Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Mystery deepens over Rangers' forgotten man


Following rumours of homesickness and fallouts, we really do wonder what on earth is going on with Croatian defender Nikola Katic.

Turning out for the reserves v Hearts in recent days, Katic has found himself on the outside following a superb start to life in Govan, with initially Joe Worrall taking his place then now Gareth McAuley.

We do draw attention to this quote from Steven Gerrard on the matter:

"Nikola has been bought for the future but really started well and has taken to life pretty quickly. He is probably further ahead than we thought but he will be managed slightly differently to Connor."

So there is certainly dispensation for Katic’s situation – we have had an explanation of sorts from the manager, but we can’t help wondering if that’s really all there is to it.

The colossal stopper started in fine fettle at Ibrox – looking like he’d taken to our league and club like a duck to water – sure, he’d made the odd error here and there, but he was still learning his trade.

Then Nottingham Forest loaned Gerrard Joe Worrall and Katic has barely been in the picture since.

We did express concerns earlier in the season at the lack of depth at the back – that Goldson and Katic were all we had and we shouldn’t be relying on them exclusively, but there is certainly a significant difference in how the ex-Brighton man is being handled compared with the Croat.

The fact is Katic is almost certainly not happy – and we completely understand his ire. Gerrard claims he was signed for the future, but by playing him so much during the first 20 or so games has led everyone to believe he’s more than just a project for down the line.

It’s a puzzling situation. Right now we have McAuley and Goldson as our established defence – but it’s not held up over the past few matches with just one clean sheet since late November – one clean sheet in the past five is not signs it’s settled.

And yet compare that with all the clean sheets we had during the Goldson and Katic days.

We really do miss all that.

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