Managers are known for keeping footballing matters somewhat tight knit close to their chests. But, Birmingham City manager Lee Clark has bucked the trend and openly critisiced striker Nikola Zigic, saying it is the ‘worst training session’ he has ever seen by a professional footballer. Clark has subsequently dropped the Serbian for their upcoming Championship clash with Watford. Here is what Clark had to say on the matter:
“I witnessed possibly the worst training session in terms of a professional footballer I have ever come across on Thursday. We did our preparation work for Watford and he [Zigic] was in the team. And I was disgusted when I walked off.
“I need to tell the fans before the game because obviously the social media network will go into overload because of this. I know he’s quite popular. But ultimately he’s a very well-paid guy and you’ve got to earn that. And what he dished up yesterday was, since I’ve left school at 16 and been a professional footballer – not technically or tactically – the worst I have ever seen.”
“And this is not the first time. This has been coming. Now, whether he has been angry he hasn’t been starting enough games over the previous weeks, that could be a point, it could be valid. But does that mean you just basically down tools, don’t try?
Clark added: “I think the fans deserve more than that, the football club deserves more than that. I am an honest man and I need to be honest with everyone. And there will be people who disagree and say this is a crazy thing. But what am I meant to do? Am I meant to accept that, just let people do that? All the other players see that. Or am I within my rights as a manager?
Zigic, believed to have a weekly wage of £50,000 at the midlands club will struggle to live this down with fans and the manager, with his future at St Andrews looking increasingly in doubt.