Chris Sutton has claimed that Rangers manager Steven Gerrard “may have ruined” Nikola Katic after his comments on the Croatian defender’s performance against St. Johnstone on Sunday.
The 23-year-old was at fault for the opening goal in the Gers’ 2-2 draw in Perth after he fluffed an attempted clearance that allowed Callum Hendry to break through and slot a shot under Allan McGregor.
Katic’s error was one of a number that he made in the first half, prompting his manager to reveal after the match that he would have taken him off before the interval were it not for the risk of damaging his confidence, as per the Daily Record.
But Sutton was bemused by the statement.
Writing on his personal Twitter account, he said: “Pretty remarkable stuff this.
“Didn’t want to take Katic off in the first half as it may have ruined him, but threw Katic under the bus after the game which may ruin him anyway…”
Pretty remarkable stuff this… didn’t want to take Katic off in the first half as it may have ruined him… but threw Katic under the bus after the game… which may ruin him anyway… https://t.co/YnFJ9fBEsH
— Chris Sutton (@chris_sutton73) February 23, 2020
Does Sutton have a point here?
The fact of the matter is that Katic is a professional footballer, and he will know in his heart of hearts that he had a shocker yesterday.
Taking him off before half-time would have been a brutal act from the manager that would have really hammered home the disastrous nature of his performance, however.
At least leaving him on the park for the full 90 afforded him the opportunity to redeem himself.
Of course, he didn’t take it, and given the manner in which Rangers dropped two more points on Sunday, Gerrard has a right to be frustrated.
Is Sutton advocating a professional game in which anybody who makes a mistake is exempt from legitimate and justified criticism in case it hurts their feelings?
If he is, he should probably think twice, because he’d be out of a job quicker than anybody.
In other Rangers news, BBC pundit raves about ‘unbelievable’ Gers ‘style-master’ v St. Johnstone.