Often Partisan

Come in number nineteen, your time is up

Oh Nikola Zigic sing the Tilton. Oh Nikola Zigic indeed; since his return to fitness he’s mostly looked a shadow of the player who beasted West Ham out of the Carling Cup semi-final and with a weekly income alleged to be in the 50k a week bracket he’s fast becoming a luxury we can not only not afford but maybe don’t need.

I like the Big Zig. He’s a bit ungainly at times, he’s all arms and legs and I’ve seen more fat on a chip, but when he’s on form defenders can’t play against him. His control of the ball to his chest is good, he’s got a footballing brain – always looking for the little lay off to a player in space – and he’s got a decent touch with his feet. By rights, a fully fit Zigic should be marmelising this division.

However, since his return to the first team he’s not looked like scoring too many. He seems awkward, like he’s learning to play with Blues all over again, which in essence he is – it’s a completely different team to last season. Like the Scottish manager before him, Chris Hughton seems unsure how to best play the lanky Serb to get the best results. I don’t think it helps that Blues don’t have a player in central midfield like Craig Gardner who was willing to have a dig at goal from layoffs – on Saturday both Spector and Fahey were way too far back from Zigic to benefit from any knockdowns meaning Zig always had to look to the flanks, where Peterborough had concentrated on stopping us playing in the second half.

I think the most annoying thing was the cross zipped across the box at the end, which just screamed “head me” – and yet Zigic didn’t seem to make an effort to connect with it. From my viewpoint I wasn’t quite sure if he’d been pressured by the defender, or if the cross was a bit too far away but opinions from the right side of the ground seemed to concur with my feeling Zigic could have got to it. Knowing the way Chris Wood has played recently I think he would have – whether he’d have scored or not is another thing, but he’d have definitely made the effort.

The problem Blues have is that they still don’t really have an out-and-out goalscorer. King has impressed me but I don’t think he’ll get more than ten or so this season. Wood had that hot streak but it’s died for him now and I think he’s having to feed off scraps again, and Rooney just doesn’t seem to have enough to be able to compete at this level at the moment. Moving on Zigic would free up an awful amount of space on the wage front, in addition to any transfer fee we could attract – and the hope for me would be that if we did move him on there would be some room for manouever to bring in someone a bit cheaper who can do a job for us – be it on loan or on a permanent deal.

The talk of whether Zigic was a manager or board signing is immaterial – the fact is whilst he did give us some great moments I think his time at Blues has come to a close, and I will be honest enough to admit that I won’t be too downhearted if we have to move him on in January. The hope is that Chris Hughton a) gets some money to work with and b) has an idea of who he’d bring in to replace him. Either way, I can’t see Zigic being a Blues player come February 1


28 Responses to “Come in number nineteen, your time is up”

  • DARREN says:

    Totally agree i now don’t care if he leaves in the window.
    There was no excuse for that non effort to get to that ball at the back post.

  • Emma says:

    You are absolutely right re that cross-we were right behind the goal and were screaming in frustration when he seemed to make absolutely no effort to get to it. I’ve always thought he was a bit of a white elephant (almost literally!) and as long as the board make money available to replace him, I say get rid..

  • AuldBertie says:

    Have to agree with both Darren and Emma. I am a Tilton Block 5 ST holder and that cross should have been perfect for someone like Zig. He made no attempt whatsoever to reach it and bang went another chance. I still cannot believe we did not win that game; our profilgacy in front of goal is now beginning to cost us.

  • blueboy88 says:

    Can’t disagree with the Zigic scenario, but you really hit the nail on the head with the Craig Gardner reference. Gardner however was part of a 5 man midfield , & we would currently have to loosen up defensively to accomodate a midfield player of his Ilk in a 4-4-2, but at this level I believe we should take the punt.
    The player to fulfill that role ? Well there’s another Gardner not too far away who can’t get a game of football, & is considerably better than his older brother.
    So a half season loan for the benefit of all ?

  • AuldBertie says:

    *profligacy even :)

  • PannuMannu says:

    No one could have got near that cross, it was whacked at 100mph. you are taking the easy populist scapegoal route and having a go at Zigic. He has played one 90 mins since Wembley. What do you really expect? No one will pay a big fee and wages for him in January. We have to get him in the team and stick with him as Wood is just not good enough. How bad was he Saturday? Forget Zigic

  • Smokinjon says:

    RE the cross, i will have to agree with PannuMannu. I sit in Block 16 and so am behind King. The ball was crossed so fast, that Zigic would have needed quick reactions to get anywhere near the ball. However, that is the one thing we all know he has not got :)

    My own beef about Saturday was that after bringing Big Zig on, when Blues had the ball on the wings they seemed more intent on working back inside rather than sticking crosses into the box. What is the point of bringing the big man on if you are not going to play to his strenghs?

    Finally, you are 100% correct re the need for the central midfielders to come forward and gamble on the knockdowns. The simple reason Zigic was so effective in the West Ham game was because, for once, the Scottish manager pushed midfielders up in support to win the second ball in more dangerous positions. :)

  • Al-lad says:

    Why do we feel the need to scapegoat at all. Zigic ‘WILL’ be moved on in January (if possible) if Blues financial situation deems it necessary, Fahey is a squad player currently in the starting 11 due to an injury to Mutch. Lets just get behind the players that CH currently has at he’s disposal, no point looking for scapegoats, it’s a miracle we are where we are if you ask me.

  • ScudMuffin says:

    ziggy was on the penalty spot when the shot screamed past the back post. he hadn’t got a cat in hells chance of hitting it. it was a crap cross really.

  • TF Is God says:

    Zigic couldn’t have got any were near that cross. We don’t play to his strengths. You need the wide men to get past the full backs and cross the ball for him. I would rather have him in my team than Chris wood who has been nonexistent in recent games. Or maybe as I said last time let’s see how good he is when he stops scoring.

  • hammy says:

    the problem we have is not upfront…..its in the middle of midfield…..

    any successful side, pushes on and scores from the middle of midfield, now, dont get me wrong, we are very very limited here, and with fahey seemingly unable to move or even pass the ball forward, we will lack that final edge…..maybe thats the plan, maybe CH is trying (if allowed) to strengthen in this area…..
    weve still got to be happy overall with CH and his team of freebee’s….
    and id like to give credit to murphy….well done son!!! hope u keep your place…..
    KRO….to all….!

  • BowThai says:

    Ive never thought overly tall players are good headers of a ball.they seem to jump down not up!why does cahill score so many headers…timing!Im not sure anyone will want to buy Zigic in Jan.will he want to drop his wages and who will pay that for someone whos fittness is not proven.KRO

  • tilts says:

    BAD NEWS!!!!!!

    Zigic was offered across the whole of Europe on a free transfer, the players agent insisting that the prospective club at worst pay his current weekly wage £62,500 for the remainder of his time at blues or alternately spread this over perhaps an additional year.

    Is it any wonder he is happy to stay… Nobody wants him…. Or rather at those terms nobody definitely don’t want him.

    Basically if blues want rid it’s going to be a case of paying him to go… We can’t afford that either.

  • Carl says:

    For as long as we’re paying him high wages he should be playing Zig every week – he certainly brings more to the team than Wood, now that he’s stopped scoring.

    Actually, I don’t really buy into the idea that Zigic looks lost this season, he’s has some good games (particularly in Europe) and hasn’t had much opportunity in the league (Forest away he played on his own up front – and it didn’t work).

    I think the bigger picture is a forward line that is short (not in height!) in quality to score goals – or a driving midfielder to chip in.

  • Al-lad says:

    Why are there negative comments about Chris Wood, give the kid a break, he’s top scored for us so far this season, he’s only 19 years old, and it’s he’s first season in the Championship. We don’t always need an object of criticism. Certain players have limitations, they do there best for the club, recognise that and show them your support.

  • eric says:

    Well said Al-lad – Chris Wood is serving us well. Zigic however has got to go…as long as owners put salary back into the club.

  • Denis Thwaites says:

    I was level with the cross that Big Zig was supposed to get on the end of and I admit he made no effort to get his head on it but in fairness he had no chance of making contact with it either. King who is by far our best forward had a much simpler chance to get on the end of a cross in the first half when he was totally unopposed but he also fluffed his lines and missed the ball. At times in the first half some of the football we played was a real pleasure to watch down both flanks but the final ball was often wasted or forwards failed to get on the end of things. In the second half Fergie Jr changed his tactics and cut out the supply route which to a large extent nullified any attacking threat we had with the ball constantly ending up with Fahey and Spector who both create very little going forward. I think if CH does get any licence to recruit any players in January then he needs to strengthen there as well as trying to conjure up another forward. Its asking a lot of Mutch to be the saviou there!

  • Blue Steve says:

    I’m not sure anyone will take Zigic in January. His wage must be around the 50 k a week mark and why would he leave unless he is offered the same or more. Plus his current form will not attract teams either. Unless he goes on loan and we offer to pay part of his wages or we currenly starts scoring for fun I can’t see Zigic going anywhere even though I would prefer if he did. KRO

  • DoctorD says:

    I’m gonna stick with my prediction that has absolutely no basis other than pure speculation, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him off to Wigan, Wolves or Blackburn. Anyone who is desperate to stay up will take a punt on anything to save their season. Teams are so desperate at the bottom of the Prem that they will take the risk.

  • alexjhurley says:

    From where I was sitting in the front row of the upper gil merrick, I had no idea how hard zigic tried to get to the cross, but what I could see quite clearly was that he’s crap. Like mark sale with a Serbian accent. I used to think agents were the scum of the earth. Now I think we need to give one a large amount of money to rid us of the overpaid carthorse.

  • Dino Tiltoni says:

    “His control of the ball to his chest is good, he’s got a footballing brain – always looking for the little lay off to a player in space – and he’s got a decent touch with his feet.”

    Are you sure? Must get to Specsavers. Soon!

    • almajir says:

      If you think I’m wrong, you’re the one who needs to head in the direction of the optometrists. I watched Zigic carefully against Peterborough; he won nearly every ball in the air; he controls the ball better than most in the team and the majority of the time he knocked it to either Burke or Elliott

  • hammy says:

    i like zigic meself…….

    didnt hear any complaints at wembley…..

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