let him go back for the last couple of games ?Apparently the league wouldn’t allow it as there was no call back agreement.Obviously a call back agreement was in place for Bartley and Burn.Shame because they were forming a good partnership.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          Yeah, I remember that. I think the club would have allowed it, but the league put a block on it. Doesn’t seem to have harmed relations though, having signed the 2 City lads in the last week.

        • Chris W says:

          Thanks, that might explain things a little, maybe we should check for call back clauses, Obviously WBA knew what they were getting rid of in Allen, should still be a clause to terminate his contract somewhere or farm him out to Solihull Moors or the like, anywhere off our books.
          KRO+DNM

          • StaffsBlue says:

            I’m very disappointed about Allan. I liked what I saw when he first arrived.. but, I suppose there’s something amiss somewhere, as the only place he’s played well, is at Portsmouth. The kid is wasting his talent.

          • Chris W says:

            But unfortunately we are lumbered, not only with him but his wage bill too, that is why we should ship him out, he is no good to anyone, including himself.
            Whoever signed his contract should be held accountable too.
            KRO+DNM

  • kimberley blue says:

    If Zigic’s Agent sees those stats he will be asking for a pay rise.

  • The Francis Fake says:

    You can’t argue with those stats as they are over such a long period of time. If Zigic gets the right service he is very effective if he doesn’t get it his lack of mobility makes him look awful and is if he isn’t trying. The Yeovil game was one where Blues played dreadfully and as a result he became very ineffective. We can’t afford to offload him or leave him out of the squad unless we have a decent replacement and that’s a fact. If LC leaves him out of the picture the stats demonstrate that we are more likely to go down.

  • Paul Carter - a lover of BCFC he says:

    Lee has done exactly the right thing dropping Zigic.

    Don’t want his crass attitude rubbing off on the kids.

    We have a far better chan Enid staying up without him in the team, not trying, constantly moaning and effectively making us a 10 man team.

    Well done Lee and KRO

  • fletch says:

    whats happened to the takeover bid by paladini .its all gone quiet.anybody know anything ?

  • Royalblue says:

    There is quite a few people impressed by the stats on Zigic, so I have just worked out some more:,
    To this point- 133 appearances, 33 goals ( 1 in 4 ) 2 1/2 seasons at championship level.!!
    Reputed earnings to this point approx £9 million ( maybe more ) . £ 300,000 per goal.

    No further questions

  • dave mann says:

    big zigic has done quite well out of blues then hasent he, hes earnt more than any other
    blues player in history and will go down in history for that reason, is style and build has
    given him many critics from the fans but i wiil always remember the good times of that
    mommentous carling cup run and how inportant he was then, that doesent make up for
    what he gets paid but he was in a major cup final winning team and scored at wembley
    and no one can take that away from him or any other blues fan that was there on our
    biggest day in our history, i was a fan to be honest but he was never gonna be loved
    after what happened with the owners and is massive wages but i wish him all the best.
    KRO.

  • Paul Carter - a lover of BCFC he says:

    Unfortunately Dave like McLeish, Gardner, Savage before him he has dismantled the legacy he could and should have had

  • mark says:

    Even fans voting on the blues wall since august have never picked ziggy………….it certainly comes down to performances……

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I also noted mark, that only one loan player (Lingard) has won it this season… which kind of backs up some people’s argument that loan players don’t always give their all to the cause. I don’t know if it’s that significant, but the other 5 winners have all been our own players. Just thought I’d throw that in.

      • steve says:

        Apart from his debut,i never really rated Lingaard.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          4 goals on his debut (3 set up on a plate) then only 2 in his next dozen games. He did a lot of running and jinking.. but not a lot else. I’m sure different paople saw different things in him though.

    • steve says:

      I,m Sure he’s not the only player.

  • PAV says:

    Does anyone know if Zigic is on a % goal bouns and the heads of the club are stopping Lee Clark playing him

  • chudlt says:

    Well without Ziggy in the team we have certainly improved haven’t we? Oh wait a minute !!!!!!

    • Richard Granfield says:

      I believe team play HAS improved without Zigic in the side. The reason the results haven’t improved is the 2 games were against Premier League Swansea and league leaders Leicester.

      • steve says:

        We were terrible against Leicester.Even if he doesn’t start he should still be on the bench.Just for something different..We are desperately short of strikers.We can’t afford to leave him out of the matchday squad.

      • mr_crosby says:

        Did you go against Leicester?

      • Pete says:

        If Ziggy had played like Novak on Tuesday he would have been destroyed by the crowd. Novak missed nearly every header, stepping to the side or behind the defender, allowing them a run at it with him jumping aimlessly. I like Novak as a player (after recent performances) but he was not effective in the middle. Whilst Ziggy is poor in the air (but better than Novak), when the ball is at his feet I think he picks passes better than anyone in our team

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    Its interesting to see people commenting on team performance and results recently. Has anyone noticed that since the end of December we have had the heart ripped out of the side by returning loans and injuries? Is this the managers fault? Where does he get the replacements from? I still dont think people realise that WE HAVE NO MONEY! If we were stupid enough to sack LC who would come here in his place? Who would stump up the compensation and what would we pay the incoming manager? I feel truly sorry for the LC, he has shown great dignity and loyalty to Blues and all he gets is complaints. Its a joke using his wages as a stick to beat him with, if people want a scapegoat they should look elsewhere as loyalty is a rare commodity in football today.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      A dose of reality. Nice post Steve.

      • Steve Aerobic says:

        Apprecited Staffs, I think people forget the situation that faces us, its no coincidence that the aforementioned injuries and terurning loans have coincided with the end of the run. Fans even use his 40 odd match unbeaten run at Huddersfield as a minus point in his CV. How about congratulations for bringing through so many young players and letting them have a go? I ssuppose the response to that will be that he had to do that as he had no choice, the poor bloke cant win! The truth is that we cannot judge his managerial abilities until the club is on an even keel but as a man I think he can hold his head high for putting up with flak from all quarters and never complaining..Well done Lee!

        • steve says:

          I think most people do appreciate his circumstances Steve.But that doesn’t change some of his baffling decisions and constant team and formation changes.The results haven’t just been bad since December.I may be wrong,but is it 9 home wins since he joined?Looking at the remaining home fixtures,we could be in big trouble.He needs to stop going on about our financial problems,as everybody knows about them,and concentrate on trying to get a settled team and way of playing.

        • Staffordshire Blue Nose says:

          Steve its a pity football is a game of opinions like life some people vote for labour some don’t. You can’t please all the people all of the time, I for one would like to see the youth team setup given the reigns because they seem to be getting gems into the 1st 11 but that isn’t going to happen

    • Chris W says:

      Nicely put, I was trying to get the same point across.
      KRO+DNM

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion of course Steve. I have never heard him complaing about the finances only that he mentions that his choices are obviously limited, which is true, does he have no right of reply? Conversely how about looking at his away record, I think you will find that it stands up quite well compared to recent managers. Glass half empty?

    • steve says:

      Glass half empty Steve ? Unfortunately yes at the moment where Blues and Clark are concerned.I’ve never been a fan of his and i don’t think i ever will be.But if we stay up,i’ll be the first on here to congratulate him.As the away record,i think we’re going to have to keep that going if we are to stay up.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I see it for what it is, a very difficult…. and thankless task.

    Look at what he’s had to deal with; Our better players sold during the summer. Eardley, Murphy, Spector, Green, all out for the season. Packwood just coming back after a year. Asante missing in action for most of the past 2 seasons. And now Bartley, Burn and Lingard recalled.

    Other than the top half a dozen teams in the premier, no team could take the hits we have and go on to have more than an average season. Some teams can temper it a bit by splashing out on a few new signings. We don’t even have that luxury. Bringing a free agent on short-term, low paid contracts is a luxury for us. What’s not to get?

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    Regarding the glass half empty comment Steve I am trying to point out that statistics can be manipulated to say what you want them to as I pointed out regarding his 40 match unbeaten run at Huddersfield being seen as a negative against him. We are all armchair managers and often wonder why managers make decisions that we do not agree with, its the same ar every club and with all supporters.I keep hearing that we have the 3rd smallest wage bill in the league bar Zigic and at present we are not 3rd from bottom, lets pray it stays that way.

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    Agreed Stafs!

  • ErnieD says:

    Just a few thoughts on the various posts…Ziggy…firstly, lets get the obvious out of the way…he’s not worth 65k a week…no one in this div is, end of story….but until a better alternative is available he has to play. It’s a pity he is so tall because most people think this should make him great in the air and this clearly is not his strength. On the floor he is skilled, he can see a great pass and deliver it, he occupies two defenders at a time, he’s pulled, pushed and obstructed constantly…there is a good reason opponents give him special treatment.

    With his back to goal he needs the ball at his feet or to his chest…not 6 inches above his head…above all the stats speak for themselves we are better with him…is he Francis, Latchford even big Kev?…well no he’s not but he’s the best forward we have, end of story.

    Now for LC…37 Championship home games and only 8 wins…I’ve watched Blues for 48 years and it’s never been this poor. For the majority of these games we have had a very decent squad that should be in the top half of the table. The team against Leicester was really weak and no surprise to lose but the points dropped at home prior to this will cost us. This poor home record must be put in context, we have played all teams in the bottom 10 places, let’s leave the runaway leaders to one side and look at all those points we have thrown away against our relegation rivals.

    LC has not had many pennies to spend, but his cash signings, Ambrose, Mullins and Caddis do not offer much confidence that he could spend well if we ever get new owners. I will refrain from commenting on Carson until a verdict is in…

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Lose to Derby on Saturday and we are going to be uncomfortably close to the relegation zone. Question for those who think Clark is right to leave Zigic completely out of the playing squad. Are you really confident that Novak and Lovenkrands will score enough goals to keep us out of danger?

    • Chris W says:

      Between the three of them I don’t think they have the skill or commitment to keep us up, out of 36 league starts between them they have amassed the grand total of 10 goals an average of 1 every 3.6 games.
      We have 19 games to go so on that stat, they will score another 5.27 goals between them, bearing in mind that only is starting per game, unless we go 4-4-2, which wasn’t working when we did play it.
      We have depended on goals from defenders this season with them chipping in with 9, the rest from midfield, given that McClean and Lingard along with Burn and Bartley are no longer with us, it does not bode well unless we can find an unpolished gem who knows where the net is.
      KRO+DNM

  • Billy blue says:

    I read the comments with sadness ,talking about who can be bought in on loan deals.It is a scandalous situation that we have been left in a position of loaning players who are .. here today gone tomorrow .I think back to 1950 as an 8 year old hearing the roar of the crowd on Moseley Road at my grandma,s house as Jimmy Higgins scored the winning goal against Manchester United .I was hooked for life ,it is so depressing to see the situation now besetting the club

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Right at the start of the season, we knew we’d struggle for goals after Marlon King left. Goalscorers cost money. We’ve got no money, so we’ve not been able to bring in a decent striker. We can’t even take a punt on a regular, lower division striker, because we can’t even afford that.

    The only way Lee Clark can change the situation, is by sweet-talking a premier league manager into loaning us a few goals.. or try another of the kids (which isn’t ideal in this situation.)

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I think opposition teams have also realised we can be bullied. Yeovil certainly did that to us. Getting these Man C starlets in with good technical ability in is all very well but is it really want we want if we do get into a relegation dogfight. We look a bit lightweight to me.

  • Tony says:

    Clark had no intention of trying to bring a centre half in until Bartley was recalled ,he was quite prepared to go with Packwood and Bartley for the rest of the season, just as he is prepared to go with Novak and Lovenkrands now and cast aside Zigic. This situation is plainly ridiculous especially when contrasted with the 15 midfielders we have.
    Obstinacy can become so entrenched as to become a mental health issue.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      It stated quite clearly in the BM that Clark had been after Aaron Martin BEFORE Bartley was re-called. Take a look.

      • Tony says:

        Staffs have not read BM for years but Clark did say when enthusing about Packwood I had been thinking of cetre halves but maybe I wont ned to now.

    • Steve Aerobic says:

      How ridiculous to imply that the manager has a mental peoblem on the back of you not understanding that the deal for the Southampton centre half had already commenced and then a paltry little explanation afterwards…typical short sighted band wagon jumper! Perhaps an apology or explanatory post to LC would be more appropriate than an explanation to Staffs?

      • Tony says:

        Aerobic, I apologize to no one for expressing my opinion read into my comments what you will, as regards a bandwagon jumper I was one of, if not the original poster to say I didnt want Clark even before he arrived. He has proved to be just as bad as expected, Last season he had a side capable of a top six finish he blew that in spectacular fashion 10-12 was the target for this season hes way way off.
        The guy is useless his man management is non existent, he has a chip on his shoulder, he does not use his best players, he amasses an army of midfielders when he has two strikers and two centre backs He and his mate Terry mac are a joke and a bigger draon on the ckub than zigic ever was.
        He goes on about the spine of the team what other manager would leave himself so short ,at the time he said that he had the keeper one centre back and two striker. 9 wins in 38 matches do me a favour. Maybe you should forget you name and do a little less aerobics its making you light headed.

  • ray says:

    It’s not just Zigic at fault for the lack of goals. How often do our forwards get up front only for a certain winger to try and beat yet another man for his own satisfaction instead of crossing the damn thing. They’re left wonderering why they bothered getting up there!

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Burke can be devastating on his day.. but damned frustrating on most of the others. It’s true, the strikers don’t know when the ball is going to be crossed and have to keep checking their runs, trying to guess. Any striker will tell you it’s the most frustrating thing to keep making runs and the ball not arriving. But, it’s not just Burke, others are guilty of the same thing. I think Mitch Hancox is the only one capable of crossing on the run. Our final ball definitely needs improvement.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      Absolutely spot on. There doesn’t seem to be any great planning on set pieces either or a quality dead ball specialist in the team. The best we have got for that is probably Ferguson and he has hardly played and probably won’t much with the Man C kids having to be played.

      • Chris W says:

        Both Burke and Ferguson have been poor crossers this season, how many times have they failed to clear the first man.Murphy and caddis are the only ones who have scored from free kicks directly, if I’m correct.
        KRO+DNM

        • StaffsBlue says:

          We’ve definitely missed Murphy at free kicks. Ferguson’s free kicks, corners and crosses haven’t been anywhere near the same this season. You’d think Burke, with his scoring talents, would be a must at free kicks, but nothing doing there either. His main threat over the past 2 seasons, has been cutting inside and shooting with his left foot. It’s great when it comes off… but it’s become a bit predictable now.

          • Chris W says:

            thats why most teams put 2 in that channel, even caddis has been struggling. Maybe that is what LC is going to try and do with these young midfielders, might give Burke and Caddis more space.
            KRO+DNM

  • Shirley Blue says:

    Our remaining home games look tough though every home game for us must seem like a mountain to climb. We have still got to play Derby, QPR, Burnley and Reading for example. I really struggle to see us getting a single point from those games. If it wasn’t for those four away wins on the trot we would be in desperate trouble. We have got to get 20 points from somewhere. Am I worrying too much?

  • matt says:

    I don’t agree too many times with you dan but you’ve just gone up in my estimation mate! spot on!

  • bluenose08 says:

    I agree about the fact Ziggy is better with his feet than his head as he never jumps to win the ball unlike Kenny burns who was a lot smaller but would win everything in the air and get more goa
    S. As a manager Lee Clark is paid to manage and its a lot harder to manage players that don’t live up tp your expectations just as it is supporting your team that don’t live up to your expectations.regardless of how much money you earn you should still put the effort as was mentioned before Damien Johnson always put in a shift. K.r.o

  • andy says:

    Zigic plays too deep anyway, he is what he is, a tall centre forward that should be in the box worrying defenders not trying to be a Messi! Maybe he will come back into the team an angry man, and an angry Zigic produces!

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I actually think Clark has been quite cute with this Zigic situation. He has made a very big deal of Zigic having a bad game against Yeovil including taking him off when he knew he would get dogs abuse without anyone any better to bring on. He knows Zigic is an easy target for the boo boys due to his wages and it’s a convenient way of creating a distraction from his own shortcomings. He could have come out and said anyone can have a bad game and supported his player in public but did the exact opposite. Maybe he isn’t as thick as I thought.

  • Martin Grainger says:

    Without [insert main striker’s name] we do worse? No surprise. Without him, we are down our main strike choice. Its an irrelevant statistic.

  • jazzzy786 says:

    If he’s being paid 55k a week we have to play him or does he get appearance money on top of that. That Huw is supposed to be really good. I hope we can get another defender and striker in before the window closes.

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Whatever the situation with Ziggy just remember that it was CY that signed him and it was PP who sanctioned his contract. Both Ziggy and LC are blameless as far as the contract is concerned.

  • mark says:

    it appears ziggy has not gone……………… maybe keeping him out of the side for football reasons will have its just deserts when he come up against derby he has a game of his life……….or am i wishful thinking.


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