Is Rangers captain James Tavernier under threat from Dujon Sterling?

Is Rangers captain James Tavernier under threat from Dujon Sterling?
Dujon puts pen to paper at Ibrox (Credit Rangers FC)

If one thing stood out for Rangers this preseason, it was the impeccable cameo of low-expectation Dujon Sterling, whose nomadic career in lower league football didn’t point towards a marquee addition in the slightest.

And yet his 20-minute appearance v Hoffenheim screamed of everything first choice right back James Tavernier isn’t:

Studious, solid, positionally robust, careful, and defensively aware.

In short, an £800,000 signing from Chelsea may actually be a hell of a lot better than Rangers current captain in that position, which, in fairness, isn’t hard.

Tavernier has had a truly pitiful preseason – despite nicking a couple of penalties or two, we’ve rarely seen him cut a more dispirit or hapless figure, opening the door at the back repeatedly for all opponents to plunder with painful ease.

The number of times Rangers have been exposed from his side and conceded is just disgraceful, and there are murmurs a change in captaincy might not be far off, watch this space on that one.

But it’s his basic performances which have been so ghastly.

Enter Sterling. The ex-Chelsea lad really stood out, for being everything Tav isn’t – and the defence INSTANTLY looked more solid as soon as he was on.

He was capable of attacking too, yes, but it was his positioning, his shape, his holding the defensive line when needed that stood out.

Ibrox Noise had zero expectations for this kid, given his journeyman career and age, but his appearance surprised and impressed us.

Was it just that we’re so used to the gung-ho cavalier carelessness of Tavernier that having a solid RB who actually knew how to defend was a novelty?

Yes, Sterling probably isn’t quite Dani Alves in his pomp (probably a morally bad example but you get the point) but he’s already a damn sight better than modern Tavernier.

Is there chance Sterling will start at Killie?

If Michael Beale wants to shore his defence up, yes, there is.

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  1. Seeing Tav take the penalty’s really frustrates me nowadays. Strikers need goals and that doesn’t matter if they come from set pieces, they need goals to breed and instill confidence. Tav taking the pens has 2 negative impacts on the team for me, 1) People use these goals to support Tav when other people call out how poor of a captain he is and terrible a defender he is and 2) he robs the strikers (who lets be honest) badly need the goals and the confidence in past years.
    And i know to this supporters of Tav will just say well you have to score the pen for it to actually count, but surely Tav isnt the only one in the team capable to taking pens and actually scoring them?
    Going forward i would much rather see our forward players taking the pens before Tav.

  2. If Sterling does stake his claim to be first choice RB then surely the logical thing would be to appoint a new Captain. 💙💙

  3. We should sell Tav now and get another RB. Hes struggling to even control a ball now never mind defend. And hes lost yard of pace so he cant recover from mistakes he used to make now. Hes never been captain material and if it wasnt for his penaltys and freekicks hed be long gone.

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