Has Steven Gerrard got controversial decision right?


We must admit after all the positivity of this morning and yesterday’s stunning result, making a slightly critical point does seem a bit counter-productive.

After all, we just horsed Motherwell 7-1 and frankly could and should have had more.

But we do have to raise the thorny subject of Nikola Katic again, and Steven Gerrard’s curious decision to partner him with Joe Worrall, after all expectations were that Gareth McAuley was set to be handed his debut.

While the two managed a clean sheet v Ayr, that was Ayr – this is an SPL Motherwell who’ve been known to give our defences a real doing of late, and why Stevie elected to go with two young defenders we’re at a loss for.

Our backline didn’t look particularly solid when it actually was tested, which wasn’t often, but we have to spare sympathy for Katic who was completely out of sorts again.

We do feel like he was unnecessarily removed from the first team originally, when in fine fettle, and now looks a complete shadow of his old self. He looks like the confidence and learning he had when originally given a run is now a distant memory and the way Ryan Bowman absolutely turned him like a ghost for Motherwell’s only goal was genuinely painful to watch.

We just don’t think that would have happened if he’d remained in the side – from that weak capitulation, to an early errant pass that went straight back to Motherwell in a vulnerable Rangers’ area, Katic hasn’t looked the same defender since he was dropped.

His displays v Hamilton, Spartak and now Motherwell looked like a player with all the self-assurance drained from him.

We don’t know what happened behind the scenes – we don’t know why Steven Gerrard decided to shove in a loan player over Katic, but it’s seemingly wrecked the Croat and that’s sad.

Gerrard’s decision to remove the ex-Slaven man at half time was extremely telling – the only other time we recall him doing that was Jon Flanagan’s nightmare against Kilmarnock.

Rangers have four defenders, and after his last three displays and yesterday’s introduction of McAuley, we suspect Katic won’t be regaining his regular shirt any time soon.


  1. Not sure I follow the logic. He was dropped for not being good enough and because he's not as good as Worrall. He had plenty howler passes even when he had a decent run of form, we got away with them. I don't think he has become poor because he was dropped, but rather because he still has things to work on. No doubt, there's a player in there, but his decision making must improve. Macaulay and Worrall was a huge improvement, good change to take him off at half time. Katic will get there eventually. Committing too early cost him vs Bowman. Getting skinned by Ryan Bowman though… what a riddy.

  2. Katic has been totally mis-managed! He should have been rested against villareal not dropped! He should have been put back in the team after a game or 2 at most. Even yesterday he played at the other side of the defence instead of his usual left side (probably why he was turned so easily). I have no issue with worral, I think he's decent but we seem to be doing everything to accommodate him instead of looking after our own players. Katic should start alongside the experienced Macaulay who will mentor him back to his best. Loan players should be used to help out our players…not hinder them.

    • Stevie, that is my thought. I would play McAuley and Katic against Livingston, if they don't look good drop one or both for Villareal. But McAuley is the man to restore his confidence, against the weaker teams to begin with, then see how it goes. There is a good player in there, but man-management mistakes have been made.
      SG will come good, but we have to expect and accept the odd mistake here and there.
      Fulham, Katic didn't get Croatia caps for fun, he is a decent player. Or SG and the scouts got it very badly wrong. I think the former. He still needs to keep learning, and adapting to a new league and country, but he is young. Give it time.
      I think a back three could be interesting, but we would sacrifice a player further forward and nobody is screaming to be dropped. If they were, there are plenty to step in for them.

    • Totally agree SWH, katic definitely is a decent player. His first few games reminded me of Cuelllar. Remember what Davie Weir did for Danny Wilson? Macaulay would do the same for katic. I genuinely think Macaulay will be our best defender. I agree about the 3 at the back, it's definitely a good option for us in certain games.

    • SWH I didn't say Katic was a bad player but right now he's not good enough. As I said, if he regains his form he could challenge for a place. But Worrall will always be better in my opinion.

    • Fulham,

      I don't think I accused you of anything. I think Katic is a decent player and was doing fine until he was dropped, but that is a manager's decision and he knows what is going on behind the scenes.
      I do not feel qualified to decide who is better, but I do know that Worrall will not be here next year and Katic will. So, where possible we should develop our own and augment with loans.
      I think best option right now is to pair Katic with McAuley for lesser games and see if his confidence can be restored. If Goldson/Worrall is the better duo, they will keep more clean sheets and get the big games.

  3. Yeah like I told you and all of your acolytes clamouring for Katic's return weeks ago – he is not good enough! (Maybe he has lost confidence but don't blame that on the manager). As I also told you Worrall is a much better player than Katic. McAuley looked solid when he came on. I'd be tempted to go for a back three of McAuley, Goldson and Worrall. But if it's a back four then it has to be Goldson and Worrall with McAuley as back up. If Katic can get his mojo back then he can challenge for a place too. Right now he's a reminder of the Bambi-on-ice defending we've seen in the past (talking of which if David Bates is good enough for the Scotland squad then we really are in trouble)

  4. The goal we lost was painful and all too familiar with Katic the main culprit. Halliday seemed to be at fault too being on the wrong side of Main though to be fair I'm not sure if he was just trying to rescue a situation where Worrall had lost Main. TV pictures weren't very clear. Anyone know?

  5. Stevie G should be starting McAuley from now on, and dropping the dead wood to the development squad, its simple, play your best 11

  6. Counter-productive thats all the site does,doom n gloom,wanted stevie sacked last week
    Now after the 7-1 you want to kiss and make up ffs

    WATP LETS GO 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧

    • BD, it’s absolutely shameful and false to say we wanted Gerrard sacked. We were as disgruntled as many fans. What, you want us to criticise a 7-1 win? And don’t ask for consistency and balance. This is football. These don’t happen.

    • Sorry ibrox noise but I'm with Benidormloyal on this you do chop n change like the weather on Stevie G and you can't deny that buddy

    • We even admit it in another article you yourself loved. But then again Rangers are hardly consistent either.

  7. I am a Katic fan …Halliday was also at fault for the Well goal too . I think MC Cauley could be good solution to allowing Katic to develop further perhaps . MC Cauley is very experienced and has great areil ability . He is however 38 which is a small draw back . Katic might benefit a small loan period next season .

  8. Just think the changing of central defenders everytime does not help they need to develop understanding
    Decide best 2 and stick with them

    • Bill, I agree but that way you don't develop your players. If we decide thats Goldson and Worrall, the latter goes next summer and Katic has just stagnated. We also expect to play 60+ games and players will need rested. So there must be some rotation. However, I would be happy to play McAuley and Katic in the easier games for a while and Goldson and Worrall in the bigger games. Gives them all a rest and a chance, while creating partnerships

  9. Disgrace the way Katic has been managed.
    He is a much better defender than Worrall…Simple as

    What about a Partnership of McAuley and Katic? 💪

    • Stevo I'm never sure whether you're as stupid as you come across or are just trying to be controversial. Either way I think your football knowledge is zero. You clearly watch a different game to most of us.

  10. Katic has bags of potential but has loads to learn. He’s nowhere near the level of Worrall and I really see no problem with the way he’s being managed. He’s a professional who should be ready to step up when selected – something he singularly hasn’t done in his last three games. To suggest he’s lost his confidence because he hasn’t been picked is just juvenile.

  11. Been saying for months worral is fucking donkey !,he was standing between Katic and Halliday for there goal yesterday playing with himself as for tavernier where the fuck was he,yeh he played shit hot against the hammer throwers but he still can't fucking defend and as for him being captain i would rather Greegsy had it,get Macaulay and big Nikola in for the livi game and get his confidence back up after all he's our player and not some donkey up for a jolly..No Surrender…

    • Fulham, I might not agree with Max, in fact I don't, but calling him a moron for expressing an opinion you disagree with is hardly the action of a reasonable fan. Disagree by all means, Worrall is certainly not a donkey as Forest alledgedly turned down £10 million from a club run by people who know more than Max, you or me. But let's leave name calling to the unwashed

    • Hey fulham please explain why im a fucking moron ? I've been following Rangers for over 47 years had a season ticket for 28 years, whats your point???,next time you comment and i don't like what you say I'll just call you a fucking retard?.No Surrender..

  12. The simple and obvious reason katic and Worrall were together on Sunday is because Goldson had a complete howler against spartak so needs a break and that was good management!

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