Often Partisan

The Prodigal Serb

It was announced yesterday that Nikola Zigic has been granted a work permit and will sign for Birmingham City until the end of the season. The lanky Serb, who scored 36 goals in 148 games for Birmingham City was released at the end of last season at the end of his contract but still lives local to the club.

I’m not going to deny it, I am ecstatic at the news, and am already looking forward to his second coming/debut which is likely to be the Reading game a week on Saturday. Zigic for me has been one of our most talismanic players of the past few years and I think will offer us something massively different to what we currently have up front.

The timing of his return doesn’t seem coincidental to me either. It’s common knowledge that Clark was critical of Zigic last year and it seems to this simple football fan that Zigic wouldn’t return to the club until the guy from the East End of Newcastle was given the Spanish archer. Whether that’s the whole truth is a matter of speculation – however I can’t help but wonder if Zigic is disappointed he won’t get the chance to show Clark on the pitch his displeasure against Blackpool tomorrow.

With Matt Green only now coming back from injury (and probably in need of a loan move to get up to speed); Denny Johnstone out on loan at Macclesfield it leaves just Clayton Donaldson, Wes Thomas (who has one more game of a suspension to sit out) and Lee Novak as our recognised front men. I’m not expecting Zigic to be much more than an impact sub – someone to bring on to change things around and to give defenders a different test – but I think in that role at minimum he can offer us a lot.

I think the change in wing players at Blues – especially David Cotterill for Chris Burke will also be beneficial to Ziggy. Don’t get me wrong, Burke was great for Blues – he scored lots of goals and offered us a great outlet but he wasn’t the kind of winger who would really whip in crosses; having seen Cotterill I wonder how much damage Ziggy can do to the goalscoring column with that kind of ball being played into him. I’m also of the belief that Zigic plays well with nippy players buzzing off him and I think linking up with Gray, Arthur and Cotterill could bring the same results as we had when we whupped Crystal Palace 4-0.

The last few days have been bizarre; for me personally they have been stressful, surreal and have kind of taken my eye away from the great stuff that is happening on the pitch. Although I’m expecting more stuff to hit the fan over the next few days, it’s going to be great to get concentrating back on the Rowett Revolution and I’m looking forwards to seeing how much our players want to prove to Lee Clark that they weren’t as limited as he made out in his last press conference.

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72 Responses to “The Prodigal Serb”

  • Geoff S says:

    Take a well-deserved breather, Daniel, and don’t forget there are many Blues fans out there who will back you all the way against the fools who are bad-mouthing you.

  • Big Al says:

    This week will be one for the Grand Children one day. I believe its called ‘sticking it to the man’.

  • Tommo says:

    Great work dan we are all behind you and the work you are doing. If things ever need to get legal with things that have gone on behind closed doors I’m sure there would be blues fans who would help chip into the pot.

  • Jaffa says:

    Keep it up Dan, you are doing a sterling job.So lets get back to the football if only for a short while! and hope that we can get a good result on saturday.

  • Raymondo says:

    Clark just lacks tactical knowhow. However, he’ll be anxious not to be made a fool of tomorrow so we can expect very stiff resistance from his team. Pity BigZig can’t be there in time but I still fancy us to pick up the points and party into the night!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I think people might expect too much from Zigic. For what he originally cost and the wages he earned, I expected a lot more… but now I don’t, so I’m hoping I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  • Masaccio says:

    Keep right on Danny boy!

  • Nigel J says:

    Dan, it’s never easy being a Blues fan – maybe that’s what makes our passion for the club so strong – but I think we all owe you a debt of gratitude for what you have done.

    Like you I’m ecstatic over Nikola’s return and what must be the affection he has for his adopted city and the Blues. With a new, young and apparently skilled manager (who I really enjoyed watching as a player) and a player in Moussi willing to forego his salary to help various charities, there are reasons to be optimistic.

  • Geoff666 says:

    I can only wholeheartedly echo your sentiments. Zigic has been a poorly utilised weapon for most of his Blues career. He is the sort of player that needs and will thrive on crosses delivered from near the by-line. That is how he can take advantage of his height – not with long balls pumped up to him in the hope that something will come off. He is also a player that has good vision and the likes of Gray, Shinnie and Cotterill are far more intelligent than Chris Burke et al and will benefit from this. Ohhhhh Nikola Zigic!

  • Tony says:

    Tomorrow will be a tricky one, however poor Clark was as a manager he has to win one eventually we must make sure its not this one.
    True to form he has been signing anyone with two legs,we have to keep it tight at the back, they have a big awkward sod up front in Ranger.

    • RichardM says:

      My thoughts exactly, similarly Rowett has to lose one eventually. Hope I’m wrong (I normally am!) but I have a bad feeling about tomorrow. As stated by others, I do hope the Bluenoses are gracious to Lee Clark, he deserves that at least.

  • Hillfield blues says:

    Just hope LC doesn’t get any stick tommorow. He may have been limited tactically,but he fought with his heart and soul for the club.
    Thanks for all the updates Dan. The Mrs is ordering me your book for Xmas!

  • Richard Granfield says:

    BIHL shares are still suspended. Hope there is nothing to worry about.

  • Wimbledon Bluenose says:

    Dan – I’ve been an avid reader of OP over the last couple of years but never had the balls to post. Well after this week’s explosion of news, I feel compelled to comment. You are doing an incredible job and have well and truly got under the skin of Mr Pannu and BIHL. Considering how much Blues mean to me, I’ve felt helpless as this great club has slid ever closer to the abyss. You on the other hand have got off your backside and made a difference. As many have already said, we’ll look back in years to come and your contribution will stand out as decisive. Here’s to a third win on the trot on Saturday and many thanks for keeping this exile so well informed.

    • almajir says:

      Thanks for your kind words

      • pete says:

        hi dan , can you confirm or deny that demari grey has to be sold next month ?, blues are looking for around £3 million, this is stated in the daily mirror , i thought we did not have to sell any players as we were stable now . thanks ..

        • almajir says:

          I don’t work for the club so it’s not my job to confirm or deny. I can tell you I don’t think it will happen though.

      • Luke says:

        God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
        The courage to change the things I can,
        And the wisdom to know the difference.

  • ChrisG says:

    Dan I bet you are really looking forward to tomorrow with this week being so quiet!!!!!lol

  • Dave Mann says:

    Would have loved to see zigic on the bench tomorrow but not to be so same again with team and formation and lets give Clark a good reception because we’ve seen very good away victories under him and me my wife and son will certainly give him a good reception, for those that boo its your choice because your be there but don’t do it round me as I won’t be best pleased…the man respected us as fans and to give him a good reception is the least we can do and I expect us to do!!! Lol&kro.

    • Chas says:

      Dave, forgive me if I have the wrong Dave, but as promised , as Ziggy has signed,I have bought my ticket for the Reading match. Block 5 in the Tilton. I will be there.

  • Geoff S says:

    Has anybody else seen the Blues Trust’s recently posted e-petition against P Pannu? It is limited stuff but I can’t see the point in not signing it.

  • tamuffblue says:

    Great work as always – as the song says KEEP RIGHT ON !!!!!!! Tomorrow will be OURS !!!!!

  • Blue Lizard says:

    Big Ziggy will be an added bonus if we are chasing a goal …fair play to him for not just wanting to sit on his a**e counting money I expect GR to get more out of him than Clark ever could…Dan your nose is truly Blue and I’m glad you have given the clown that is Pannu a big red one!!

  • DoctorD says:

    I just have this weird feeling in my water that Big Zig will do great things for us, if only that he will help to life the confidence of the rest of the squad. Can you imagine newcomers like Donaldson, Gleeson or Cotteril having the big man in the dressing room?

    By the way, as I mentioned on Daniel’s previous blog entry, having secured comments from Peter Pannu and Jeremy Wray, I now want Pannos and Yeung to have their say on this site! Come on guys — time to speak out.

    Yep and I agree with Wimbledon Bluenose: Daniel Ivery deserves all our thanks for all his hard work. Hope you’re not getting too stressed mate.

  • Neil says:

    Been here in blackpool since Wednesday
    Spoke to some of the blackpool players yeasterday
    Morning after there training .I asked what
    They thought of lee Clark 3 players replied
    With he is ok and that was all they said
    Did not seem to over impressed, one thing
    I will say is he has some tall players in his
    Team ,can’t wait for the game tomorrow out
    On the town tonight £2 pint KRO.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Neil , enjoy your night on the town tonight and hopefully come 5oclock tomorrow were be joining you for a celebratory pint or six after our prolific victory ….if there players are not happy now what they gonna be like if he continues the same way with the same attitude and same results …. Anyway lets enjoy Saturday and come back from the dump with three points.lol&kro

  • steve n says:

    Im the same i have this fealing that zigic will b a better player this time round sometimes when he has popped up with that important goal in past u just wana shake his hand and say wd other times u want a ladder and give him a bloody wack round the ears in past he can be so frustrating

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Just read Stephen Gleeson saying that he still doesn’t think he’s 100% match fit. Well I’d love to know when he will be. Even if the previous manager’s training wasn’t up to scratch, he’s played 10 consecutive first team games now.. surely that’s more than enough to get match fit??

  • Dave Mann says:

    He’s propably only 99 percent match fit but if all our 11 are only the same then that should be more than enough to beat a very bad disorganised and helpless Blackpool side…you said their be goals staffs,well interdict 3-1 to blues and that’s being generous! Lol&kro.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Put it this way, it will be the shock of the season if it’s a 0-0 draw. I can’t see there being less than 3 or 4 goals. How they’ll be shared, I wouldn’t like to guess. Oh, go on then, as you twisted my arm…. Blackpool to take the lead, but Blues to come back with 3. ;-)

  • StaffsBlue says:

    The numbers have been allocated for the FA Cup 3rd round draw on Monday. These are the West Midlands clubs.

    3. Aston Villa

    4. Birmingham City

    41. West Bromwich Albion

    44. Wolverhampton Wanderers

  • Dave Mann says:

    I think you and me staffs tend to be quite accurate with our predictions so other bloggers should take note…..keep this quite but ime being over hyped with excitement for this game and saying how good and easy this game will be but ime telling you now ime shitting myself with the fact that this could go pear shaped and we actually loose the game…my feelings if that happen will not be allowed on OP site and dan will ban me for life ….keep everything crossed !!! Lol&kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      As much as we feel this is a game we could and should win comfortably… you really wouldn’t be surprised if this was Rowett’s first defeat would you? This is Blues after all. We’re famous for giving players, managers and teams their firsts aren’t we? #bananaskin

  • Dave Mann says:

    But we’re also famous for being the team that a manager gets sacked after we’ve beaten them so ime not saying for one minute that that will happen to Clark but if we put them away easily he will be under massive pressure not just from supporters but the owners also. Lol&kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Reading their boards, I don’t think Clark is under too much pressure tbh. 99% of their fans appear to have already accepted they’re down, practically before a ball was kicked this season. They hate their chairman as much as we hate ours, and the blame is fairly and squarely dumped in his lap.

  • AuldBertie says:

    I echo everyone’s sentiments Dan: thanks so much for giving us all such a good insight into matters that we otherwise would most likely be oblivious to.

    It’s my first away match of the season tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to it, travelling up tonight and returning on sunday with the missus and 10 year old nephew in tow. I’m hoping for a win but if we can’t manage that, another good performance and a share of the spoils.

    I too feel really enthused about the return of the Zig and look forward to seeing him in at least a cameo role against Reading.

  • steve says:

    I don’t think we should just rely on Ziggy’s height. Imo,he’s pretty good when the ball is played into his feet. He brings others into the game. It’s obviously been a difficult week Dan. Keep it up and don’t let the bastards grind you down.

  • Tigerblue says:

    As an exiled Blue in the very N of England (I’m travelling DOWN to Blackpool tomorrow), I would just like to express my thanks to you Dan for the informative content of this website/blog. It is always my 1st stop for all things BCFC (followed by official site & BM). It contains cutting edge reporting and I accept that some of it is your opinion. All I can say to that is, I value your opinion.

    With regard to tomorrow’s match I am a little apprehensive In that LC will know the strengths and weakness’s of most of our team, wether he is tactically astute enough to outwit GR with or without the Prodigal Serb, remains to be seen. Under the circumstances I’m sure he will give it a good go. That said I’m beginning to believe GR is a master tactician and will counter this factor – BLUES TO WIN (at worst draw).

    Don’t know what pubs are being used tomorrow for pre match aperitifs. I’m meeting family in ‘The Auctioneer’ (a ‘spoons’ pub) on the Lytham Rd, a few yards south from Bloomfield Road.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Fulham lost 0-5 at home to Watford tonight. That means a win tomorrow can put us 3 points clear of Fulham.

  • Dave mann says:

    A win will put us up to 14th if reading loose and Leeds don’t win and only 7 points of the playoffs if Blackburn don’t win and 7 points clear of the bottom three if Wigan don’t win and Brighton loose ….have you got all that, good now lets get ready for Blackpool..buzz zzing with anticipation!!!! Lol&kro.

  • Ted says:

    Why oh why would anyone slag off Dan? He’s a beacon of reason for us. KRO!

  • woodlands says:

    Just keep up the good work, Dan – you are a star!! Keep up the great work Mr Rowett!!! AND EVERYONE – SIGN THE BLUES TRUST PETITION….

    • Geoff S says:

      I initially signed the petition woodlands has mentioned but am starting to wonder if share holders listen. I see the “Made in Brum” site cites another Blues fans’ petition (I clicked on the “e-petition addressed to the football league” link on the “MiB” site) where it seems over 2,800 have already signed.

      Maybe sign both petitions.

  • Geoff S says:

    Just to add the article on the “MIB” site carrying the link about the petition I mentioned in the last message is “Peter Pannu’s Corporate Suicide” and was posted earlier today (6th).

  • oldburyblue says:

    Fingers crossed that today’s result finishes off what has been a good week. I have LOVED watching the reaction of the Big Bear (Pannu) showing his true self at last, having been poked with a stick for so long by you Daniel. Almajir(I) by name and nature. Keep up the good work!

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Not overly upset to be honest. We were pants from start to finish and deserved nothing. It was written in the stars really wasn’t it?

    Looking at some of the performances today, bodies need to be rested before the Xmas fixtures. Still, onwards and upwards, we can still make the middle of the table by the new year.

    • Shirley Blue says:

      When I saw Novak was starting I feared the worst. Zigic and Thomas available next week so more options available up front. We were going to lose sooner or later but this one is very annoying.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        It’s annoying yes, but not the end of the world. I’d rather get the bad game out of the way, then build another run going into the festive fixtures.

      • Harbsbleu says:

        A hiccup Shirley, like cream we will rise and Blackpool will sink! A shame as they are a nice club

  • Harbsbleu says:

    I think it is good news as it is another attacking option. However, it must be said there was more foot to foot passing at the Forest game last week, which was a joy to watch whatever the outcome was going to be. Ever since Bruces days it has been aerial ping pong. Yet, we might have got a point at Blackpool if Z had come on! KRO

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I don’t think Zigic would have made any difference. Practically the whole team were dogsh*t today.. but it happens, you can’t be on top form every game.

    One thing that hasn’t been mentioned I don’t think… it was nice to see Blakey come over and hug all the Blues backroom staff. The old ties still bind. :)

  • StaffsBlue says:

    If we play like we did in Rowett’s first 5 games, I think we’re capable of getting 8 points from our next 4 games. That will see us break the 30 point barrier. That’s a good way towards safety, with the rest of the season to go. Chin up chaps.

  • steve says:

    Very disappointed today. first half we looked comfortable without really being dangerous. I don’t know what the two managers said at half time,but suddenly they were the comfortable team. Terrible goal to concede and we never looked like scoring in the 2nd half. Hopefully it’s a blip,because we,ve just been beaten by the worst team i,ve seen in a long long time. Good support and a surprisingly good journey back.

  • Hillfield blues says:

    The BM did a feature today on the Bruce years with loads of Pics and memories. It made you realise what great days for the club they were.GR brings a similar feelgood factor and fingers crossed with any new ownership,it would be great to have those days back again.
    As far as today goes,I think you could just see it coming couldn’t you?

  • StaffsBlue says:

    The other day, Robbo said that players were scared of Clark’s passion… now we have the present manager saying; “The fact that Lee was the previous manager just added a little bit of spice to the game and maybe just took a little bit of energy out of some of the players.”

    Doesn’t take much to put the players off it seems.

  • Dave mann says:

    Shattered, very disappointed and totally ruined my weekend but not to get to down because we were second best yesterday and that’s a first under rowett, lets hope it’s a blip and we get back on track next week against reading and the return of the zig.. Trying to stay posetive but its difficult after that performance but we move on. Kro.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I’m pretty positive it was just a blip dave, but I do think changes are needed. Before yesterday’s game, we had Randolph, Grounds, Cotterill and Donaldson who had played 18 games apiece… with Caddis on 17, Davis 16, Robinson 15 and Gleeson 12. That’s 8 of the team who have played most of the games. At least some of those players could do with a rest, to charge their batteries ready for the busy Xmas period. Quite a few looked like they were running on empty.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Heard on MOTD that Spurs’ game against Palace yesterday was only their SECOND this year to kick off at 3pm on a Saturday. That’s this YEAR, not this season. It just shows how much Sky etc rule the game these days.

    • steve says:

      The amount of money they pay Staffs i think they’re entitled. Also,Spurs are in the Europa league so a few of their games will be played on a Sunday.

      • steve says:

        Just had a quick check staffs and i think that stat is wrong.

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I can understand them changing the times of the few matches they show live… but why should that affect every other fixture? They often show one on Saturday, one on Sunday and one on Monday… the other 7 fixtures should kick off at 3pm on Saturday. That’s just my opinion of course.

  • steve says:

    It,s the leagues that won,t allow 3 o,clock kick offs to be shown live in this country. I like watching the big games,something i wouldn’t be able to do if KO times weren’t changed. Also,i believe the home team gets about £800 grand if they’re live on Sky,so they won’t complain too much. I know what you mean,but when has it mattered what the fans want ?

  • steve says:

    If they’re not on TV or played Europa,they do KO at 3 o’clock on a Saturday.


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