James Tavernier costs Rangers yet again – will we ever learn?

James Tavernier costs Rangers yet again – will we ever learn?
Liverpool's Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino (L) scores his team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Glasgow Rangers and Liverpool at the Ibrox Stadium, in Glasgow, on October 12, 2022. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP) (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

So here we go, James Tavernier again. The truth is until ‘that’ interview, we’ve rather left the captain alone this season – he’d been OKAY but been shown up a bit in the early stages of the Champions League qualifying rounds, and of course, he had a tonne of goodwill in his favour for 55 (in which he was outstanding till about February when it all dried up) and was, in fairness, not awful last season.

He naturally captained us to 55 and got the Scottish Cup in his hands too not to mention leading us to Seville, so there was more than enough slack on him to rate his performances and generally overlook how average he was as captain.

This included that horrendous quote in the match program where he revealed his team was rubbish and wasn’t reacting to losing goals well enough – fans were disgusted by the white flag the captain was hoisting. He managed to recover from that because that year saw the beginning of 55.

This season, let’s be frank, has exposed James Tavernier as a diabolical leader, a horrific and self-centred defender, and a captain quite happy to put his team mates not only under pressure on the pitch, but at the source of blame when he’s asked in press conferences.

Steven Gerrard picked this man as captain, and quite frankly we weren’t happy with it at the time. But as Rangers fans we accepted the decision, and have praised him when he’s deserved it. Problem is, that’s a long time ago now.

The number of times Tavernier has cost his team mates goals then managed to put the blame on them for his mistakes is utterly ridiculous – that interview in which he apologised for his part in the Livi goal but said his team mates should have been able to bail him out rather summed him up.

And those mistakes repeat. Constantly out of position, a cut ball inside his channel, left winger sprints onto it as Tavernier glares up the line with wide eyes and pursed lips, desperately trying to figure out how to get back, before the inevitable goal.

See, we could almost accept it if he was just out of his depth in the UCL, which he is, and that was that. But he’s done that stuff in the SPL too, because he’s so interested in attacking that he wilfully forgets the defending side of his job.

He got away with it when Jacko was at his best, because the midfielder was always covering his runs forward, and when there was no Jacko Goldson did his best to cover Tav.

No? There’s no one – there is no one to cover his errors any more, and Rangers are being punished.

A few penalties aren’t enough to save him – he’s been ghastly this season, and probably last too, but he was being bailed out by his team mates. Now no one is doing it, and he’s left to take responsibility alone for being a bad RB and a bad captain.

But he’ll score a penalty again or maybe an assist and all will be forgiven, right?

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