Rangers’ captain James Tavernier is a controversial figure amongst Rangers fans.
He was lauded at the beginning of the season, as he struck up an excellent partnership with Alfredo Morelos and the Gers were scoring for fun.
Recently, though, he has received a lot of criticism as the side are experiencing a difficult patch.
After the defeat to Rapid Vienna and the draw at Hibs in particular, there were calls on social media to strip the 27-year-old of the armband.
Yet, there is no suggestion that the coaching staff have any issue with the defender’s leadership.
He will lead the side out tomorrow afternoon at Ibrox, but the debate rumbles on.
After his comments in today’s pre-match press conference, fans expressed their contrasting opinions once more.
Some vented their frustration.
Still never a captain. All talk no action. His performance against hibs was nothing short of diabolical. Not good enough to wear the jersey let alone the captains arm band.
— Panic At The D.I.S.C.O 💃 (@RangersFC2018) December 28, 2018
If you gave everything every week James, I'm sure people would listen to you more. Lead by example, don't just point fingers and blame others
— Stephen Gallacher (@StephanoGal) December 28, 2018
A captain?? Away and geez peace. A loser is all I see. Never a captain in his life
— Stengo7 (@stengo7) December 28, 2018
Yet, others took exception to those comments and chose to defend the skipper.
He's the best right back in the league and without his assists/ goals we'd be mid table and out of Europe before the group stage. You're entitled to your opinion on him being captain but my first sentence is factual.
— M.H. (@MarkHarvey83) December 28, 2018
What other right back comes on a free from Wigan. Scores double figures in the championship, takes freekicks, penalties & corners and has the most assists in the league? Also never shies away from the ball when things aren't going well.
— JB 🍊 (@JordanBrogan__) December 28, 2018
Gerrard has already said he needs a rest in the post presser for Hamilton. The guy has played almost every game (bar one?), and has been up and down the length of the park for all those games. If anything, it's a lack of a decent backup that's his problem.
— CG (@Chrixoffer) December 28, 2018
Clearly, there are strong opinions on either side of the argument.
There is no doubt that Tavernier isn’t quite performing at the same level as he was earlier in the season. In terms of his contribution going forward anyway.
Yet, his stats are still incredible for a right-back.
With six goals and eight assists in the league, that’s a direct involvement in a third of Rangers’ 42 league goals.
He is clearly fatigued and the standard of his delivery has dipped in recent weeks. Yet, he still came up with quality in the dying embers of the game at St Johnstone, crossing for Morelos’ winner.
Tomorrow, as usual, the skipper’s performance will be influential. He will have his hands full defensively, but will also need to contribute further up the park.
If he can strike the right balance, Rangers have every chance of success.