We’ve slaughtered James Tavernier and Connor Goldson a tonne on Ibrox Noise over the years, and while they weren’t strictly the absolute worst offenders v Celtic, it’s clear now to even the most ardent Rangers fan backers of these two that they epitomise a huge problem at Ibrox and a refusal or inability to fix it.
Quite simply, we’ve lost count of the number of goals, matches and points, maybe even titles, and arguably even managers, that these two have cost us.
The basis for this?
Just how untouchable they’ve been since 2015 in Tavernier’s case, and 2018 in Goldson’s.
And why’s this a problem – because neither of them are even remotely good enough to be Rangers players in the present day.
When we watch John Souttar, Leon Balogun or Ridvan at their best, the class gulf between them and Tav and Goldson is painful.
Tavernier – forever a soft-centre, caught out constantly, costing repeated goals, yet never EVER dropped. We even sold £16M Nathan Patterson, a potentially world-class right back so Tavernier could remain in slothttps://www.ibroxnoise.co.uk/2023/09/not-up-to-it-0-rangers-players-rated-v-celtic/.
The goals kept leaking.
Goldson – a Championship-level defender who got a fraud reputation as a Premier League one because we signed him from PL Brighton, and has cost us countless goals through being out of position and blaming everyone else. Oh, and he likes to duck.
The goals kept leaking.
The simple issue of why Rangers have left these two to become utterly immune and untouchable is at the base level of a lot of our problems.
It’s been abundantly clear neither is up to scratch, but they just keep playing, season on season. Hell, Goldson even got a new four-year deal and a pay rise in a contract extension which deeply depressed Ibrox Noise at the time.
It doesn’t matter what Tav or Goldson do wrong on the pitch, what errors they make – they never pay for it with their places.
And whatever the cause of this, manager-after-manager keeps doing it. Is it contractual? Are the managers of Rangers contractually obliged to select them?
We remember rumours 10 years ago alluded to similar for Lee McCulloch, and it was never properly denied.
However, this does have a bit of a ‘caveat’ – for the time Tavernier was signed, he was great. He was signed to be a class above the Scottish Championship, and he was. His weaknesses were not exposed and it was fine in Scotland’s second tier.
Quite a different situation in the Premiership though, and while he’s bewilderingly scored goals galore (about 50% of them penalties of course) he’s not done his job – more to the point, he’s not been able to, because he can’t defend.
As for Goldson – his first few seasons were adequate – he suited Gerrard’s Rangers where we were at the time, but when we won 55, he got complacent. He knew he had it made, and as he aged, his former ‘powers’ (he was good during 55) deteriorated.
But he was never challenged on it.
And there is the issue.
Goldson is now in his 6th or 7th (we’ve lost count) season at Rangers while Tav is in his 9th, we think.
Both of them have aged considerably yet rather than quality young deputies and new signings taking their place, they’ve just been left to age, rot, and keep their places.
On the other side of defence we have Ridvan and Souttar – young and good. Both of them.
But Goldson and Tav?
They will never be shifted, and we’ll never be free of them. And we’ll never stop conceding the dumb goals because of that.