The captaincy issue has been a thorny one with Rangers fans over the recent years. Lee McCulloch undeniably overstayed his welcome as the leader on the pitch, and while Lee Wallace was welcomed as his replacement, he too came under fire for his ability in the role.
With Wallace’s future at the club unclear (we’ll leave that for another article, folks) James Tavernier was ‘appointed’ the ‘new’ captain (we say that, he basically showed up one day with the armband on) and now fans are starting to question the slide of performances as coinciding with his promotion.
In truth there are a dozen reasons why Rangers have been so monumentally bad in recent weeks, one of which could be down to the new deals dished out earlier in the spring, but the 27-year old right back, who has been linked with a switch to the English Premier League with Swansea, Everton and Burnley said to be keen, has not won everyone at Ibrox over with his captaincy.
Initially vaunted as absolutely the right choice, and praised to the high heavens, his displays, like everyone else’s, have struggled dreadfully recently, and it is unclear frankly how respected he is at the club by his fellow players.
Certainly liked, we are less sure if he is a player his colleagues look up to and get inspired by, which was most definitely an issue of contention with us when the captaincy was up for discussion.
We advised, in all our hallowed wisdom, Russell Martin as the new choice. Thankfully not everyone listens to us! But Tavernier has hardly covered himself in glory either.
To put it bluntly, there are few squad members who are captain material. All of those who (arguably) qualify are either banned (Wallace and Miller) or not in contention (Alves and Martin).
It is all far too many cooks and essentially no chefs. And there is a real lack of leadership on the pitch – that much is obvious without knowing much about football.
We have lots of players needing to be guided, but no patriarch on the pitch telling them what’s what.
And that lack of figurehead is a real bugbear – how many Rangers players look up to James Tavernier and follow his example?
Is there any coincidence the four most ‘valid’ captains we have are either frozen out, banned or not favoured?
It’s a growing problem, and it’s one of many.