Monday, 27 August 2018

The Trouble with Tavernier


A lot of issues have been raised following yesterday’s tough encounter in Motherwell, but one of the most recurring has been back to the old ‘taboo topic’ of our captain James Tavernier.

Ibrox Noise recently gave him a 6/10 following his defensive weaknesses at Killie, despite the assists, and was greeted with a lot of ire and some outright demands we raise it to 8. We detected this ire was thanks to the fact his failings in that match had not cost the win.

Yesterday, however, the feedback has been much different – similar defensive lapses, bad positioning, carelessness, and poor tracking (plus attacking assists) has seen comments objecting to us giving him the same score – now it’s too high!

This remains the critical problem with a right back who had improved his defensive responsibilities of late possibly with Stevie’s help but in the past two matches has reverted back to the weak, soft-centred liability he will always be in that position.

We remain convinced he was the wrong choice for captain. He will never turn us around on that one given we’ve had three years of this guy and we think we know by now exactly what kind of a right back and player he is.

Going forward, James Tavernier is clearly an asset. Quick, mostly a good crosser, good understanding with Daniel Candeias, nifty on the touch and move and one twos, Tavernier delivers pretty effectively going forward.

But time time and time again he has proven himself simply not focused, sharp, or plain good enough to deliver the defensive side over a sustained period of time.

And as it did yesterday, it will cost us points. Against Kilmarnock it didn’t, and the ex-Wigan man was the toast of fans despite Jordan Jones clearly having him on the same stuff. But when it costs valuable points and goals, fans sit up and take notice.

Stevie hasn’t made too many mistakes up to this point – yesterday was definitely an all round glitch as part of the learning curve. But the clear early one in his regime was making Tavernier the captain and installing him as a critical part of the team.

This isn’t meant to be a sustained, brutal attack on the guy. He isn’t a bad chap and seems fairly bright and with a sunny outlook – and we have consistently praised his attacking contributions over the years.

But he’s a right back. And that’s where he earns his real corn. And the defensive side of his game is quite simply not good enough for Rangers to continue to grow.

What we do about that is not clear, but it’s up to Stevie.

25 comments:

  1. Agree wholeheartedly. Tav is an excellent delivery man in to the box and has some good attacking play, but 2 of the goals Motherwell scored against us yesterday were scored as a result of Tav not defending his man. The other one was an unusual and unavoidable mistake from Goldson. Im still certain Tav was handed the captaincy to boost his profile and raise his price for the clubs who were looking to sign him during the transfer window. It'll take quite a bit for Gerrard to strip him of it but I think it should be on Goldsons arm.

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  2. overall the defence had a howler yesterday. Tav was poor at the second set play no doubt but he is 5 foot 9 and wont win a lot of Ariel tussles. I dont think the change of tactics helped anyone yesterday and it was a gamble. Flanagan at LB has been defensively solid but offers little going forward. Borna on the other hand is bombing forward (LWB/LM) on the wing and his crosses yesterday were top drawer showing just what an asset both RB/LB will be. Ryan Jack had a lot to do yesterday especially on the left but slotted into Tavs spot when he went forward. Its a working progress but i think we need to put yesterday down to a learning curve for the manager. Flanagan CB didn't work, Goldson was effected by his slip and McGregor could have done a little better. Point being plenty of reasons why yesterday went wrong, Tav is one of those reasons but hopefully he will continue to improve under Gerrard, he just seems easy to pick on atm. WATP

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  3. I would like us to try him further forward.
    While agreeing that his defensive lapses cost us goals, his forward play gains us goals and points. Barisic defends better, but will not give us the same number of goals. May do well on assists though.
    So, do we swallow the lapses for the goals? For me, yes. Try and improve him, but he is an attack weapon, so try him further forward, or just hope to train him to be better.

    As captain, I agree with you. I think there are better options, lots of them. But they all arrived this summer, excepting Jack, so I can understand why the manager wanted continuity. I would like to see a change next summer, once Goldson, Jack, Murphy, Arfield have a chance to show their leadership

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  4. I didn't think he was too bad, wasn't his best game but he was asked to play as wing back as part of a back 5. First goal was a freak goal and last goal we just didn't deal with the ball landing in the box which I don't think was Tav's fault? I don't think he's a bad captain either, we don't know how he is in the dressing room and apparently he has phenomenal numbers in training. His assists dig us out of holes all the time, he definitely creates more goals than he gives away. But yeah he still has some things to improve on.

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    1. tav left his man twice didnt learn from the first one. dont no how you cant see that

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  5. Not easy to pick on: Quite simply he cannot defend. Excellent going forward but, if he is not played as a wide right midfielder, he shouldn't be in the team.

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    1. spot on, just play flanagan RB.simple fit wallace LB barisic in front and let them do what their good at, gettng crosses to the front two and let the natural fullbacks defend their area. This same problem was highlighted on sky sports recently involving liverpool.

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    2. Agree about playing him further forward. However, that still means he has defensive responsibilities at set pieces. I like him but yesterday was very poor and if he doesn't know how to defend that situation at his age then I doubt Stevie G could teach him.

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  6. How can anyone defend tav he as stated is a right back yet he simply cannot defend that is the simple but sad truth.
    If we are to seriously mount a challenge then we need a reliable defence
    Yes Tav makes some good runs and crosses but many times his final ball is poor.
    There are others in the squad who could do that job equally as well and are better at tracking back and defending.
    There is no place for sentiment either we make the necessary changes or it is more of the same.
    I am not a Tav hater he seems like are really nice guy but we need a defender end of

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    1. it should be noted that in 11 competitive games so far this season we have conceded 7 goals , obviously 3 yesterday so 4 goals lost in 10 games , 2 of those games with ten men. Its a massive improvement and i think Tav has done well so far this season. Still undefeated , yesterday was disappointing in general and we could point fingers in many directions.

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  7. think your i,n giving tav raw deal ,hate to say it gerrard got whole team selection wrong ,halliday ,flannigan starting we dont need 5 at the back goldson was shocking bad hopefully that was down to system playing back 3 ,flannigan is a right back why are we playing him at left back or central defence ,thats 4 points we have dropped in 3 games motherwell bullied us midfeild ,defence. gutted ,that result certainlly wasnt down to tav , r,t,i,d

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  8. I'm a Tav fan he brings a lot to the team , correct he is not the best defender...most half decent wing backs aren't but it's the modern game. What he gives in dimension of crosses and link up play is a fair trade off for an occasional defensive lapse ....Steven Gerrard sees that and needs to get the set pieces so that he has a simpler role

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  9. I think Gerrard is doing a fantastic job so far ,but I think made his first two real errors yesterday. 1.The starting formation was a mistake. 2.under no circumstances do you make a substitution when you are defending a corner or setpeice, especial deep in injury time, that's a well know fact.

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    1. 1 AGREE
      2 AGREE
      RIOGAURD I AGREE!!

      basicly the back line should not have been touched but i believe stevie g is the man who can!

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    2. I can understand Gerrards thinking. He's played one up all season but obviously wanted to shoehorn Lafferty into the side and therefore had to play with 2 up. That meant something had to change further back. On this occasion he chose a back 3. Normally that was something that would've been tested in pre season but since we never really had one he wasn't able to. So he's having to find these things out "on the job".
      Let's not forget we were 10 seconds away from a great win and but for Tavs 2 defensive howlers might well have won comfortably. We learn and move on.

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  10. Wrong day to try a back 5 for the first time. A back 4 with Candeias in front of Tav is what we need for Ufa and tattie munchers

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  11. Might not be the popular view, but can't see us winning a league with a team which includes Tav or little grumpy arse up front, never have or will be good enough for Rangers, one can't defend and the other is on some kind of mission to rack up the highest number of sitters missed in a single bloody season. Other than that i am more than happy with our new look Rangers
    WATP

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    1. I take it you have never heard of mcoist and the howlers he missed,morelos puts a real shift in every game he plays and he's only 21 years old as well and he is going to get better,every striker misses chances.

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    2. I like your sense of humour ally an grumpy on the same breath. Good one

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  12. Tav is a very good player, the problem is he is still the weak link as a defender,this debate has been going on for a while now and still the same mistakes crop up, he does bring a lot to the team with his running and deliver, but at the end of the day his job is to defend and time and time again this has let him down,can still be a big player for the club but not as a full back.

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  13. i am a celtic fan but not a strip the titles, rangers are dead one and watch the odd rangers game cause i like watching football. Tav has always had a ? over his defensive abilities but the biggest factor for me in the dropped points appears to either be a lack of general fitness or poor game management. You always drop off in the last 30 mins of the game and at times are out right just holding on in the last 15-20mins of a game.

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  14. Agree totally. He's either a midfielder or a defender, but trying to be both. Not saying he hasn't been an asset. But at this time, good or bad, he's 50 percent liability. This issue will need to be resolved. Had a lot of crap today on this issue, on other rangers forums. But, a good supporter, speaks up when there's issues that need ironing out. Club and what's best for club, will always come before, individual players. Or should. We can't carry, anyone at all, this season.

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  15. you rated tav as 6 against motherwell?? if so then the problem is your rating system is it not?? andy "bleeds blue" halliday an "EL BUFFALO" was rated as 6 aswell they both had good games

    TAV WAS ASKED TOO PLAY WING BACK ALONG WITH BIG BB WING BACKS ARE SUPPOSED TO ATTACK MORE DEFEND LESS!! HE GOT DUN AT 2 FREE KICKS HE LOST HIS MAN IT HAPPENS FROM TIME TOO TIME

    TRUST STEVIE HE WILL LEARN HE WILL WIN!

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  16. Easy Solution ...

    Play Flanagan at RB
    Candeias at RM/RW
    ...And Sell Tavernier

    👌

    And like Many have Mentioned ...
    Motherwell Away was not the time to go three at the back 😕

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    Replies
    1. Stevo
      Given that Tav adds more goals and assists than Candeias, and is years younger, your logic would say Candeias should be sold, not Tavernier

      But I agree Motherwell away probably not the best time to try it. I worked on assumption he was trying to rest midfield players for next two games

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