Sunday, 17 March 2019

What on earth has happened to Connor Goldson?

Over the past few months most of the defensive arguments have centred around Joe Worrall, and his merits in particular over Nikola Katic.

The big Croat took the Forest man’s place yesterday and did himself fair justice, but a stopper who has largely escape a chunk of criticism has been the increasingly troubled Connor Goldson.

The 26-year old ex-Brighton man was a much-lauded capture, the summer’s big signing at £3M and waved off with affection by fans of his ex club who believed Rangers were getting a bargain.

And it started out rather well at Ibrox, his languid style and physicality reminding us very much of a Carlos Cuellar type.

But once he struggled at Rugby Park before having an absolute ‘mare at Fir Park in the still-infamous 3-3, Goldson became mortal and fallible.

And since then while his form hasn’t been horrific, it’s definitely been far from convincing – and this calendar year has seen a stark deterioration in his displays – thankfully for him there was that spell of a few games where he and then-partner Worrall were hardly tested.

But yesterday it all came home to roost as Killie exposed him dreadfully three times including some decision making which was beyond naïve and astonishingly poor.

In short, Goldson isn’t delivering right now – his distribution from deep is absolutely scandalous, he lacks physical power, he struggles to read the game, he doesn’t win much in the air and his leadership is distinctly average.

Now, we must add a caveat – when Gareth McAuley was his foil, we saw a big improvement in his displays at the end of last year. Back in the autumn, Goldson had struggled following that fiasco at Fir Park, but when the Northern Irish captain partnered him, the leadership beside him got way more out of him and he looked much more secure.

But since McAuley got the axe, the Goldson Worrall duo has been Stevie’s partnership of choice and quite frankly against a half decent team it isn’t good enough. Goldson evidently isn’t a leader, and add to that a partner he has barely teamed up with since the autumn and it may have affected him.

Either way, whatever the root cause is, Goldson’s form right now is far from convincing.

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