Sunday, 20 October 2019

Three-man Rangers puzzle which doesn't make sense


James Tavernier, Connor Goldson and perhaps Sheyi Ojo seem to be the players right now mostly in the line of sight.

While all three of these players have (varying levels of) positive contribution, generally they appear to be the players who divide the fans the most, and defensively speaking Tavernier and Goldson stand out as the biggest culprits for goals conceded.

In the past three matches, Rangers have shipped 3 goals and five points, and all 3 goals have been massively down to Tavernier, Goldson or both.

Now, it’s easy to point the finger of blame, and yes, if we here at Ibrox Noise were the manager none of these guys would be guaranteed in the starting XI with only Tavernier a strong contender.

Because, you see, Tav simply isn’t a defender – Borna Barisic is a proper fullback, and now that he’s settled in the left flank is pretty tight, both in defence and attack. But Tavernier doesn’t have the discipline to play like that – he’s all gung-ho and flair attacking without much care for what happens behind him.

And that’s just his style. Always was.

The problem doesn’t lie with Tavernier, Goldson or indeed Ojo, although we’ll discuss Ojo more later.

The problem lies with the man who has continually picked them no matter how they play. The man who rarely to never criticises them – Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard has mostly done a stellar job bringing us our Rangers back, but when he became manager he explained no one was untouchable and they had to prove themselves. No one who wasn’t up for the fight would play for him.

And yet Goldson starts every match, along with Tavernier. Gerrard said if you lose form, if you aren’t delivering, you’re out – but it only seems to apply to certain players.

In short, Goldson and Tavernier play. Clear. Categorical. Period.

Ojo is more complicated – he is appearance-clause locked, just like any young loan. Rangers don’t want to waste money by paying Liverpool a fine for not selecting him, so the rather ineffective winger carries on in most matches. Until, that is, we assume, he reaches his target. We imagine he’ll be dumped as soon as he does.

But that’s another story – Gerrard is the man who keeps selecting Tavernier and Goldson – and we have to ask why?

Is it because they’re captain and vice-captain? Do they have similar clauses in their contracts about playing like Lee McCulloch allegedly once did? Or is it simply a pals act?

We don’t hate either of these men, life is too short to hate. But we have plenty of options in those positions and while we would certainly miss Tavernier’s marauding wing play now and then, it would be nice to see some variety, and a tighter rear in matches like Hearts where we knew they’d be a lot more open than, say, a Hamilton.

Moral of the story is this:

All rotation is equal, but some of it shouldn’t be more equal than others.

2 comments:

  1. Another decent look at things IN....here is my 2 cents worth now I've had a chance to calm down....The angry part of me thinks that as long as you hail from South of the border yiur a gaurenteed starter for SG....but for me I've never been Tavs biggest fan, but he is 1st choice like it or lump it, but when Ryan Jack dosent play none of the other MF players drop in to cover Tav & that leaves us vulnerable, Tav also is never a captain! If I was in that team today I'd of given him a rocket for his blunder! But no one ever seems to scream at him for a mistake, similar to Goldson so I feel there is defo a bit of a English clique going on! However, I don't think the back 4 was the issue over all, regardless of Tavs blunder, I think SG got his MF selection wrong, sorely missed Jack do we needed a stiffer MF, maybe Kamara could of been instructed to lie deeper along side Davis to protect the back 4 more from Hearts battering ram aproach....Arfield defo appears to be struggling post international break, maybe time to hang up the Canada duties for the sake of the club??? So maybe Stewart starting ahead of Arf would of been a more sensible option in an attacking sense?? Or let Freddo play wode right with Defo through the middle, Over all very frustrating, but 1 point is better than no points.....still level wi the filth & hopefuly SG will put a rocket up the arse of the lads prior to the Porto game on Thursday (PS I'm not goi g to even start on Ojo! Yons a waste of a shirt!)

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  2. Stevie must now look at himself. This cannot, go on. How much more is Tav, going to cost us?

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