Two men were notably dropped from the starting XI last night by Steven Gerrard.
One of them was bang on, and we’ve been harping on about ditching him for months. The other was surprising, because he’s only lost a little form the past two matches.
We are of course talking about Glen Kamara and Niko Katic.
Just why oh why is Steven Gerrard so stonkingly ruthless with the Croat that it only takes one maybe two off-key displays to lose his place, while Glen Kamara has cost several goals and been hideous the majority of the season and only loses his spot deep into February?
In short, why is Niko Katic treated differently to everyone else, in terms of the first-team regulars?
We’ve seen players lose form a hundred times under this manager, and they’ve retained their places, but the moment Katic does it, he’s out?
It seems bizarre. While Connor Goldson is now in some very decent shape indeed, going back only a month or two before the Old Firm match he was all over the place, but his place was never in question – so it’s not a question of the position Katic plays in.
Nor is it a question of age – Edmundson is two years the Croat’s junior, so it’s not about adding a more experienced player alongside the Englishman.
No, we’re not quite sure why Katic seems to get more harshly dealt with than other players of the regular 18.
Kamara has been mostly terrible this season and kept his place once he assured it around October. He only got dropped once, to face Aberdeen in December. Otherwise he’s been ever-present.
Yet now, finally, he is benched – to make space for Hagi, which we advocated, of course.
But Katic also loses his place for just one or two off-key matches.
We find it strict beyond words.
But then, perhaps tough love is how Katic needs handled.