Steven Gerrard might’ve fronted the responsibility for Motherwell’s last gasp equaliser, but his formation change which affected the attitude of one player more than any other. James Tavernier.

With Rangers moving to three at the back and employing wingbacks, James Tavernier must’ve thought he had the run of the pitch. At least that’s the only explanation for his seriously poor defensive concentration throughout the game.

A failure to track

The Rangers captain was caught out badly for the Motherwell’s second goal, failing to track McHugh and giving the big centre half a free header.

He did however somewhat redeem himself by setting up Lafferty’s equaliser. That said, it was poor defensive play on his side which led to the corner which brought the equaliser.

James Tavernier had looked much improved in his familiar right back berth with a supporting winger in front of him. (Photo by MB Media/Getty Images)

The right back was consistently found wanting, as did by and large the entire Rangers defence. It’s important not to read too much into it. Goldson’s slip was tragic, and he never really recovered. Tav has been solid enough recently. Yesterday, something just went wrong for Rangers.

And it is only one game.

Reneged on defensive duties

But by moving to three at the back this confused Tavernier. With the spare man behind, he reneged on his defensive duties, leaving it to someone else to mop up his mistakes. His positioning was off, his drive was off, he was timid and ultimately let the team down.

Going forward, I think the 3-5-2 could prove useful for Rangers.

Daniel Candeias’ running and covering in front of Tavernier is massive to Englishman’s effectiveness. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

In that formation however, Tavernier needs to work harder defensively than he ever has to make it work. Normally, the Captain has Daniel Candeias to help with the running and covering in behind.

It’s a big shift down the right and requires complete concentration for the full 90 minutes.

On yesterday’s viewingg, the Englishman just doesn’t seem capable.

Related Topics