Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughBirmingham City are left searching for a King - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Birmingham City are left searching for a King - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Birmingham City are left searching for a King

Birmingham City striker Marlon King has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after being forced to undergo knee surgery. The 32-year-old striker is due for a knee operation on Monday to clear an injury which has been hampering his performances all season.

 King was extremely influential in firing the Blues into the play-offs last year after hitting the back of the net 18 times. However, King’s injury seems to have got progressively worse as this season has worn on. But, he has made light work of the injury to bag an impressive 14 goals this season.

 The loss of King follows a 5-2 thumping by former Blues boss Steve Bruce’s Hull City, which left Birmingham sat in an uncomfortable looking 17th place, just six points above the relegation zone. The Blues are set to host Blackpool tonight and boss Lee Clark is aware of the void that King’s presence will leave.

 Clark said: “It’s a big blow for us, Marlon’s an experienced player, a goalscorer and, whatever formation he plays in, he’s a threat.”

 “But losing him is someone else’s opportunity and we’ll now have Wes Thomas and Peter Lovenkrands fighting for a shirt.”

 King is a classical Championship nuisance with a presence akin to Kevin Phillips or even Jordan Rhodes. You certainly wouldn’t want to bet against him on scoring against the team you support. What can Birmingham resort to now? Zigic, Lovenkrands or Thomas.

 Zigic was dropped from the February clash against Watford for turning in “the worst training session … I have ever come across.” Blues boss Clark was left angered by Zigic’s poor attitude and work ethic and failed to hold back on publicly criticizing the 32-year-old Serbian striker.

 Clark said: “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 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.”

 Zigic joined from Valencia on a four year deal for an undisclosed fee during the summer of 2010. The highlight of his City career is heading the opener in the 2-1 Carling Cup triumph over Arsenal at Wembley in 2011. Zigic has spent a vast majority of his time under Clark sat on the bench, but now it is his time to shine… or flop.

 As for Peter Lovenkrands, he is probably still fuming about having his £30,000 diamond encrusted watch stolen by thieves outside his home in Solihull.  Police reports state that:  Lovenkrands was approached by two men as he parked his car outside his home in Solihull at about 2pm on Thursday 31st January. They threatened him, forcing the Swiss-made Hublot watch off his wrist, then unsuccessfully attempted to remove his wedding ring before running off.

 A Birmingham City spokesman said: “Peter was shaken but thankfully unhurt during the ordeal and has received the ongoing support of the manager, his teammates and club officials.”

Clark has predicted a bright future for his other option Wes Thomas. A bright future for someone aged 26 is rather delayed in terms of a football career if you ask me. Thomas is currently on loan from League One side Bournemouth with a view to a permanent deal. He has played for the likes of Dagenham and Redbridge, Cheltenham Town and Crawley.

Clark certainly rates Thomas work rate as he said: “I know one thing, from now until the end of the season he won’t be found wanting for his work rate. I just hope he can get on the goal trail sooner rather than later because that’s what they live by, strikers. But I know he will get chances and he will score more than he misses.”

Thomas’ ability to use his pace to go in behind defences and his vast amount of energy were two assets that appealed to the Blues boss who had been monitoring the Londoner for a number of seasons. It is now or never for Thomas, he needs to seize the moment and fill the huge shadow left behind by King.

None of the above striker’s will carry King’s sheer presence and power on the pitch. Clark certainly has an uphill task on his hands for the remainder of this season. The Blues sit 6 points clear of the relegation zone with thirteen games left and Clark now faces the impossible task of selecting a forward partnership capable of maintaining King’s goal scoring ratio.

Therefore, you shouldn’t be left too surprised if Birmingham start drifting towards the relegation zone.