It was only little over a week ago that Rangers supporters were talking down captain James Tavernier’s form, but now they can’t seem to stop singing his name.
The Ibrox captain is one of the club’s longest-serving players and in his some four-and-a-bit-years in Glasgow he has scarcely come under as much criticism as he did in the October of 2019.
But in the last two matches, the Yorkshireman is proving that he has the mental strength to come back stronger from what was a particularly bad patch of form.
Tavernier had come under fire after high profile mistakes in the Europa League against Young Boys and domestically against today’s opponents, Hearts.
The Ibrox skipper has also missed a spate of high-profile penalties, bringing into question his normally calm resolve from the spot.
Some of the stuff aimed at Tav was a little OTT and even Steven Gerrard pleaded with supporters to get back behind their captain [RangersTV].
In Tavernier’s last 180 minutes of football, he has begun to look more like his old self and whilst it’s early days, the marauding full-back will be stronger for what’s gone on.
If James Tavernier – who is only 27 – can cut out the silly defensive lapses in concentration, then we have an athletic, goal-providing, goal-scoring full-back of the highest order.
You saw in the 3-0 win against Hearts how willing Tavernier is to take the game by the scruff of the neck and how often he is in the opposition penalty area.
Laying on an assist for Alfredo Morelos in the second half, Tavernier was unlucky not to score himself in the first.
As a result, Tav even earned praise from former Celtic striker Tony Watt [Tony Watt] for the way he’s reacted to the criticism.
Never once has James Tavernier shirked the responsibility of being Rangers captain or in the 90 minutes of a football match.
Now he’s finding that powerful, physical form again, it’s time to shirk those defensive mistakes once and for all.
But will an upturn in form mean Tavernier gets to keep penalty duties?