You’ll have seen, I’m sure, that stat which was being passed about yesterday, the latest on the virtues of James Tavernier and the number of goals he has scored in the SPFL.
The headlines were that he’s a ways in front of Kyogo and is within range of catching Leigh Griffiths.
So it’s a stat intended to embarrass and annoy Celtic fans.
But actually, there are two sides to every story and as far as I’m concerned even the act of highlighting those numbers should be a cause for embarrassment because of what they represent.
When it comes to Kyogo, he’s only been in Scotland for two and a bit seasons so it’s a dreadful comparison to make.
In that time though he’s scored against their club in some big games, including in massive cup matches. He has led the charge for silverware; Tavernier is a long serving Ibrox captain whose own trophy haul is lamentably poor considering the second biggest wage bill in the country.
Even talking about Kyogo and this guy in the same sentence should be banned as too ridiculous to merit a serious discussion.
The media got equally hysterical over Kris Boyd having more goals in Scotland than Larsson, and that’s the comparison which best stands up.
One of the reasons for Boyd’s number of goals was that he Ibrox’s penalty taker for a while. But his stats on that front pale into insignificance next to those of Tavernier.
Someone told me last night that since the Ibrox club made it back to the SPFL that they have conceded a mere four penalties in the space of all those seasons. This is not an issue they have at the other end of the pitch.
Frankly, the comparison between one of the stats and the other should be the one that the media is focussed on. Instead, some people want to push Tavernier as some sort of Scottish football icon.
At any other club this guy would be regarded as a decent player but no more than that, much better at going forward than playing in his defensive role … and he would not have gotten near his goal tally at Ibrox because other clubs don’t get the number of penalties they do.
Anywhere else, numbers like his would provoke scrutiny, a proper look from the hacks who cover the game, and when taken in context with their second long run in a row of not conceding penalties in the league it would be regarded as suspect.
Not so here, where it’s just another excuse to annoy Celtic fans. Pathetic.