Often Partisan

Can Ziggy Do It Again? Leeds Preview

Lee Clark takes his Birmingham City side to Elland Road on Sunday looking to bounce back after a disappointing defeat to Bolton before the international break. It’s a second Sky game in succession for Blues and Clark will be hoping for a better showing in front of the cameras.

Leeds United

Brian McDermott’s men lie 15th in the Championship after a disappointing run of four defeats in six games, and having only won once in the league at home since the opening day of the season.

Sam Byram is pushing for a recall to the starting eleven along with Luke Murphy and Luke Varney although Ross McCormack will be hopeful of continuing his partnership with Noel Hunt up front for the whites.

Blues

Lee Clark will go into this game without the services of Jonathan Spector, who is out for up to three months with a thigh injury and whose versatility will be a big loss to the team. Wade Elliott and David Murphy will be assessed prior to kick off to ensure that they are fit whilst Jesse Lingard will hope to continue his fine form after extending his loan spell.

The big question will be if Lee Clark recalls Nikola Zigic to the starting the eleven with the knowledge that the big Serb has something of a hoodoo over Leeds, scoring four times against the Elland Road outfit in one game in 2011. With the Serb somewhat controversially losing opening goal of the season to Lee Novak I suspect he will be itching to open the account again at Leeds.

It’s a tough one to call results wise. I’m normally happy with a point away from home but we need some on the board now; Leeds are in poor form both currently and this season at home and Blues need to take advantage of that. The ingredients have been there for Blues to put on a good performance – it’s the mistakes that have been killing the team’s confidence and Blues need to ensure that they take advantage of more mistakes than Leeds do.

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85 Responses to “Can Ziggy Do It Again? Leeds Preview”

  • Eddie says:

    i managed to get 10 to 1 on Ziggy scoring two or more on tomorrows game.
    I thought the for goals at Elland Rd was last year, didn’t realise it was two years ago

  • Chris W says:

    Spector will be big loss, but hopefully Elliot and Murphy will be fit. I would start with Ziggy as Leeds are lacking confidence all round he would certainly ruffle there feathers and with both Lingard and Burke having a free hand they will certainly be hanging some decent balls for him.
    We need a clean sheet and I don’t think we can make the kind of mistakes we did against Bolton, so I’m going for a win 2-0.
    KRO

  • blunosed says:

    We are shit away from home, they are crap at home. Draw

  • StaffsBlue says:

    With Spector being ruled out, I have a feeling we might switch back to 3-4-3 tomorrow, with Caddis and Murphy the wing backs. Also, it might be Zigic up top, with Burke and Lingard alonside him. Just a matter of who will play in cm with Adeyemi. Reilly or Elliott.

    I would go;

    Randolph

    Bartley Burn Robinson

    Caddis Adeyemi Reilly Murphy

    Burke Zigic Lingard

  • mark says:

    two players errors happened during the bolton game…. Hopefully blues will play with no fear in front of the camera’s this time today as a team. With ziggy inclusion would only purely too assist the team i dont believe lighting strikes twice in his case of scoring another four. Interesting imo clark might go 433….blues win lingard will continue being on fire…………………..kro

  • GoodyBlueShoes says:

    3 – 2 in favour of Blues

    4 – 4 – 2

  • DoctorD says:

    According to to the BBC

    • This is the 4,500th league match in the history of Birmingham City (won 1,691, drew 1,131, lost 1,677).

  • TonyE says:

    When Ziggy scored 4 goals against Leeds they had 2 of the smallest, least physical, central defenders I’ve ever seen in a team. Would love him to do it again, but he will be up against far tougher opposition. Expect team to be as per Staffs post above.

  • Tony says:

    Have been away a few days has Dan adressed the issue of Paladini bid?.

    • DoctorD says:

      No, the big man says he “likes to have all my stuff together before I spout, so you’re going to have to be patient :)” — see Referee Watch post.

  • Dave says:

    4-2-3-1 for me! Randolph. Caddis, burn, Robinson, Murphy. Adayemi and Reilly. Ferguson and Burke out wide and I’d like to see Lingaard off big Zig!! Or I quite fancy seeing Scott Allen in the free role! Bench: Doyle, Bartley, Elliot, Green, Allen or Brown, Shinnie, Gray or Arthur.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    So did Novak have to resort to begging the FA to ‘score’ a goal? As embarrassing as Nugent scoring his only England goal

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Olly Lee is in. Adeyemi must be injured (not even on the bench.)

    Can’t understand how Novak has been picked before Zigic. :-/

    • Chris W says:

      I assume that LC has a game plan, though his selection is a little baffling, hopefully it will be justified come the final whistle
      KRO

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Not sure yet if it’s 3-4-3 or 4-4-2. We look as soft as sh1te in centre midfield. Let’s hope, like you said, we have a game plan.

        • Chris W says:

          Certainly a strange line up, as you say not much in midfield, seems LC is on a suicide mission here.
          But this is Blues and full of surprises
          KRO

  • henrybloo says:

    Just seen the line up for Leeds. Novak and ten others!!!

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Novak in! So glad I didn’t go. What a complete joke his playing in place if a Serbian international.

    The one compelling reason I have to sack LC

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Confirmed by Andy Walker. It’s 3-4-3.

  • Ali Duncan says:

    Lee starting???????? Err, why?

  • BigmanSteve0 says:

    The Christmas tree formation for me. Ziggy, lingard &burke

  • blues31 says:

    We are down ! Unless we get a manager who picks our strongest possible team and tactics that work to our strengths ! Not because someone trains well in the week or because a certain system works for Barcelona means it will work for us !

  • Pete says:

    I am someone who has not slated Lee Clark and I wil not do so on one performance. But I will admit to being baffled. Why we have changed the whole centra midfield once the team has had a chance to recover- Reilly and Adeyemi both out. Also no Green for his pace away from home, but then we do not play Zigic as a hold up player who last time here scored 4 goals we play Novak.

    I know Burn has not played well again, but you can understand his keeping his place- but the others? Come on 2nd half!

  • mike b says:

    hi all………anyone else embarassed????..olly who??? novak playing ???is ziggy fit????……
    sorry you blue eyes out there but if you think clark is the right man to get us out of this crisis….you must be bonkers!!!!!

    • blues31 says:

      Couldn’t agree more ! At least zig will make defender’s work , Novak is like a headless chicken !

  • Geoff Morton says:

    Certainly glad I did not go ……………….can Leeds beat the Burnley score ?

    End of the road getting nearer……………

  • steve says:

    I thought Burnley away was bad.Clark has to stop picking his team on who does well in training.This is the most embarrassed i,ve been this season.Wtf is his obsession with Lee Novak.Why doesn’t he try and keep a settled side in a settled formation.The bloke is useless.I hope Paladini reconsiders his comments on keeping elsie if he gets the club.Absolute disgrace

  • Chris W says:

    What can one say, embarrassed is an understatement.
    We have established midfielders on the bench in Reilly and Shinne, Ziggy a recognised striker and Ferguson both capable of changing a game.
    LC has done himself no favours here, and deserves all the flak and fallout from this dismal performance.
    I am one of those who thinks he deserves a shot with some funds, but must admit I cannot understand his logic on this occasion.
    KRO

  • AM says:

    Novak is the worst forward ive ever seen at blues and why olly lee , hes hopeless as well. I have never slagged off clark but team selection today was shocking.

  • BlueSteve says:

    Lee Clarks team selection today was just embarrassing. The man has a tough job due to financial restrictions but most other managers would get more from this current squad. As for today Zigic for Novak Reilly for Lee and back to 4 5 1 like last season. A blind man can see these changes! If Paladini does take over before the transfer window (Big If) then I’m not sure I would want Clark spending any money. I don’t trust his judgement.

  • FrankieCopyit says:

    Think they should just pay Zigic off, he isn’t even good enough for the bench.
    No challenge, no effort.
    What a difference to their forward Smith, chased and challenged whilst Zigic stayed well out of it.
    Poor performance all round though.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      He relies too much on the ball being played directly to his head. He makes no real effort to move towards the ball, giving any defenders an easy clearance.

      • Chris W says:

        For someone as tall as he is he should win everything in the air, he never seems to jump or attack the ball.
        KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    It’s totally down to an inept defensive performance (again) today. We were better in the second half, with the chances we had, it could easily have been 3-3 before Leeds scored their 4th. We have to stop giving goals away cheaply, or we’ll get nowhere.

    I agree, the selection baffled me, but you can’t blame the manager for p*ss poor individual performances all round. What the hell has happened to Burn the last few games?

    I think Clark needs to turn to the enthusiasm and energy of the youngsters again. Too many regulars weren’t at the races today.

    • chas says:

      Staffs, reading your comments here , why does Zigic get slagged off ? It certainly wasn’t his fault that we got tanned , there are far worse players in our Squad( who shouldn’t be in the Squad) than Zigic.I am a bit surprised at your comment about him.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I wasn’t slagging him off. It was a simple observation. He waits for the ball to reach him instead of attacking it.

        • chas says:

          I was more thinking of the poster before you, Staffs, but was surprised at your answer. As others have said, Clark’s selections are a bit unusual , to say the least and a lot of the Players must be mystified with them , in any comment on the team Zigic should be the last one mentioned today.

        • StaffsBlue says:

          … and if you look at my post at 12:42pm, I said “Can’t understand how Novak has been picked before Zigic.”

          He was no better or worse than any of the other players today.

    • steve says:

      Don’t think they’re comfortable with 3 at the back.

    • Chris W says:

      Not sure what the answer is but you can’t blame the manager for that performance.
      Defensively were a shambles, no one closed them down for any of the goals, what was Randolph doing for the first goal?
      As pointed before the kick off the midfield had no backbone, Adeyemi was taken ill so why not play Ferguson or Rielly instead of Lee WHO? He played in extra time v Plymouth.
      This picking players because they do well in training is not doing LC any good or credit.
      Not one to boo any Blues player but I think Novack should be ashamed to put on the shirt, send him out on loan to bring his confidence levels up.
      I wonder if there was a bug in the hotel, Matt Green wasn’t on the bench either.
      I said we should give LC 12/13 games before making any judgements, He seems to get it right then changes everything, he picks what is probably the best 11 then drops someone for the likes of Lovenkrands, WHY?
      He is just like the Blues, predictably unpredictable….
      I hope LC locked them in the dressing room and made them all take a hard look at themselves, we want players to run through walls for our club and today they had no bottle, no heart or passion, bottom line they disgraced the club, supporters and, more importantly, themselves.
      Another display like that against Derby and we will be in the bottom three.
      KRO

      • StaffsBlue says:

        Lee Clark didn’t say much after the game… but what could he say after a first half performance like that? He was obviously biting his tongue…. but when you get a camera and a microphone shoved in your face straight after a game.. you have to choose your words very carefully. I’m sure most of them he thought of started with F and B… and maybe even C.

  • steve says:

    Only one person to blame today.Lee Clark.I know the players are getting peed off with all the tinkering.Forget all this best in training rubbish.Pick ur best 11 week in week out. The squad are becoming demoralised and only 1 person is at fault for that.

  • Art Watson says:

    No surprises here-Clark is out of his depth and always will be.

    Yet another disgraceful performance which mirrors his butterfly management style.

    I hope he resigns before it’s too late but can’t see him doing this without a pay off.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    At the end of the day, the players need to have pride in themselves. There was none in that performance today. They should all donate their wages to charity.

  • ken says:

    Why do TV bother to show our disgraseful team.Its an embarisment to the City. They do not
    seem to know what the game is all about.Manager is on tv, does not have a clue what to say.

  • steve says:

    Great quote from elsie “We don’t point the fingers at individual players” Short memory or what?

  • BlueSteve says:

    If the club is not sold in time for the window (at which time we will need to buy at least 3 players) then Carson will be selling a League 1 club.

  • FrankieCopyit says:

    Am sure there’ll be some facile and frankly stupid comments on here.
    Basically we were blown away today and made some shocking defensive errors, not Clark’s fault, he has limited options at the back.
    Football is all about confidence and ours is low.
    Hope this Polish lad they have can defend because Dan Burn needs a rest, he’s been very good for much of the season but is going through a bad spell like all players.
    Time for Doyley to have a run also.

    • steve says:

      The polish lad apparently has played 1 game in the last 2 years. Doesn’t fill me with optimism.

    • chas says:

      A Rest , for feck sake.. He has just had two weeks off after about four weeks of work.. A rest, ye Gods.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I don’t think Burn needs a rest, but the lad seems very hesitant the last few games… which is strange, considering he’s been one of our best players so far this season. I’m sure he’ll come good again.

    • Chris W says:

      Though not a great fan of Colin Doyle I do think you are right, he has had some good games in the cup.
      He doesn’t command his box enough but he is a decent shot-stopper.

  • StevieW says:

    The answer to the question is NO. LC never gave a cat in hell’s chance.

    A manger without an ounce of ability, a team that is all at sea, an owner who is absoloute !ӣ$%^&

    Abandon all hope who enter here.

  • BlueSteve says:

    I’d drop Burn and Bartley but who do we bring in?

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    I am a supporter of Lee Clark but he needs to look at his selection today and hold up his hands, it was atrocious.

    • FrankieCopyit says:

      He has a limited ‘selection’ to choose from remember.
      Do hope the Polish fella is decent and can be brought in, Burn is desperately short on confidence.
      Think we may have to recall Packwood otherwise.

  • Art Watson says:

    So what’s new!

    Huddersfield fans said that” Clark would always tinker with the team and he’s done so since his arrival.

    It’s not about selecting the best team -it’s more about Clarks ego and his glory seeking personality .You only have to read his press releases to realise its all about him and not the team.

    I hope for once he keeps his mouth shut this week but I bet he doesn’t !

  • Darren Brown says:

    Football is all about opinions and today’s game from our point of view very poor !
    I cant believe how slow so many of our Players are !
    Lee Clarke is totally out of his depth and his attitude towards his players and back room staff is terrible.
    Mike Phelan the ex Man Utd no2 would be my choice with a new owner and we can buy young and up and coming players !
    TIME FOR A MARCH FROM BIRMINGHAM TOWN TO ST ANDREWS BEFORE ITS TO LATE !
    CV7Blue

    • Chris W says:

      And what purpose would that serve, our owner is in Hong Kong along with his second in command PP.
      We had a chance to show any protests against Bolton, I saw one German Flag waver at a corner.
      I’m sorry to say but not only do we have apathy on the pitch but in the stands too.
      We all moan on here and other forums but show nothing at the games.
      I have never heard a quieter bunch of support at a home game as that against Bolton, we could have reeled off any number of anti owner songs and chants but never even raised a whimper.

  • Tony says:

    Its difficult to kmow where to start

  • Darren Brown says:

    In the City centre in the place our CUP WINNING PARADE SHOULD HAVE HAVE BEEN !!!
    Certain Blues fans laughed at the villa fans with their bed sheets but at least they had passion instead of Blues fans appearing not to give a …..
    CV7Blue

  • Shirley Blue says:

    As soon as I saw the starting line I knew we were going to get stuffed badly – I texted a mate saying it so its not hindsight. Novak gives us absolutely nothing. He isnt any good in the air, can’t hold it up and has no pace. He is not getting the best out of this squad. We have got to get our best players out on the pitch in a formation that suits. We have a Serbian International centre forward who can score goals at this level. Burke, Linguard and Ferguson in a 3 behind him. Two holding midfielders ideally Spector and Adeyami when fit and well but Reilly didnt deserve to be dropped today which caused unnecessary disruption, Carris and Murphy fullbacks and then he has got to make his mind up who are his best two centre backs which is the biggest problem as they are all very exposed to pace and strikers who actually make runs.

    They won’t sack him due to money and I doubt whether he will walk. I think he has got away with murder over the last couple of years with far too many inept performances, not helped by his tactics and selections, due to the general apathy amondt the great majority of supporters. I remember Steve Bruce describing the club as “comatose” when he took over. Its far worse than that now. We are preying there are going to be three worse than us over the remainder of the season but Bolton and Barnsley are improving.

    • BeeGeeBlueBoy says:

      I think it was Vince Overson who said we were comotose. Steve Bruce would have insulted the board by saying that

    • FrankieCopyit says:

      But Zigic was probably the worst (and least interested) player on the park.
      Now what wouldn’t we give for a proper centre forward like Smith.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I was disappointed last season when he went to Leeds. After terrorising Liverpool and Everton, I thought he would have been a good addition for us. Very impressed with him.

  • edd77 says:

    I agree when that team was announced I thought oh my god that centre midfield will b overrun, the bench looked stronger, disgraceful performance ,and another hammering on tv, Derby will b the same

  • Shirley Blue says:

    I can’t help feeling that some of his team selections are based on vanity rather than logic. Novak always looked a dodgy signing and he is desperate for him to come good. Zigic is frustrating because he doesn’t attack the ball but he does give the team a spearhead and we seem to look better when he plays. I don’t understand why Shane Ferguson doesn’t get a game – he does for the ROI. Lingaard is probably our best finisher and IMO would be most effective playing in the middle playing off Zigic with Burke on the right.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I think Lee Clark should sit the whole squad down and let them know that any more performances like that won’t be acceptable. If someone can’t do the job he’s being asked to do, then someone else will take his place. No more favouritism, (if there is any) Every single place is up for grabs. Let’s see how much they want it. I think too many are too sure of their places and have become complacent.

    Maybe time for the likes of Hancox, Ferguson, Reilly, Allan, Arthur, Brown, Truslove, etc to be included.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Will Packwood played the full 90 minutes for Bristol Rovers (with 10 men) in a 1-0 defeat to Wycombe.

    It’s good he’s getting competetive game time, I think we’re going to need him once this dreadful month is over.

    • Chris W says:

      Could do with him now I think, can play either midfield which went missing today, or defence which went missing today,.
      Just hope he stays fit and doesn’t suffer mentally, so every minute he plays is not only physical fitness but psychological too,
      KRO

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I’ve seen a couple of interviews with him the last couple of weeks and he seems fine, physically and mentally. He looks really buzzing to be back.


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