Former Rangers defender tells fans to back off from captain James Tavernier

Former Rangers defender tells fans to back off from captain James Tavernier
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 21: James Tavernier of Rangers reacts during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 match between Rangers FC and Real Betis at Ibrox Stadium on September 21, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Ex-Rangers defender Dave MacKinnon has weighed into the James Tavernier ‘fiasco’ by defending the captain saying a tactical switch would help him, while also admitting the boy isn’t doing the job a RB should.

Speaking on the eve of the Prague trip, the former Ibrox stopper suggested Tavernier can’t attack, cross and defend all in one, saying it’s too much:

“But I think it is a bit unfair on James that there is an expectation on him to get forward and score goals, which he does, and to get forward and get balls into the opposition box, which he does, and then to defend. I think it is extremely difficult for him to do all three things.”

But then rather contradicts himself with:

“As an ex-right back, the big thing for me was to defend first and foremost. If I could get forward I would get forward, but I would always try to get back.”

And that’s the point.

It’s very interesting how many are defending Tavernier in this kind of way, but overlooking on the other side that Borna Barisic has had absolutely no issues with position, and he offers more in defence than Tavernier has, and gets a fair number of assists in attack!

And furthermore adds that a RB’s job is to defend, so he’s kind of let the cat out of the bag with that one.

But this all said, Tavernier was greatly improved at the weekend under new manager Philippe Clement, an infinitely more disciplined performance which offered good balance, width, defending and attacking all in one.

If he can keep that up, the debates about fairness or his merits will quickly die down.

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