Jon Flanagan has been taking a lot of stick off Rangers fans, with some supporters recoiling at the very mention of the full back on the team sheet.

A right back by trade, Flanagan has been forced to deputise at left back for most of the season. Playing as an inverted full back, the team seems to have lacked balance when he has played.

But when things go wrong at Rangers, he is a name that is regularly on people’s lips.

Is he in danger of becoming a scapegoat at Ibrox?

Jon Flanagan is certainly not afraid to get stuck into challenges. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Flanagan has been professional if not always reliable

Jon Flanagan is the kind of player, that when he goes about his business, you don’t notice him on the field. Save for some crunching tackles and physical play.

He’s an old-fashioned full-back. A heads down, resolute, interceptor and tackler. He is supposed to make it possible for more creative players to play.

Rangers are a team who play with great width and who are all about getting crosses into the box. Even if he was on the right Flanagan would struggle to make it work in this system.

He’s an industrious player more than he is a creative one. But whilst he’s made mistakes – namely against Spartak Moscow in Moscow – he’s been largely solid.

Jon Flanagan has made a surprising 21 appearances for Rangers this season. (photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

More than that he’s been professional. Gerrard clearly trusts him in big games. He’s always been his preferred option at left back in the Europa League.

 

Yes, he’s certainly not set the heather alight.

But looking at results like the Abderdeen match last night, or the one in Moscow, Flanagan is just a part of them. He is rarely the main contributor to our downfall either. Even if he did nearly set up a Villarreal goal last week.

He has a job to do on the pitch, and generally, does it well.

He’s played 21 times already this year, yet criticism is only directed at the Englishman when we lose.

And in my mind, there are other players on that pitch who we should be demanding take more responsibility than Flanagan.