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.
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