Rangers are sitting on top of the table, and we are expecting them to run Celtic close in the Premiership this season. With some good recruitments over the last few windows, Gerrard has managed to close the gap over the Hoops and Rangers need to bring consistency to their game to keep the pressure on Celtic.
Keeping the pressure on players and competition for places is also a vital thing as it keeps the members of the playing eleven honest and on their toes. Rangers have two top-class options upfront; they have multiple options in the wings and midfield. Even in the centre back area, the likes of Filip Helander, George Edmundson, Nikola Katic and Connor Goldson have done well whenever they have been presented with an opportunity.
However, there is one position where the Gers don’t have much competition, and that is at right-back. Former Scotland international and Rangers defender Alan Hutton recently indicated that maybe Tavernier has got a bit comfortable with his place in the starting eleven.
Hutton on Tavernier’s position in the eleven
Speaking to Football Insider, he said, ”I don’t see anyone who is going to come in and run him (Tavernier) close for his position due to what he brings going forward. So many goals, so many assists, I don’t see anyone taking his position.”
”I think Gerrard is right, I don’t see anyone as undroppable as you become too comfortable as a player if that’s the case. It’s a difficult one because there’s no one probably there who is actually pushing him on, it is a difficult one as no one is really going to run him close.”
Why could complacency creep in Tavernier’s game?
Jon Flanagan is an option at right-back, but he has often filled in at left-back ever since his arrival. Moreover, Flanagan wouldn’t be able to provide the attacking outlet which Tavernier provides. Matt Polster is also an alternative, but he is only going to play when Tavernier needs a breather. Also, he is unlikely to run the captain close for a first-team spot.
Tavernier’s attacking output sometimes masquerades his defensive vulnerabilities. The defender was found out in the tie against Young Boys in the Europa League as he made two blunders which led to goals. A captain’s name is probably the first name on the team sheet, but you would still want some competition to keep him on his toes. However, Flanagan and Polster are unlikely to push him for the first-team spot which might allow some sort of complacency to creep in Tavernier’s game.
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