James Tavernier Part Two


In the second of today’s James Tavernier two-parter, we look, by contrast to the first part, at the negatives of Tavernier. The parts about our captain fans tear their hair out over, or plain just dislike.

Unfortunately, this piece is more damning, and has more significant negatives because Tavernier, for what he clearly does bring to the side, and as we detailed that’s quite a lot, has become a divisive figure in our squad for a very good reason. Or number of them, and here’s why.

The first basic issue fans have always had with this right back is his lousy positioning defensively. As we pointed out, when he gets it right and focuses, his defending is great. The problem is those occasions are the minority and he is frequently helplessly lost up the pitch relying on Candieas and Goldson to bail him out following yet another loss of possession and swift counter. In short, when he does it properly, he defends well, but it will never be something he’s disciplined enough to excel at regular. Frequently Rangers play with three at the back unintentionally due to another gaffe from Tavernier and he’s been the cost of many, many goals since he signed.

But this complaint has been there from the start about him. The next one is a new one.

He is absolutely, wretchedly and utterly not a captain, and ranks up there as one of the most ill-suited to the role we’ve ever had. Lee Wallace was not a great captain at times, we admit that, but Tavernier makes him look like Greig. This was a complete cock-up by Steven Gerrard to give him the armband and was based on a manager who didn’t know Rangers or the climate or fan feeling and was going by the fact he had the captaincy on an interim basis. The absolute disgrace that is Tavernier never addressing the media after a bad result (more on that one tomorrow) speaks volumes for the kind of leader he is. As did his letting Defoe take the ball during that penalty incident – it was a complete lack of leadership and capitulation to a situation which required his manager to speak out instead.

Another issue with him is his inconsistency and wasteful use of the ball. While we discussed how he is absolutely the assist king of the SPL, the more damning side of this is indeed those five wasted crosses of every six attempts. Imagine he had more consistent crossing – fault Borna Barisic all you like but when he’s actually on form his left peg is a torpedo with a radar. Tavernier, on the opposite side, just doesn’t produce anything like this and it means so many good and promising moves come to nothing.

So there you have it. The bulk of the good and bad of James Tavernier.

We will leave it to you to decide if he’s good enough, regardless of our praise in Part One.

online polls


  1. Tavernier has been by far one of the best additions we have had in recent years. How any "fan" can justify the ridicule he gets after ever game. I agree he may not show his ability to captain his defense every now and again, but that's because he's halfway up the park creating chances that the midfield are not! If you take every goal and assist he has out of our stats where would we be in the league. This is not the 90s . Defenders are required to go past the halfway line these days and that's exactly what he does. He also has the legs to do this every minute of every game. The issue isn't his defending, it's his team mates inability to cover his position when he is up the park. That's not his fault. If u want your defenders to stay in their own half, perhaps you are better off supporting Kilmarnock. Even their strikers sit in their own half so might suit use better to have no one creating chances

  2. I agree he is not the world's best defender. But I think we are better compensating for that than losing what he brings in attack. I have to agree with Willie, teams should expect defenders to join in attacks and cover for each other in rotation.
    I agree he is not a great captain, but I would excuse SG for this. If you look back to last summer, what were the options? A goalie who was just rejoining the club? Goldson, a centreback who was brand new to the club, so no evidence he understood it? Jack, who had not been and still is not a stick on to play? Morelos? No, didn't think so!! Arfield? See Goldson. Gerrard could have picked either Dorrans or Murphy, as neither was new. Of course, he would then have been picking another captain by September.
    In short, we were very short on options last summer. Whether he sticks with Tav next season, I don't know. But highly paid professionals should not need led by the hand by a captain. They can all talk to each other and the ref, it's not rugby.

    As for improving his assists, if being the assist king in Scotland needs improved on, what do all the other full backs in Scotland have to do? And we could not afford to turn down the offers we would get. We may lose him as it is. Then we can start moaning because he is not here anymore. As you, or someone, said "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone"

  3. We have many problems in our team but I don't see him being one of them. However, his role as captain IS an absolute problem and we need a real leader on the pitch. Unfortunately it's hard to see who that would be from the current squad. Arfield would be better but is not ideal.

  4. Good replies here chaps – I just never understand the sniping that happens with the skipper. He’s one of the best players in the SPL (no need for a negative reply about overall standards – it’s where we play) and seems to genuinely enjoy being at the club. Here’s hoping he stays for another couple of seasons.

  5. Depends how Polster plays. If he's good and is solid defensively, then I'm more than happy to cash in on Tav and sign an actual creative attacking player.

    Tav has done us a good job. But I'd prefer a defender that can defend 1st and attack 2nd. If we get £5m+ I'm sure we could spend that well. We already have Flanagan as RB back up

  6. I think Tav has been mostly very good for Rangers given where we were . However I would cash in on him if we can get 5 million . We can use it to help find another Striker and
    CH and of course a younger FB both Right and Left .

  7. Take what we can for Tav and run, if I he does go we would rarely ever hear of him again, fade into the wilderness

  8. Going away from the debate here guys sorry. But some mad nugget has posted on the evening times article about our club being at court today with Fatman Ashley is this true or rumours. He is also saying Ashley is connected to the Close Brothers any truth in this. As well as a massive hike in season books a think he must be on the buckie and smoking some real hash.

  9. Really don't get people saying to cash in on him. We don't get enough goals and you're saying to sell one of our biggest goal threats and main man for assists? Polster hasn't even played yet and people think he's the man to replace him!? Then if not Polster who do we realistically get to replace him!? If you can find another right back who gets as many goals and assists as Tav and can defend better than him for under 5 million you'd be a genius.

    • That's the point. Better than tav will cost money we don't have. there are greater demands for that money elsewhere.

  10. I pointed out an article and comment from the evening times yesterday and now I'm a Celtic fan. That's what's wrong with some of our support people jumping in with both feet. So much for people being sensible on hear. I posted previously pointing out it was constructive criticism and still got shot to peices. I even used a phrase opinions are like arseholes everyone has one and the writer for ibrox noise used it as the headline the next day for an article. So anyway if people could take their heads out the sand and the take the blinkers off and answer me was there any rumours in what the comment was asking. And give it a rest about me being a Tim you don't know how stupid you sound.

  11. Honestly, I Think it's Time to Sell Him

    We get £4-7m for Him
    £1-1.5m for Flanno
    …..We Release Hodson

    And we Buy Two New Decent RBs

  12. contrary to what people have said above we've scored more goals than Celtic and yet we see ourselves way behind on points, goals isnt the problem its bottle. Not stepping up against the big teams. Tav is not a leader, tries his heart out but i have never seen someone cross the ball out the park so many times in my life. At the top level hes found out unfortunately. He can defend at times but only if he stays back and that changes our system obviously. Time to get a winner and a captain in the middle of the park!

Comments are closed.