We’ve been banging on about this all season, and we make no apology for it either – it was a mistake to drop Nikola Katic, again, and a bigger one to keep selecting Filip Helander.
The fact is Connor Goldson is untouchable so there’s no point addressing his merits or otherwise. But quite clearly Helander is far far too similar to the former Brighton stopper and setting them up as a defensive partnership is not the best solution.
Therefore, with the Swede’s injury yesterday and ultimately his withdrawal, the crowd-favourite Croat got a cameo, and the aforementioned knock to the former Bologna man may have forced Steven Gerrard’s hand in accepting the 23-year old back into the fold.
Katic signed a new deal some weeks ago, so evidently he was happy enough with his lot at Ibrox to commit the next half decade to the Govan cause, but the fact is the man is our best defender and his being on the bench helps no one.
We don’t know why the manager has such a mental block about Katic, but either way the Croat may just find himself back in the team whether Stevie likes it or not.
Helander’s prognosis is unclear, although it appeared the 26-year old pulled his hamstring which means he’s out for some weeks at least – that gives Katic the opportunity he’s craved, that he’s waited patiently for, and that he’s utterly deserved.
It also gives Rangers the foil partnership we need – two different type of defenders who compliment either other, rather than cancelling each other out as Goldson and Helander appear to.
Gerrard’s handling of Katic has never really made sense to us, but we know this – Rangers are a stronger team for him in the starting XI than not.