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Sir Kenny Dalglish: In a season where they have stormed to the title, for me, James Tavernier has been Rangers’ leading light

© SNS GroupRangers dominate the Player of the Year nominations with Allan McGregor, James Tavernier, Connor Goldson and Steven Davis  but captain Tavernier is the main man for Kenny Dalglish
Rangers dominate the Player of the Year nominations with Allan McGregor, James Tavernier, Connor Goldson and Steven Davis but captain Tavernier is the main man for Kenny Dalglish

It’s hard to argue with the Scottish Football Writers’ Association’s shortlist for their Player of the Year award.

Rangers, not surprisingly, dominate, and the voting has led to James Tavernier, Allan McGregor, Connor Goldson and Steven Davis being in the top four.

It’s an impressive list, and maybe the only maw who might feel aggrieved about being omitted is Ryan Kent. He has been excellent for large chunks of the campaign.

But to have so many in the frame is exactly why the Light Blues have stormed to the SPFL Premiership title.

Yes, the performances in the domestic cup competitions were below par.

But the main target for everyone connected with the Ibrox club this season was always to win the title.

Tavernier, McGregor, Goldson and Davis were all brilliant during the campaign. They were the four guys Steven Gerrard could rely on in every single game.

They are seasoned professionals and leaders, and all four set an incredibly-high standard.

It’s hard to single one out because they are all worthy of being on the list. But, personally, I would narrow it down to Tavernier and Davis.

The captain has scored 18 goals this season, and had countless assists. His campaign really has been quite incredible.

Yes, many have been penalties, but he also popped up with some beauties, including that sensational free-kick against Dundee United at Tannadice back in December.

Tavernier has led by example, and answered any critics he may have had last season who questioned his suitability to be the captain of the football club.

Davis has also been exceptional. He is 36 but rarely misses a game.

His energy levels are really impressive. He also appears to be low maintenance for manager, Steven Gerrard.

But he is also full of quality in what he is able to contribute on the park. He is a true leader.

He drives Rangers on from midfield, and also allows others to flourish.

© Alan Harvey / SNS Group
Steven Davis keeps an eye on Callum McGregor during Rangers’ 4-1 win over Celtic

Steven knows he can depend on the Northern Irishman for 90 minutes in every game.

He would be a worthy winner of the Player of the Year award. But I’m going to give my vote to Tavernier.

I very rarely get any predictions right, so I don’t suppose the captain will be too pleased with me for tipping him!

One guy who is a previous winner of this prestigious award is Scott Brown.

The Celtic skipper has been an outstanding servant to his football club, and the 14 years he has been there has been full of success.

He will play his final ever game at Celtic Park on Wednesday night against St Johnstone. The club plan to give him a fitting send off, and rightly so.

It’s just unfortunate that the fans are not allowed inside the stadium to pay their tribute, as I’m sure it would have been packed.

Normally, such tributes happen to players who have come through the system, from the youth academy right through.

Scott was signed by Gordon Strachan from Hibs in 2007, but, through time, managed to get himself into the hearts of every Celtic supporter and was appointed captain by Tony Mowbray a decade ago.

He has been revered by all, and his contribution will never be forgotten.

Sure, he would have preferred to be bowing out as the man who skippered the club to 10-in-a-row, but it just wasn’t to be.

However, Scott can still walk out the front door with his head held high before he starts his player-coach role at Aberdeen in the summer.

He is the most-successful captain at Parkhead since Billy McNeill.

Big Billy held aloft the European Cup, and the fact he got the big one in 1967 will always set him apart from all others. No one can argue about that.

Billy retired in 1975, and he was a hard act to follow.

I played in his final game, a 3-1 victory over Airdrie in the Scottish Cup Final, and it was an honour to take over the armband from him until I headed for Liverpool two years later.

Nobody yet knows for sure who will replace Scott as captain.

Many are saying it will be Callum McGregor. He is worthy of it, I’m sure.

But we will need to wait and see who the new manager is first of all.

Once that appointment is made, then other key decisions will follow, including who will be wearing the armband for the start of the 2021/22 season.

Interesting times are ahead at Celtic Park, that’s for sure.