Novakovic stripped of Cologne captaincy
Cologne coach Zvonimir Soldo has stripped Milivoje Novakovic of the club's captaincy just hours before tonight's crucial relegation battle at Bochum.
Soldo is not happy with the player's attitude in recent weeks since he showed reluctance to return to the club after international duty with Slovenia. Cologne had to arrange for a private jet to bring him back to Germany after the player insisted on sticking around for a party organised by the nation's government in celebration of their historic qualification for next year's FIFA World Cup™.
Hs performance in last weekend's 4-0 defeat at home to Hoffenheim appeared to be a protest against the club's treatment of him, but worse has now followed with Soldo taking the captain's armband off him.
"I have given Milivoje the chance to apologise to me and the team for what happened last week, but he has not taken it," said Soldo. "I need a captain to be my right-hand man on the field and with whom I share a mutual respect."
Portuguese midfielder Petit is likely to wear the captain's armband tonight since Lukas Podolski is suspended. And as far as Soldo is concerned, the issue of Novakovic is now over and done with. "I am only looking forwards," he said. "I expect the team to give me 100 per cent effort and engagement against Bochum."