Sign Him Up: James Tavernier
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on July 11, 2016
James Tavernier: a name that may be familiar to some long suffering Newcastle fans. After being promoted from the academy, the English full-back made just 2 senior appearances for Newcastle; VS Peterborough in September 2009 and VS Accrington Stanley in August 2010. Then, following 6 loan moves away from Newcastle, James Tavernier signed a permanent deal with Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2014. Nevertheless, after failing to impress in the first half of the season and admitting he struggled in the championship, he was loaned to Bristol for the remainder of the season.
In July 2015, Mark Warburton clinched a deal to sign both James Tavernier and Martyn Waghorn. Tavernier stated that the move was pivotal for both himself and Waghorn due to a lack of confidence at Wigan.
James Tavernier experienced an exhilarating 2015/16 campaign with Rangers, scoring 15 goals and accumulating 23 assists, meaning he was directly involved with 31.8% of Rangers’ Scottish Championship goals. On April 5th Tavernier scored the only goal against Dumbarton to secure the Championship and 5 days later scored a second in a 4-0 win over Peterhead to make it the league and Cup double. Being named ‘Ladbrokes Player of The Month’ for August, collecting his Man of The Match award in the Scottish Challenge Cup final and being awarded Rangers’ ‘Goal of The Season’ it seems as if the 25-year-old right back has finally found his feet in the professional game.
As is expected from the modern day full-back, Tavernier is brilliant at attacking, almost like a right winger at times, he loves to get forward, dribble at the opposing full-back; his attacking threat is just 1 more problem for the opposition to deal with. He also scored 4 sublime freekicks last season, so dead balls are no problem.
However, despite Rangers having the best defensive record in the Championship, the defensive side of his game has been questioned at times; he is known to leave Rangers short at the back. I watched the Scottish Cup final earlier this year, Hibbs managed to win their first Scottish Cup for 114 years. Nonetheless, James Tavernier was given the job of watching former Celtic man Anthony Stokes, who was playing off the left. He didn’t deal with Stokes at all. The first goal Stokes scored was cutting in from the left, Tavernier got caught out around the half way line and Rangers were made to pay. The second goal Stokes scored was from a corner, again Tavernier was marking, Stokes managed to leap highest and head home. Even disregarding those 2 goals, Stokes ran rings around Tavernier all afternoon.
Despite his fragilities in defence, I’m pretty confident that there are only 2 or 3 Sky Bet Championship Clubs that James Tavernier would not go straight into. One of which being Wolves who already have an outstanding young right back in Dominic Iorfa.
Though Tavernier is arguably too good for the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership, which has clearly seen a decline in quality over the years, it seems that he is quite content where he is for the time being. However, if he keeps doing what he is doing, there is no doubt a move away from Scotland will be inevitable.