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They s**t the bed- Leading Ibrox blogger calls out Tavernier, Lundstram and others

Stevie Clifford has delivered an absolutely scathing assessment of Phil Clement’s squad after suffering through another season watching serial losers finish runners-up to Celtic with James Tavernier among those named and shamed.

The editor of the Four Lads Had A Dream website enjoys full media access to Ibrox, asking questions to Micky Beale and Phil Clement as they try to put a gloss on repeated failings.

Most of the fabled leadership group are named and shamed with Tavernier and John Lundstram on the end of the strongest criticism.

It is unlikely that Clifford would suggest directly to Clement that players in his squad s**t the bed but he doesn’t hold back on his website.

Expectations seem to be at Pedro Caixinha or Graeme Murty levels among supporters for Saturday’s Scottish Cup Final but no-one at Celtic will be taking anything for granted going to Hampden.

All it takes is for John Beaton to call out a red card in the 15th minute or highlight an outrageous handball to prompt a penalty and the complexion of the final can completely change.

After having hopes raised during February and March that the SPFL trophy was Ibrox bound Clifford and others seem to have had a particularly tough return to reality.

Writing on Four Lads, Clifford admits:

Philippe Clement has done extremely well with this squad, I remain clear on that because he’s got the absolute best out of a bad bunch. But the truth is if he doesn’t make the biggest decisions he’ll end up the same way as Gio and Beale before him. Because this is what these players do.

Have a renaissance for a few months, get a result or two and then when it really matters they s**t the bed all over the place. They done it to Gio, they done it to Beale and if you are paying really close attention they have done it to Clement already.

The points stats after the same number of games prove that but they are consistent to be fair, they never do it when it really matters, ever.

Before we continue Clement isn’t immune from criticism but he’s dealing with a s**t show left before him, but if he doesn’t learn quickly then it’ll cost him too. His selections puzzle me but I can only hope he is doing what he can before getting to the end of the season and ripping the whole thing apart.

Reflecting back on the successes enjoyed by players that Dave Murray couldn’t afford through conventional (legal) remuneration, Clifford added:

The Rangers I grew up with had standards, legends had to be winners and had to drive those standards. Our standards are so low now that stats get you into the hall of fame instead of doing what Rangers is truly being about and that is being successful.

It spoke volumes for me that James Tavernier was asked at the POTY awards what his favourite goal of the season was. I fully expected him to say the goal that won the League Cup but instead it was the goal against Hibs that made him defensive top scorer in Britain. Moments like that make me think that this squad will just never ‘get it’.

I like Tavernier, he’s scored so many goals but the real truth is I’m sick of the failings and there is just too much baggage. That’s the same feelings I have for Goldson, Barisic, Lundstram and others. Every single one of them are tainted by big game failings. Capable of a few months of decent form but the rest of the season producing failure after failure.

I’m absolutely sick of it. Change is needed. Ditch them before they cost another manager his job.

Across Ibrox social media there are real fears being expressed about Tavernier on Saturday up against Daizen Maeda, the last two matches have made for painful viewing and some brutal assessments of the defensive ability of the club captain.

Tavernier, Lundstram

Turning to John Lundstram’s role in the recent defeat to Celtic, Clifford doesn’t hold back with:

Clement got it wrong with his selection at Parkhead, I think he has been too loyal to players that have let him down. Everyone spoke of the necessity to match Celtic’s energy in midfield, he picked a midfield that was both slow but also immobile. It was a mistake we all saw coming.

That’s not a I told you so either, it’s a frustration.

A frustration we all felt watching the same players give the ball away leading to goals and the same players jogging back to toe poke into their own net before cowardly getting sent off. Playing once again when the pressure is off at two nil down.

Clifford concludes with:

I’m done with this squad, sometimes you have to be diplomatic on a blog or a podcast because people love to bring it up if things do go right but none of my opinions are new.

This squad isn’t Rangers class, individuals don’t have the mental strength and they continue to show it.

They will keep showing it unless change happens. Change has to happen otherwise days like yesterday will continue for the foreseeable.

That for Rangers Football Club is simply unacceptable. Hampden might be a farewell for this squad, it certainly should be regardless. Make the changes.

It seems that the ill-gotten gains under Murray have created expectations that the Tribute Act have virtually no chance of attaining.

Winning the SPFL Premiership title in their ninth season is an incredible achievement but following it up with three second prizes has taken the shine away from winning two cup competitions.

If Celtic win the Scottish Cup on Saturday Clement faces intense pressure through the summer with a complete revamp of the squad expected alongside successfully getting through two qualifying rounds in the Champions League during August coupled with avoiding defeat at Celtic Park in the first Derby of next season.

CLICK HERE for two faced Keevins makes remarkable Rodgers u-turn

CLICK HERE for Santa Ponsa celebrates Celtic’s victory in the Glasgow Derby.

CLICK HERE for SPFL Premiership table.

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