Rangers Mind has been a nice bit of fluff from RTV since it started all those many moons ago. Rangers players being put through their paces on knowledge of the club and their own careers, but it’s the latest ‘episode’ which stands out significantly.
Niko Katic might have the heart of a lion, and the on-pitch approach of a warrior, but one thing the big Croat has never especially struck us as was being sharp as a tack.
He struggled with interviews, and English, and it wasn’t until he appeared on RTV’s revamp that we learned a little more of his personality, and even then, while it shone through, he still gave the slight attitude of naïve immaturity with his concession he just wanted to ‘smash’ people.
It seems the past year has seen a tonne of growing up, and his performance on Rangers Mind summed up the new Niko.
He was bang on with every question, belying his ‘childlike enthusiasm’-esque cult figure with a clear level of maturity, and his answers were instant in most cases.
While the questions in this series aren’t exactly rocket science, they do give some idea of who the smarter players in the squad are, and Borna Barisic also did very well, even if he misunderstood one question.
But it’s the emergence of Katic in the latest episode to show he’s growing up, and if Filip Helander does indeed get sold, a brand-new fully-fit and now much maturer Niko Katic could be a truly outstanding prospect next season.
His weakness in the game was patience, and failure to read the game right – Katic seems to be learning life now, and if he can add defensive intelligence to his colossal force and ‘smashing it’ nature, Katic could be one of the best defenders we’ve had in a long time.
And potentially, one of the smartest.