James Tavernier has regularly been subjected to heavy criticism from sections of Rangers fans over recent seasons.

Some of that criticism has been justified.

Rangers skipper James Tavernier is often the subject of criticism from fans. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP via Getty Images)

As the Rangers captain, the right-back knows he will be in the firing line when things go wrong and his occasional individual errors have cost Steven Gerrard’s side valuable points in various competitions.

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He hasn’t always said the right thing and he’s yet to win a major trophy during his time at the club.

However, the 28-year-old has made a massive contribution to Rangers on the pitch over the last five years.

Since joining for the bargain fee of £200,000 in 2015 [BBC Sport], he’s been a near-permanent fixture in the team despite upheaval behind the scenes.

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Tavernier played under Mark Warburton, Pedro Caixinha and Graeme Murty before Gerrard arrived in Glasgow and entrusted him with the captain’s armband.

Tavernier has served as Steven Gerrard’s captain since his arrival in 2018.  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

He is the club’s longest-serving player and has watched many a signing come and go while consistently making himself available to bomb up and down the right flank for the cause.

The Englishman recently passed the 250-appearance mark for the club and considering he’s a full-back, the fact that he reached 50 goals just a few games later is remarkable.

 

Of course, a sizeable portion of those goals have come from the penalty spot. Yet, as was evidenced last season when multiple others tried and failed, it’s not easy to convert from 12 yards when you’re under the pressure that Rangers players feel.

Tavernier’s own record has a few blemishes, but he stroked one home at a key time during Thursday’s win over Willem II. Incredibly, he now has four goals in his last five appearances for the club, with two coming from open play and the other an outstanding free-kick.

The skipper also picked up an assist with a pinpoint cross in the Netherlands, his fourth of the season and 78th in a Rangers shirt.

Willem II v Rangers: UEFA Europa League Third Qualifying Round

James Tavernier picked out Connor Goldson with a pinpoint cross. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

128 direct goal contributions from 253 matches in all competitions is an excellent record for any player, let alone a full-back.

Tavernier is a major weapon in attack but he continues to improve defensively, too.

The Gers skipper was harshly singled out by some after last weekend’s draw with Hibernian when none of the other members of the back four covered themselves in glory, but he has contributed to nine clean sheets in ten outings so far this season and is currently defying those who claim that he is an accident waiting to happen at the back.

Tavernier isn’t perhaps the archetypal Rangers captain but he’s been a standout in this team for some time and his remarkable statistics show that he’s deserving of more widespread praise from the club’s fans.

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