After Ibrox Noise revealed the truth about James Tavernier, that indeed he’s actually a tonne better than many fans think, Steven Gerrard affirmed that stance and hinted that Tavernier is an absolute mainstay first-pick and his first name on the sheet.
The manager covered a lot of bases with the club’s official TV channel and admitted that while winning something as captain would probably earn him the credit he believes the RB deserves from the fans, the reality is his performances should already do so, and indeed, as we demonstrated in a number of entries in recent weeks, Tavernier’s stats are among the best.
Up till a number of weeks ago, we too were harsh on the wide man, but when we did an in-depth look at his statistics over a number of key areas, we were surprised and impressed by how consistent he actually is.
Defensively he is a tonne better than he’s ever been given credit for. Why?
Think about a striker. 10 shots. One is a goal. That striker is celebrated for that one goal, and the 9 misses are ignored and forgotten.
But in defence the dynamic is different. 9 clearances, 9 tackles – but the 10th and ‘failed’ attempt of each led to a major chance or even a goal for the opponent. That defender is slated and castigated from pillar to foot. So, 18 perfectly good defensive acts, but two mistakes. Meanwhile the 9 misses from the striker are entirely overlooked in favour of his goal.
The dynamic in defence is very different to the expectations in attack – and mistakes cost 10x as much.
Now, you might say, look at Borna, look how much better he is. And Borna is world class, true.
But no one said Tavernier was. But he certainly isn’t the rotten waste of a shirt a lot of fans want to allege that he is.
And in truth he only needs his manager to see that, and it appears he does.