Cert for the chop – how unpopular Rangers star could defy odds


Over the past two seasons combined, arguably the two most maligned Rangers players have been Rob Kiernan and James Tavernier.

Seen to be part of the ‘Warburton clique’, their performances in the Championship were acceptable at best, and extremely underwhelming at worst, especially Rob, where Tav’s defending let him down while his attacking was mostly productive; naturally it being Scotland’s second top tier made judging them as Rangers players incredibly difficult, and it has been left to Rangers’ promotion back to the SPL before fans made up their minds on a slightly more valid basis.

And Kiernan has not only been dropped under Pedro Caixinha thanks to his incompetence but is out of the match-day picture entirely, with a view to being shipped out this summer.

However, the picture is very different for his ex-Wigan buddy Tav. Despite the fact he continues to be maligned by the majority of supporters for absolutely atrocious defending and inconsistent attacking, he has played every match under Pedro that he has been available for (he was suspended for the trip to Kilmarnock).

Even more tellingly he has played every single minute of all those appearances.

Despite a national publication claiming he is part of the glut of players Caixinha wants shot of, a rival publication has maintained he is in fact one of the ‘chosen ones’ to fit into the Portuguese’s plans and will play as big a role next season as he did last.

And going by just how much he played under Rangers’ new manager, that does seem more plausible, despite what we think of him as a player.

While only Pedro (and the boy himself) truly know if James Tavernier is staying at Ibrox or not, nevertheless the evidence suggests Rangers will look to the Englishman significantly next season, whatever role it may be.

Defence-wise, if Tavernier is indeed to maintain his regular RB slot, it is nothing short of a disaster. He has shown over two seasons an evident inability to do what his role entails – lacking concentration, lacking positional sense and simply not being up to the task. When in the opposing half he has been known to do damage, but for a speed machine who has the beating of many an opposition full back, it is curious to witness how many times he is beaten for pace when defending AGAINST said player.

James Tavernier evidently does not like defending and is pretty useless not to mention lazy at it, so if Ped has a grand plan for him at the back, it is a pretty poor call, in our book.

That said, if he envisages a more forward-thinking role for the ex-Newcastle man, it makes a little more sense, even if quite honestly, Rangers can do better.

What is all said and done though is that Tavernier has stated he is happy at Ibrox, and the only likely destination for him if a significant bid were made would be his old gaffer at Forest.

For whatever reason, James Tavernier has been pretty much first-choice for RB under three Rangers managers in a row.

It does not seem like he is going away any time soon, like it or not.


  1. While Tav has spectacularly failed to step up to the higher level that is the SPL calling his performances in the Championship as acceptable at best and underwhelming at worst – is way off mark and demonstrating a selective memory at best. There was a time when we all thought the 'Blue Cafu' was the real deal as he rampaged forward striking free kick after free kick. His goal scoring record and assists bordered on incredible for a right back. Sadly his limitations as a defender are cruelly exploited in the SPL – but let's not rewrite history.

  2. If nobody is prepared to pay a fee for his services, then only play Tavernier as the right wing back.

    The same thing with Waghorn. If we can't offload him for some money, try him in midfield in training matches as he has played there before when he was younger. He is not a natural goal scorer as his incredibly poor goals record shows, apart from one season for Rangers in their only ever Championship year.

    If we sign winger Walker from Hearts and we don't get a decent fee for young McKay, then try him playing off the wing to see if he responds to the change.

  3. Tavernier is a stark reminder of how bad Warburton's forward thinking and lack of respect and understanding of the SPL and Rangers was. The majority of his signings are not good enough for this level and as such need to be moved on for whatever we can get for them . We are back to 'Day One SPL Wise' but lets hope the Portuguese guy has a bit of an eye for some talent . WATP

  4. He could be thinking of playing 3 centre halves with blue cafu and wallace more advanced as wallace is poor at defending as well-granted not as poor as cafu?

  5. I will say this Tav is a very good player,as for the papers about all the Mexicans heading our way come on some Mexicans or south americans can not play good football here i do not want a huge wage bill on players no one else wants may be some did play under Pedro before but where they any good and can they play here on £10 or 20 grand a week.

  6. There is not a lot of difference with Tavernier's defending and Wallace 's defending. If Rangers decided to sell Tav to an English Club they would collect £1m+ but in realistity Wallace would be about the same or less!

  7. To be honest if I was a rangers player I would want to go as the way the support gets on there case it's hard to name any player in the team that has not been slagged this season and here I always thought we were the best support in world but can't back the team when most needed it seems we have to win always before the support steps up to mark so no better than players we slag we done ok this season getting 3rd the players we have mhave never claimed to be the best but they gave their best

  8. The very thought of Tavernier and Waghorn returning in a few weeks simply horrifies me. And to sell McKay and Garner defies logic.To retain the first two will destroy any benefit from the anticipated new signings. If they stay it will be more of the same. How on earth could it be different. Caxinha would be gone by October and these two failures there for another season. Gimme a break.

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