In the second and final part of our Nathan Patterson two-parter, having laid down the basics, we now have to expose the problem. Well, we say ‘problem’ but it’s a hell of a nice one to have.
In short, Nathan Patterson has now proven himself good enough to start for Rangers. He’s young, and has years ahead of him, but in the here and now the 19-year old is not going to be happy to return to the bench.
However, James Tavernier is captain and will start if fit. It’s simple as that.
So, what does Stevie G do to keep them both happy?
Well, first of all it’s a slightly moot point as the manager could well be without all three RB options come the 21st v St Johnstone, with Tavernier’s return not guaranteed, Patterson’s ban certainly starting and Leon Balogun out injured.
BUT… on the basis both Tavernier and Patterson, if all is pure and holy, are fit, how does Stevie manage them?
Some fans have argued to keep Patterson in and shift Tavernier up to RW.
It’s a proposal suggested for years, to have Tavernier as a RW to get the best out of him – but the reality is it hasn’t happened once in the 6 years he’s been at Ibrox, so give it a rest. It isn’t going to happen.
Which means it’s him or Patterson for RB.
Now, some fans suggest Patterson will be happy being loaned out and Tavernier getting his slot back, but the truth is Patterson is good enough, going by what we’ve seen, to play for this club.
But then so was Ross McCrorie and he ended up at Aberdeen – so what is the outcome of all this?
Fans saying Tav will get his place back are right – he will, he will be the first choice for RB and that doesn’t change.
Patterson has two choices when the captain returns – accept the bench at Ibrox till Tavernier retires or gets injured, or move on, either loan or permanent.
Stevie extolled McCrorie’s virtues and claimed he was a future Rangers captain, only to let him go out on loan after simply not playing him.
Don’t be at all surprised if Stevie’s praise of Patterson is just lip service, and while the kid can certainly do the business, he’s not indispensable.
Tavernier will get his place back, and Patterson either has to accept the bench or begone.
It’s not any more complicated than that.
The only possible alternative is Tavernier being sold for colossal cash so Patterson takes his place.
Not impossible but extremely unlikely.
But we definitely have two excellent options now for RB, and that’s the best thing to come out of this.