Two groups of three – doesn’t work for Stevie?


As we touched on earlier, the two Northern Irish ‘deserters’ have arguably been failures since they came back to Ibrox, but it also raises a curious point as well.

Their fellow international team mate Gareth McAuley has been completely out of the first team picture since the Killie loss, not even making the bench half the time – just what is it about the Northern Irish internationals that doesn’t seem to be working at Ibrox?

And you’re probably wondering about the ‘second group’ – well, no one is going to say with a straight face that the Croatian trio have lived up to expectations either – Barisic has been patchy at best, Katic lost his place months ago and Grezda (came from a Croatian side even if he is Albanian) barely impressed beyond the Motherwell match and he’s been injured most of the season too.

It seems like two collections of players, the Northern Irish internationals and the Croatian-based trio are not selection regulars (possibly Barisic aside, maybe?) with Stevie G, despite him signing all six of them, and more often than not none of them play.

Instead he elects to use the other options he has – last night only Barisic of all six of them (we know Grezda is injured) managed to clinch a starting berth (albeit removed for Halliday who made his point with another goal), and merely Barisic and Davis v St Johnstone, with the latter coming off on 59 minutes following a poor outing.

Lafferty, McAuley and Katic to name just three of them have to make do at best with places on the bench.

For what it is worth, we are not exactly criticising this state of affairs – Stevie has his preferred selections and defence-wise given it’s three shutouts in a row, we have no argument there.

It’s just very interesting the two trios of players are probably the most out-of-favour at the club – is it purely ability?

Hit us in the comments what you think it’s down to.


  1. It's down to form and competition in a specific position alone. Right now there are better options on the wing than Grezda, there's better options up front, midfield and defence than Lafferty, Davis and McAuley respectively. I still believe Barisic, albeit patchy in form, is a better option at left back than Halliday. We wanted competition for places and we've got it, this is what happens.

  2. Personally I feel Katic has been poorly treated, his partnership with Goldson early on looked solid until Goldson & Tav had a horror show at Motherwell during the 3-3 draw, it must also be noted that on that day Gerrard changed it to a back 3 & this could be to blame for the sudden change & slump, Katic seems to have also been made the scapegoat to allow Worral to stay in the starting 11 & yes on times he has LOOKED solid (Celtic game) but can just be a bombscare in other games away from home particularly….i dont know what to make of him, but I feel there was maybe a clause in his loan deal where he has to play X amount of games while on loan otherwise why would we sacrifice a young player we payed decent money for to accommodate a loan player! As for the rest, Grezda & Barisic need toughening up but should come on in time, McCauly is too old & onky hear for a easy pay day & maybe silverware, Lafferty hasn't had the chance, Davis looks a shadow of his former self & is desperately in need of game time & confidence, Big Lafferty just hasn't had a proper chance! & with Defoe coming in I feel his game time will be restricted even more. But I would like to see him get the nod ahead of Defoe for next 2 games against Hamilton & Dundee while Freddo sits it out, 2 teams who will park the bus & make it hard for us to break them down….I think Lafferty can bring more to the team as a lone striker with his physicality & he isn't shy at taking on a player, where as Defoe is more of a poacher & dosent have the physique to cope with the hammer throwers we come up against 🤔🤔🤔

    • Glyn

      I would rather have Laff and Defoe against teams that will park the bus. 4-4-2, 2 wingers with fullbacks pushing on. 1 CDM to sit, one CM to bind the play

  3. Not all will be successful. Remember we were running around in summer in a panic trying to sign players and also playing Europa Cup qualifying. January is a bad transfer window but I expect much of our dross will be cleared out in summer and SG will be in a better place to sign players. Last night was the strongest team we have put out this year. Some of our short term signings are too old but if we finish 2nd in league and win cup it will be an outstanding season. And we mayyet win league.

  4. Agree with Gary I think probably Worrall apart the defence picks itself I would prefer Katic, As he is a better goal threat at set pieces . As far as Lafferty goes he was always going to be a squad player Davis on the other hand needs games

  5. Katic – Good In the Air, Young Solid CB
    …Unfairly Treated

    Davis – Pish

    Lafferty – Not been given much of a chance Really …Needs Games

    McAuley – Think the Tank of McAuley is getting closer to Empty …Think the End is Near

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