Ranger captain James Tavernier has been under the cosh in the last few weeks. The Gers have done relatively well on the pitch in that time, but Tavernier’s performance has come under a lot of criticism. His two glaring errors in the Europa League against Young Boys cost them the tie. Even on the attacking front, Tavernier seems to be lacking the confidence as his crossing has been wayward quite often.
The right-back has missed a few penalties as well, and Gerrard did go on to admit that he might consider taking him off penalty duties. Tavernier has so far missed three spot-kicks this season. Former Rangers defender and Scotland international Alan Hutton though believes that Tavernier is a confident man and he insists that he will be willing to step up again to take the spot-kick.
Hutton on Tavernier’s latest troubles
Speaking to Football Insider Hutton said, ”From what I hear of him as a person, he can handle this sort of thing. It’s about playing their way out of a bad situation, stripping it back and doing the simple things well. I’m sure that’s what his manager’s been saying to him, he probably just needs a little bit of backing from everyone around him, and I’m sure he’ll come back out the other side a stronger player.”
“I’m sure he’ll be desperate to take it (the next penalty). Ultimately it’ll be manager’s choice; if he decides to change it, you have to go with what he says. He’s the type of boy; he looks confident, in my opinion.”
What should be Gerrard’s play?
Tavernier had a tough game against Motherwell recently, and some boos were ringing in from a few corners of the Ibrox after he missed his penalty when Rangers were trailing. Gerrard though has urged the fans to back the captain. We think that the manager should stick with him for spot-kick duties. However, with players like Morelos or Defoe in the eleven, it wouldn’t be a wrong decision either from Gerrard to relieve Tavernier of any spot-kick obligations.
Tavernier managed 17 goals last season along with 20 assists. Most of his goals came from penalties, and his set-piece delivery and crossing were often accurate. The captain is just going through a lean patch of form, and he has shown enough evidence in the past about his set-piece abilities. Maybe Gerrard could look to give him a bit of a breather in some games and take him out of the firing line in as the captain has looked jaded at times this season.
He has already made 22 appearances in all competitions, and the English fullback has played consistently in almost every game for Rangers over the past few years. There are bound to be some ups and downs in his form, and the fans should back him during this dip in form.
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