Alex Rae laughs off idea that Celtic's Jeremie Frimpong beats James Tavernier

By David Walton

December 17, 2019

BT Sports pundit Alex Rae has laughed off the idea that Jeremie Frimpong is a better player than James Tavernier.

Frimpong has recently burst onto the scene with Celtic this season and has impressed in every one of his 13 appearances for the Hoops. Tavernier, meanwhile, signed for Rangers back in 2015 and has been a constant in their side ever since.

One Celtic fan tweeted into the Ladbrokes Social Club to state that Frimpong was the better of the two. Rae, however, seemed to disagree. The former Rangers retweeted his response to the debate:

A lack of experience doesn’t make you inferior

If Rangers supporters’ justification for Frimpong not being the better player comes down to experience, then it’s a bit of a cop-out.

Sure, it’s an interesting debate. Tavernier does have longevity on his side, but he also has a history of losing to his name as well. The Rangers captain hasn’t always been so highly-regarded at Ibrox, and defensively he still looks there to be got at. He’s been a Premiership player for three full seasons now and has won zero out of 10 major trophies.

James Tavernier has become a serial loser at Ibrox (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Tavernier does have his strengths. He’s good on the overlap and has an extremely dangerous cross on him. However, he’s not as explosive as Frimpong. We’ve seen enough of our summer-signing to know that he’s a real top player with plenty of potential.

Steven Gerrard, meanwhile, has consistently had to come out and fight Tavernier’s corner for him (Sky Sports). Hardly a player who’s consistently putting in impressive displays.

If you’re to compare Frimpong and Tavernier’s last 10 games, who comes out on top? It certainly isn’t the Rangers man. Also, let’s not forget the fact that it took Frimpong 12 games to achieve what Tavernier is still desperately attempting to reac – a winner’s medal. And no, we’re not counting any of the lower-league competitions he won.

Frimpong (top) has been incredible since he burst onto the scene (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

So it’s not an unreasonable debate. Frimpong will soar past Tavernier’s capabilities regardless. The only thing that the Rangers man really holds over our player is experience. Nothing else. He isn’t a better defender and quite clearly isn’t a bigger threat going forward.

As much as Rae and other Rangers fans will want to chuckle at the suggestion, Frimpong being better than Tavernier isn’t the ludicrous claim they would like to believe.