What on earth has happened to Niko Katic?

What on earth has happened to Niko Katic?

If one man will be ‘frustrated’ by Rangers’ display v Livi it’ll be Croat Niko Katic.

Not as a team player, you understand – the Croat wants Rangers to win always and will put himself through a brick wall for his team.

But that’s kind of the point – once again Niko Katic, in the form of his life, has been dumped in favour of a defender who simply isn’t delivering at that similar quality and was sub-par again today.

Last season Joe Worrall, this one Filip Helander.

We expect a Swedish international of Helander’s price tag to improve, certainly, but it must be utterly galling for Katic, just when he hits remarkable form, that he finds himself benched again.

Of course, equally he has to ‘endorse’ this – he recently signed a five-year deal committing, frankly, his career to this club – he evidently knows the plan for him and he’s happy with it.

But just on a football level, of what we’re seeing on the pitch, Helander is a downgrade at present on every level compared with Katic.

Poorer on the ball, weaker, slower, less convincing in the air, and not really much of a tackler. His performance in Porto aside, he’s not really been up to the task, while Katic clearly is.

Of course, this is Stevie’s call, and a big one, and given just how well things are going we have to back the manager on it.

He’s showing his judgement is improving and things are working. We’re top of the table for chief’s sake.

We just wonder how Katic feels on the sidelines when we think he could be doing a better job than Helander is at the moment.

This isn’t like Barisic, where we simply didn’t have a better option than him on the bench hence persisting with him – no, Stevie rotated aggressively between he, Halliday and Flanagan trying to get the most out of the Croat. Eventually it’s worked, but there wasn’t a better player to call on. Unlike here.

This isn’t a criticism of Gerrard, just a wonder – just why is it Katic doesn’t play more. He’s by a distance our best defender. Yet he’s not in the XI these days.

But, at least we’re winning, so the observation is only that. A rhetorical one.

bike tracks

No posts to display


  1. You must be watching different game to me as he lander has been solid. We all like niko but must trust our manages judgement

  2. Nico has been harshly treated. I've no problem if the manager believes Helander is the better option but surely he should get a run out now and again. The same applies to Edmundson. These are young guys on long term deals with hopefully a big Rangers future but they won't learn much by not playing. I mean how much has Edmundson played this season?

  3. Now, let me say first of all that I love Niko! However, since Helander came in the stats show that the only goals we've conceded have been against Young Boys (Tav at fault for both), Porto (Wonder Goal) and Motherwell. That means 7 clean sheets and really he can only be accountable for the Motherwell goal. The stats don't lie and show that something is working with this current defensive line up. Niko and Edmundson both look the part and they are the future of the club but you can't argue that aside the Celtic debacle, that Stevie has demonstrated that he knows what he's doing this seson and is the man to take this club forward. No matter who he chooses in whatever position In Stevie I Trust! WATP

  4. Imagine keeping another clean sheet and still moaning about the defence! I agree that they could maybe get a run out when games are won, but I thought this was a massive season for us? Do we want to win the league this season or keep everyone happy?

  5. Thought big Helander had a solid game yesterday and coped easily with the Livvy forwards .Would like to see bid Niko get a run out sometime and the same applies to Edmundson who has done well when called upon .

  6. I never thought i'd say this, but I couldn't vote. If it had said Niko or Helander, it would be Katic. But I thought Connor Goldson was fantastic yesterday. Those punts upfield had pinpoint accuracy. He found Tav's feet several times. I'm as shocked as anyone, but fair play to Connor. He's improved. I don't think Helander had a bad game, either. Atm though, i'd personally play Goldson/Katic. But this just goes to show the quality, we are seeing in our defence. That is, even with good players like Edmundson, in reserve. So we're in a good place and i'm happy.

  7. Helander and Goldson were both excellent yesterday and it was important for Helander to show that he could cope with the physicality of Dykes and he did .I like big Niko and I am glad that he has signed up long term but at the moment the defence has been settled and not conceding goals .We have called for the manager to keep a more settled team , particularly in defence and he is now doing that .There will be games that Niko and George will get games but to moan about them not playing after the week we have just had seems a bit churlish.3 wins in big games , no goals conceded.I will go with the boss.

  8. Last game Katic played was Hearts away, conceded and we dropped points. Since then we've only conceded 2 goals to Motherwell and Porto away. Right now Helander and Goldson are solid, I've been a critic of Goldson but i've got to admit over the last 5 or 6 games he's been terrific along with Helander.

  9. Goldson and Helander look decent, but i think taking one out and puting Katic in would upgrade to good.

  10. I like Katic a lot, and Edmundson looks an excellent signing. Goldson and Helander are a step above Katic and Edmundson, and so they should be. Goldson having played in the EPL and Helander played in Serie A and for Sweden. Our defensive stats don't lie, Goldson and Helander playing together have conceded very few goals.

    We are in a really good situation with our central defenders, where we have four who are all of a good standard. It will be a challenge for Stevie to keep them all happy – I am not a fan of rotating central defenders, I much prefer stability. Not sure how Stevie solves this, but having four good CDs is a great problem to have.

    The most important thing is that we keep winning games, as long as that is happening I will trust Stevie to make the best choices.

Comments are closed.