Exposed: the truth as to why Steven Gerrard is picking Joe Worrall

Exposed: the truth as to why Steven Gerrard is picking Joe Worrall

As Rangers fans are aware, there’s a bit of a split among fans about the merits of Joe Worrall’s selection over fan-favourite Nikola Katic.

The Croatian was a huge hit with supporters for his heart and desire, while being able to actually defend a bit, but the Forest lad came in instead and took his place, seemingly inexplicably.

Ibrox Noise among others has protested this call, but some new information from our friends at the Rangers Report may shed some light on just why Steven Gerrard has made this decision.

On the face of it, Worrall doesn’t seem like the better option, but when statistical analysis is brought in, the Englishman suddenly looks a much better fit.

Here are Worrall’s season stats:


And here are Katic’s:


The ones to look out for, for now, are shot and scoring chance suppression and ball recoveries – aka – how often did they block a shot and how well did they intercept.

Katic sits at 75% for shot suppression, which isn’t bad, right? However, his rating at scoring chance is barely over 30%.

Now look at Worrall. Just 35% for shot suppression but a superb 93% for scoring chance.

In other words, Katic gets in more shot blocks in general, but when it comes to the critical moments which are much more threatening, Worrall is almost perfect.

Then we look at ball recoveries.

Worrall sits at 53% while Katic is barely over 40%. In other words, the loanee gets the ball back more than Katic does.

The next stat we’ll look at is passing. Worrall has a reputation for being a lousy passer of the ball, so do the stats back this up?

82% for successful passes for Katic, but absolutely no key ones. 90% for Worrall in passing and similarly no key ones, but that 90% does pour cold water over the idea he can’t pass.

Indeed, the one significant area Katic wins out in is aerially, with a 41% score to Worrall’s meagre 16%. Not surprising given his height and frame and his admission on joining that that was what he liked to do.

And for the tackle success rate? Neither excels. Worrall is around about the 20% mark where Katic actually stinks with an 8% success.

There is a fundamental truth that Katic is more likeable – he wants to be here, he gives everything, and he’s our own player. Worrall doesn’t want to be here, is only on loan and will return to Forest next summer.

But the actual statistical analysis of their performances (and there’s a few more in there you’ll notice too) suggests that despite what we think, Gerrard is currently going with the better overall defender.

Maybe he really does know more about football than the rest of us!

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  1. That's a very interesting analysis. Katic is definitely much more likeable than Worrall, I find Worrall's interviews sometimes a little irritating. He clearly rates himself very highly! But then again, the analysis also rates him highly, and it is hard to imagine Nottingham Forrest rejected a £10m bid for him unless they also rated him highly.

    It's painful to accept that SG maybe does know more about football than we do!

  2. At the end of the day Katic is our player full stop and playing him he can only get better. Ive watched Goldson a lot and he is no great shakes, an absolute lousy passer of the ball. Im all for rotating players so come on Stevie lets give Katic a chance.

  3. I’ve not been seeing these bad mistakes from Worrall. I thought he was sold again on Sunday. Only once did he miss judge a ball going out but he got the ball back with in seconds. Personally it’s goldson that causes a lot of the problems not helping his team mates out. One of st mirrens main chances at the weekend was when goldson missed his header

  4. Personally I prefer Katic Worrall has not impressed recently and his statement about Notts Forest puts a big question mark over his commitment to Rangers if he is valued at ten million why can he not get a regular game with his parent club instead of being loaned out at least we know that Katic is our player and will be so, long after Worrall has gone

  5. I suspect after Worrals comments about NF still paying his wages – their might be a clause of a fine if gers dont play him…

  6. What's hurting the perception is also that Gerrard gains personally by giving loan plaeys lots of minutes is that while Gerrard is at Rangers, we may get better loan players in the future as clubs will be confident they'll get starts, although when Gerrard moves on he'll take that reputation with him and Rangers will be back at square one with clubs not knowing if the new manager will play the loan players.

    It would be interesting to see how these stats compare against level of opposition. Katic was used heavily in qualifying for Europa while Worral used more against teams in bottom half of SPFL.

    I believe we should be investing in Katic over Worral, but if it means we'll get some star loan players in Jan or next summer, then happy to wait til then to judge.

    Jury is still out.

    • That’s a great point katic has played against the far better teams. Statistics only show statistics we can all see katic is the better option with our own eyes. The bread man loved statistics that sums them up

  7. What is the point in spending millions on players if we are only going to play the loan players, half of which are duds yet the still play ahead of our own

  8. He's still a fucking donkey don't care about stats and loan players shouldn't be prefered to our own..No Surrender..

  9. Considering we lost the cup semi to a header at a corner, I'd prefer the better player for headers at the back

  10. Some great satire in here which seems to boil down to
    “ the stats show he is doing what he is supposed to but I don’t like him”. I haven’t heard or read anything by Joe saying he doesn’t want to be here, only a statement of the fact that he’s a NF player. Incidentally, I’m quite happy with all three of the CBs we’ve played so far……

  11. This donkey has 3 clean sheets in 11 games and our own big Nikola has 7 clean sheets in 12 so fuck the statistics on this when the clean sheets speak volumes…No Surrender…

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