Saturday, 6 October 2018

Steven Gerrard has a big decision to make ahead of Hearts

Like most fans, sites, groups you name it, Ibrox Noise very much favoured our Croatian international defender Nikola Katic over the man who got the nod ahead of him on Thursday, Joe Worrall.

We’d been unimpressed by the on-loan Nottingham man, and despite pre-Livi claims his Croatian buddy’s resting against Gary Holt’s men was a combination of being rested for Thursday and the player’s own disdain about plastic pitches, Katic once again found himself sitting it out for the visit of Austria’s finest.

As it transpired, fans had little to fear – the U21 England international delivered his finest display by a mile, with absolutely nothing getting past him and reassuring us greatly in the process that he might be good enough to play for the Famous on a regular basis.

However, while many might immediately respond to this upcoming question with the answer ‘rotation’, we do wonder now exactly how Steven Gerrard keeps happy both Katic and Worrall.

Rangers ideally should not chop and change such a vital part of the team such as defence so much – so simply rotating between Katic and Worrall every other match is surely a strategy fraught with peril.

It is evident Connor Goldson is first choice defender, period. The only match he didn’t feature in was the Ayr cup clash, and both his juniors handled that match adequately enough.

But when it comes to his partner, who is now first choice? Do Katic and Worrall take turns for the rest of the season?

Gerrard’s thinking behind the defence tomorrow will be fascinating. Does he reintroduce Katic who must be feeling a little frustrated right now, or does he keep Worrall in on the basis of his commendable display midweek?

Managing both players’ morale will be key to keeping them both happy – naturally there’s an option to play all three and guarantee satisfaction all round but it’s unlikely Gerrard will try that system again any time soon.

So, for now, watching who plays when and why will be truly compelling stuff. If we had to pick, yes, it would be Katic. He’s been extremely impressive pretty much all season so far and he’s a definite fan-favourite and indeed site favourite. We do love players who clearly want to play for us and run through walls for the team.

But with Worrall’s dramatic improvement on Thursday, he’s written himself significantly into contention, and tomorrow’s team news really will be have our attention.

Over to you Stevie!

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