Billy Dodds has criticised Glasgow Rangers captain James Tavernier, questioning the 28-year-old’s suitability for the role of Ibrox captain, in conversation with the Glasgow Evening Times.
With Rangers’ season having collapsed this calendar year, the Ibrox skipper has come under criticism from sections of the fanbase for his part in the major downturn in domestic form.
Tavernier also copped some flak for his comments in the club’s matchday programme before the game against Hamilton, claiming Rangers can’t deal with domestic rivals getting in their faces.
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has stuck by his skipper and admitted that the full-back has to take the criticism on his chin.
However, former Ibrox striker Dodds is not convinced, telling the Glasgow Evening Times: “People keep thinking I’m having a go at James Tavernier, he’s been there through all the lower leagues and there’s a mistake continuously thrown in.
“Now everybody makes mistakes but these are big ones. But he’s made four or five a season that have cost Rangers big games. Against Hearts in the cup, even in Europe when they faced Young Boys it didn’t cost them but it is continuous.
“He’s had a tough time this season because he has lost confidence and his manager had to stick by him. Gerrard has shown some loyalty to these players, but they are eventually costing him the title.
“Tavernier is a good player, but I don’t think he is as brilliant as he thinks. Is he a captain? I’ll base him on Arthur Numan who was a standard setter. For me James Tavernier isn’t. People argue captains are different because on the park they can lead by example and they don’t have to shout. Arthur Numan led by example and didn’t shout.
“For me Tavernier doesn’t lead by example and he doesn’t really talk through a game.”
There are numerous reasons why Rangers’ season has crumbled since the start of the year and, unfortunately, Tavernier hasn’t exactly covered himself in glory during this period.
While Gerrard has been steadfast in his loyalty to his skipper, the truth is far too many questions marks remain over whether he has what it takes to captain the Ibrox side.
The Rangers boss should give Tavernier until the end of the season – once it resumes – to prove he’s got the mettle for the job, and if question marks remain, then a change should be made in the off-season.