Brian Laudrup fires back at Chris Sutton to defend Rangers captain James Tavernier
Rangers captain James Tavernier has proven everyone wrong, including Chris Sutton, according to ex-playmaker Brian Laudrup.
The skipper was criticised in the past for comments made and former Celtic ace Sutton infamously dubbed him a “serial loser”, before he led the club to a Scottish title and Scottish Cup as well as a Europa League final.
But speaking in his Scottish Daily Mail column [page 72, August 2], Laudrup says Tavernier has finally proven everyone wrong and believes he could end up as a Bears legend once his career comes to an end.
“If you go a few years back, people would poke fun at the fact he hadn’t won anything. Celtic fans loved to bring it up,” he said.
“Some comments he made in a match programme didn’t help him with his own supporters. Back then, his mentality was scrutinised. People said he was good going forward but couldn’t really defend. Honestly, there was a lot placed on his shoulders.
“To bounce back in the manner he did answered all the questions about him. Emphatically.
“Now he has medals to show. He has won a league title, ending Celtic’s bid for ten-in-a-row, and has a Scottish Cup, too.
“Going to the Europa League final was an agonising near miss but Tavernier ended as the top scorer in the competition. We’ve become used to his attacking prowess, but just think about that stat again.
“A right-back from a Scottish club was the top scorer in a major European tournament. People will look back on it in years to come and be amazed.
“Of course, he has to go and win more trophies domestically and keep adding to the CV he has constructed over the last couple of years. That’s a clear target.
“But helping Rangers reach the Champions League would be another massive feat for a player who has an opportunity to leave a real legacy behind when his batteries finally run out.”
There’s no doubt about it that Tavernier will go down as a Blues legend once his career ends, but thankfully there’s still a few more years before that happens.
Tav showed his importance to the squad throughout last season and even in the first game of this season, scoring the winner to help Rangers come from behind against Livingston to earn a win.
But there’s so much more than just what he does on the pitch. Yes he constantly gets goals and assists in the biggest and most important games, but he’s a true leader.
He’s vocal, he sets the standards at the club, he’s driven, ambitious, determined and ensures that everyone knows what’s expected of them when they arrive.
Calling him a serial loser was ridiculous to begin with, but he’s proven everyone wrong now and will go down in history as one of the best attacking full-backs in Scottish football history.
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