Monday, 22 October 2018

What on earth has happened to former key Rangers performer?

While we covered it in a little depth in yesterday’s match rating, we have to more deeply consider Nikola Katic and the situation he seems to find himself in.

Let’s lay down the facts:

Alongside Connor Goldson, two or three displays aside (Killie Cup away, Motherwell away) the Croat formed probably the best defence in Scotland. Rangers were being praised far and wide for not only having such an improved defence, but for such an incredibly few number of goals conceded.

Indeed, with Katic at the back, Rangers conceded just 10 goals in 16 matches, including 8 matches in Europe and one against Celtic. The real blot was that ugly 3-3 at Fir Park where Goldson struggled badly.

In short, Katic was forming, generally, an outstanding partnership with Goldson, and was a firm fans’ favourite.

Then he got dropped.

Ever since Villarreal and the shock start for Joe Worrall, Katic has been pretty much a peripheral figure, and we quite simply have no idea why it’s happened.

And to add insult to injury, after complaining about 3G pitches and the effect of them on his back, he comes back in from the cold to play against Hamilton on such a surface, and simply has a nightmare.

He was taken off on 80 minutes and threw his tracksuit down in disgust, clearly furious at something.

Steven Gerrard, we have to say, has man-managed rather well since joining – there has been the odd questionable soundbite, yes, and not everything he’s touched has turned to gold, but by and large very impressive.

But this situation with Nikola Katic is genuinely flummoxing us. He’s gone from first choice and forming maybe the best defence in the country, to out of the picture, out of form, with no discernible reason why.

And we do wonder what’s going on there to have caused Katic to go from hero to borderline zero.

Answers on a postcard.


  1. Being dropped has annoyed him and drained him of all confidence. Sorry Stevie G --but this is your fault.

  2. You could see in his facial expressions and body language he wasn’t comfortable out there yesterday. Looked at odds with himself and not his usual steely focus. Something isn’t right that’s for sure. I was amazed he was selected considering he dislikes those pitches, equally as stunned with JR being selected on that pitch too ��

    Maybe we’re barking up the wrong tree and he’s just had an off game compared to his standards. I missed the tracksuit incident to be honest...

  3. This is always my gripe about rotation, can be a confidence killer when you get dropped when you are playing really well.

  4. If you are going to rotate, you have to be careful and ensure players understand they are being rested, not dropped. But you don't bring someone who has moaned about plastic pitches back on a plastic unless you are making a point. Like "I'm in charge!"
    Personally, I think dropping Katic has been a mistake to rank with the disaster at the piggery. But to be fair to SG, we don't know whether Katic was nursing a knock, or he likes the way Worral has been training, or he is obliged to play him a certain number of games.
    End of the day, you trust or don't trust your manager, so while I think Katic has been poorly handled, I am right behind the manager

  5. The trouble is, we never know the finer details, of what has exactly gone on. But SWH is right. We have to have faith in SG, because he's a very different act, to Murty & Caixhina. If it was me, managing, i'd have made it very clear to them all from the start, that there would be rotations and not to take it personally. It's for what's best for Rangers FC, NOT the player, that comes first.

    1. SG clearly stated numerous times that he was going to need depth in numbers in order to compete in domestic and European competition. Katic is young and I hope he can be managed back to success as there is a ton of football to be played this season. In SG we trust as you've said.

  6. I think Katic is a much better defender than Worrall who can look a little too relaxed and is a ball watcher!! Rotation is needed especially as we enter this important schedule December will be really a stern test of her squad . However this is not the area to meddle with if they are stable ...Think of all the great Rangers Back Four Pairings they didn't get changed very often if at all. I really rate Katic but he does need to learn to pass the ball much better and less complicated .

  7. Based on the season so far, we have three good CBs and hopefully McAuley also delivers. I would be happy to see any two of Goldson,Katic and Worrall play in any match. Can’t quite understand the negativity around Worrall - good experience and attitude for a young bloke, and wants the back line to boss things.


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