James Tavernier shock – or just excellent management?

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GIBRALTAR, GIBRALTAR - SEPTEMBER 17: James Tavernier of Rangers scores his team's first goal from a free-kick during the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round match between Lincoln Red Imps and Rangers at Victoria Stadium on September 17, 2020 in Gibraltar, Gibraltar. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

Ibrox Noise was more than a little puzzled (as usual) by Steven Gerrard’s post-match comments on captain James Tavernier.

He claimed the withdrawal of the RB was down to ‘resting’ him, but in five years at Ibrox and well over two under Steven Gerrard, James Tavernier has barely been taken off once at a time like that in the match purely for ‘resting’ purposes.

So for this to be the literal first time Tavernier has been taken off in this way (certainly under Gerrard) did spread some rumour the skipper might be injured, despite what Stevie said post-match – and that’s something we’ll know better come the weekend.

But it may also be proof of something else, indicative of another comment the manager made a week or two ago.

He stated Connor Goldson was overused, and that this season would see more resting of the vice captain.

It’s more than feasible the same now applies to the captain himself – that last night was the first evidence of seeing Tavernier just removed to rest, to rotate, to give others minutes.

Rangers might not have been vintage in this one, but it was comfortable and we got the job done with room to spare. And as such, taking Tavernier off, once he’d scored another great goal and had done his work for the afternoon, maybe wasn’t that dodgy after all.

If it’s about rotation and genuinely giving different players minutes, this substitution made a lot of sense.

And we’d like to see more of that kind of refreshing management.