Ibrox Noise noticed something very subtle last night following Rangers’ difficult win over Hearts, and it shows how much a leader Philippe Clement is, and how much his captain, sadly, isn’t.
At full time, Clement did the usual handshakes with his staff then Hearts’ counterparts, before making his way onto the pitch.
It was what he then yelled in Tavernier’s direction which showed his true colours:
“TAV! TAV! TAV! Don’t forget the supporters….”
This then prompted the captain to take his men to the small pocket of Rangers fans to applaud their support.
James Tavernier should never need such prompting – he had a better game last night, and had the two game-winning contributions, but a leader he completely is not, and that his manager actually had to instruct him to go and applaud the visiting fans shows that Clement does understand what it is to be Rangers inside two months of being here, yet 8 years of Tavernier and he still doesn’t.
We don’t really want to be taking digs at the man – we do that enough when it comes to the contribution he gives on the pitch and his immunity, we want to be praising him for a good match and good leadership.
But if ever there was evidence Tavernier isn’t half the leader Rangers need from their captain, Clement having to tell him to go to acknowledge the fans might just be it.
Indeed, we recall at one point watching players point to where others should go, pointing to what they wanted – barking instructions at each other and taking initiative.
Tavernier still does little of that, and remains far too passive and quiet a captain.
Clement is still feeling his way into Rangers – Ibrox Noise has been more harsh on the manager recently, calling out some errors and bad quotes, but we did like his conduct from the first whistle to the last at Tynecastle.
He is a strong leader, and if Tav cannot be, Clement will.