And finally we move onto the defence, as we promised you all earlier, and one of our most regular readers.
Well, where do we begin with this nightmare?
First of all, we’ve been complaining about Nikola Katic’s absolutely horrific form, Braga aside (he was a little better) all this calendar year, but why do we think he’s become this bad?
We have to say, his being in and out of the team has not helped, and it appears to have made his most vulnerable and worst attributes the most prominent, and what made him so good earlier in the season is now what makes him so awful – previously he was a bit gung ho, attacked without consideration, and walked through brick walls when a gentle pace might work too. But we still pegged him as a potentially £10M defender.
The problem is, by being scolded publicly for his stylee, we think it’s blown back up in Stevie’s face – he explained Katic didn’t understand the pace of the game, didn’t known patience, and he was too eager to make his move. Unfortunately this has backfired – Katic has lost all confidence, and all those attributes which we loved him for are now hurting him – things that made him a strong and hearty defender. He’s now just gaffe-ridden.
Then there’s Goldson – Ibrox Noise was alone in praising him for the last two months, because he seemed to have really taken the Celtic match form forward – and he had. He did look more assured, and he seemed to be reading the play better. That all changed today.
Just like v Killie, the partnership with Katic was AWOL – there was zero coherence between two defenders who used to bounce off each other, and the opening goal was textbook calamity.
Goldson misjudged the ball, let it bounce over him, while Katic utterly airkicked his attempted clearance, fell on his backside and was unable to get behind and beyond Hendry who tucked it away beyond a similarly out of form Allan McGregor.
Yes, McGregor – let’s not forget how diabolical, Braga aside, our goalie has been since the new deal.
He’s barely made a single save of note this whole calendar year – shots just beat him almost every time unless they’re straight at him.
So Greegsy does not escape blame either, ditto his refusal to come and attack Hendry either.
Then there’s the fullback slots. Tavernier too stopped playing for this club many months ago. He’s hardly put in a decent cross for about 3 months, and doesn’t look like he cares any more. Doesn’t have to, always plays no matter what, right?
Then the LB slot – Barisic too has been shocking since new year – the pre-deal Barisic is absent presumed missing, and injury has also curtailed what few appearances he’s made. So Andy Halliday, honest though he is, comes in and does his best, but he’s not, and never will be a prime LB. But he’s got more heart than the two bottlers Goldson and Tavernier.
We’ll never accuse Katic of being a bottler – the kid has guts. He’s just been horrifically mismanaged (like quite a few under Stevie) and now he’s a mess.
We weren’t even angry after today’s result and performance – it’s become predictable now, given how horrendous the past two months have been.
But the ‘case for the defence’ is that it has truly deteriorated, and now officially cannot be trusted again this season.