James Tavernier and those two Rangers goals

James Tavernier and those two Rangers goals
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)

A lot of the punters on Ibrox Noise, well, a few, eagerly want us to talk about James Tavernier after the St Mirren result, or ‘His Majesty’ as they’d prefer him be named.

Indeed, there’s a pro-Tavernier tribalism that erupts when he scores a penalty or a goal, one which immediately leaps on the ‘My Captain’ mentality and screams at all those who have huge concerns about the club’s right back saying ‘all Tav haters gone quiet now, huh?’.

We’re a bit fed up of it, really.

James Tavernier doesn’t become a great RB or captain as a result of a penalty and a goal. Want to know how many crosses he tried? 6. Against 10 men. How many were accurate? 0.

He did, however, manage 4 tackles and 3 clearances, only one of which was in the opposition half, so he did not have the worst match defensively. Against, yes, 10 men.

But James Tavernier could have a string of 10 dreadful matches in which he costs 5-7+ goals, and as soon as the majority of fans get tired of it, he pops up with a goal or two and his ardent tribal backers go straight for his critics and point aggressively with rage in their eyes.

It’s almost like some Rangers fans actually support James Tavernier first, and the club second. That if there’s a bad result, they remove Tav from the equation regardless and yell ‘but there’s 11 men out there’.

Any other player guilty of an indiscretion or two and they scapegoat that player completely.

We’re consistent on Ibrox Noise. We will give Tavernier credit for a well-taken penalty and a fine second goal (they were both great, in truth), but a better match from him doesn’t automatically erase every mistake and farce he’s been guilty of in the past.

Well, for some it does. For some fans he is untouchable, and they care more about slurring other fans with his goals than actually supporting the team as a whole.

For Ibrox Noise to turn round now and suddenly claim he’s the bee’s knees after 8 years of his mistakes, really would be less credible than anything else.

This is not to say Tav has never give Rangers a thing. He was a good contributor in the past, at lower levels, and his goals ratio for the first half of 55 was incredible – aided and abetted by Jacko covering him.

But a Rangers captain he isn’t, as anyone would attest having seen the post-Aberdeen footage involving Jack Butland.

He’s also not a Rangers RB, and we’re not going to let one better performance change our minds on that.

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

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