Zeman: Schick not a €40m player

Zdenek Zeman claims Patrik Schick is suffering at Roma because ‘he doesn’t have the ability of a €40m player’.

A lack of form and fitness has limited Schick to just four goals for Roma since his club-record €42m transfer from Sampdoria last year, and Zeman felt the fee was a heavy burden on his countryman.

“For me, if people don’t talk about football then football is finished. Football is made to be talked about, regardless of whether fans understand tactics or not,” he told reporters, responding to Aleksandar Kolarov’s claim that fans ‘don’t understand much about football’.

“For me, Di Francesco has changed things too much. He’s changed how he plays too often. Rome will always be a great team, even if they lost their last game in Udine.

“We must score goals because football is based on that. Schick’s problem is that he cost 40m.

“I saw him in Prague with the national team twice and he did very well. He has a lot of ability, but he doesn’t have the ability of a 40m players.

“Fans always expect too much because he’s most expensive purchase in Roma’s history. He’s played as a striker for the national team.

“His goal came about because he found space, but he can’t find that space for Roma and there’s no-one who can create it.

“I always think of Totti, who would’ve sent him through on goal. Is he more of a centre-forward or second striker? He plays as a centre-forward for his country.”

The 71-year-old then clarified that his comments on Monday were not an admission that he supported Lazio.

“I never said that my heart beat more for Lazio than Roma,” he added.

“I didn’t say it because I can’t say it. I said I found myself well at Roma and that they had attracted me more because they had more fans, that’s it.

“I have friends at Lazio and Roma. I don’t deny that so it’s not even the opposite. I’ve always said that I work in football for the fans, so I prefer working where there are more fans.#2

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