James Tavernier’s place in the Team Of The Year almost seems to happen by default, although it’s obvious that he’s not the best player in the country in his position. That is supposed to be the benchmark, is it not?
Otherwise we would just pick eleven players and make up weird and wonderful formations as we went along.
Tavernier did not, as I had expected, make the shortlist for player of the year.
It would have been a joke if he had, but one we’ve heard before and so I never ruled it out.
Tillman made the young player of the year shortlist; he’s going to win that.
The two Celtic players will take votes off each other and he’ll sneak through. It will be funny when the media tries to convince us that the winner of that award is not really worth signing after all.
Hartson – and, indeed, Craig Moore – were right to question his inclusion in the team of the year. I think Tavernier’s place is even more suspect.
Next season, when Alastair Johnston has a full campaign behind him, they will never be able to justify that. He is such a better defender that Tavernier’s inclusion is already ridiculous; this time next year it will be absolutely unthinkable.
AJ has been a revelation since signing for Celtic.
Not many players have ever been thrown into a massive game at Ibrox on their debut and coped with it as admirably and confidently as he did that day. It gave you an early glimpse not only of his ability but of his strong mentality.
He didn’t just cope in that atmosphere; he thrived under it.
Johnston has impressed everyone who has watched him. It stands to reason he’s impressed everyone he has come up against. He would have been a candidate for player of the year himself had he played a full season … he’s that good.
So this debate – which really isn’t a debate at all – will not really last much longer. Tavernier is the one last myth that still clings to the present version of this Ibrox side. Whilst we don’t know what will come next over there, as their captain he’s going nowhere.
So that myth, like all the rest, will be shattered in due course. Long before we reach this point in the next campaign everyone will be singing the praises of Scotland’s best right back.
They should be already because it’s very obvious that’s what he is.