Mark Hateley rips into James Tavernier after first-half moment v Napoli
Mark Hateley has hit out at James Tavernier after the Rangers defender was caught napping in the first half of the Gers’ Champions League clash against Napoli.
Giacomo Raspadori outleaped Tavernier in the 26th minute but failed to steer his header on target to extend the Serie A side’s first-half lead.
Hateley was less than impressed with the 30-year-old and suggested he was “glued to the floor” as the Italy international rose highest.
“Tavernier is glued to the floor. It’s another great chance for Napoli,” said Hateley (BBC Sportsound, 20:30, 26 October).
Napoli are on a completely different planet to the Gers, and it’s certainly to be expected with the Serie A side beating pretty much everyone in their path at the moment. Giovanni van Bronckhorst should actually take some solace in the fact they matched them for as long as they did at Ibrox.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Rangers were incredibly unlucky not to pick up a result that evening and ultimately it was a red card that changed the course of the tie. The Light Blues’ time away from Europe’s top competition has seen the gap between them and Europe’s elite grow significantly.
More needs to be done domestically in Scotland to give teams a slight chance of competing against Europe’s best. It’s clear Rangers aren’t the same side they were in the 2021/22 season and this campaign must be looked at as a learning curve.
Some of the club’s younger players would’ve benefited massively from their group-stage participation. Leon King, for example, will have developed immensely from playing the likes of Napoli and Liverpool. Although it’s been largely disappointing, the Gers must try and take some positives.
In other Rangers news, this Gers star was involved in a “naughty” incident that had a BT Sport pundit talking live on air.