Often Partisan


Tomorrow Birmingham City entertains the blue half of Liverpool in what promises to be a tough game for both sides. Blues, whilst being unbeaten at home for a calendar year can’t score for love nor money and Everton have had a very poor start to the season.

What worries me most of all tomorrow is the crowd. At the Wigan game I was actually embarrassed of some fans who thought that ironically cheering Nikola Zigic winning a header would improve his confidence and magically make him a better player. Yes, it was a frustrating game but I think people are expecting too much of our lanky Serb straight off.

For one, he’s never played in England before. Jesus, the guy barely speaks English let alone being complete au fait with the style of the Premiership, so let’s lay off him for a while, let him get used to the way we play. It’s not like La Liga; the Premiership is much faster and doesn’t allow for as much time on the ball. The blues have got to get used to playing with him as well; whilst his frame suggests he’s going to win every ball in the air Zigic’s game isn’t about that – he’s an accomplished player on the deck and I believe he would prefer the ball to feet.

Sadly, after our amazing ninth placed finish last year people are expecting us to storm the Premiership, but it’s not going to happen. Teams are now used to us; they know that St Andrews is a tough place to visit and are now setting up not so much to win but to ensure that they get at least a point. Instead of having to defend for periods, and then exploit gaps in teams who have pushed on, we’re having to unlock teams – and this is something I’ve never known Birmingham City to be good at. Everton have a good side, and I think they’ll be another tough, disciplined unit for us to crack.

For me, it’s about how we play in midfield. Hleb was surrounded by three Wigan players every time we had the ball, and coupled with just one man up front, it meant we struggled with a creative outlet. I honestly think we need to look at either going 4-4-2 without Hleb in the side, or maybe the Chelsea 4-3-3/4-5-1 with him in it. I think a central three of Hleb, Ferguson and Seb, with Zigic playing at the focal point of a three pronged attack with Jerome and Dave (Beausejour) to either side of him would give us more joy. Yes, it would mean we are quite narrow, and put a lot of pressure on Carr and Ridgewell to defend the flanks, but I think it would give us a massive presence at the right end of the pitch.

Alternatively, I think it’s going to have to be a Seb-Ferguson-Bowyer-Fahey midfield, which would give us a lot of solidity but wouldn’t have much pace at all and not much creativity either. Everton have some very talented midfielders in Cahill and Arteta and I think we’re going to have to ensure we keep them quiet if we’re going to get something from the game.

I think tomorrow the crowd can play a part. I implore blues fans who may be reading this to get behind the team, and to drown out any stupid songs or jeering with positive stuff. We can win tomorrow, but we must believe and trust in Eck.

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One Response to “Zigic”

  • gavin says:

    Zigic is better than Jerome but has a lot of faults ie slow,offside a lot,silly fouls, poor discipline etc. He is a decent finisher but he is not a knock down man like Niall Quinn and never will be. Jerome still can’t hit a cow’s arse.

    I think the local press/some fans got excited with Zigic as they thought they were getting a bargain off poor cash strapped Valenia. In truth he failed at VCF and was not that popular. His replacement cost 4m Euros and is a huge improvement and very popular.

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