BBC Sportscene pundit slams 'poor' James Tavernier over incident in Rangers win v Motherwell
BBC Sportscene pundit Richard Foster has criticised Rangers captain James Tavernier for his “poor” defending for Motherwell’s equaliser on Saturday (18 March).
The Rangers right-back failed to clear from a corner before Bevis Mugabi levelled the tie at 2-2 just before the hour mark at Fir Park, with the visitors eventually going on to win the match 4-2.
But former Gers right-back Foster was not impressed with Tavernier, who had been labelled “sensational” for his attacking feats moments earlier by fellow Sportscene pundit Steven Thompson.
“I think this is the part of James Tavernier’s game that sometimes he’s criticised for,” Foster said on Sportscene (18 March).
“It’s a poor header initially, and then I think maybe [Antonio] Colak can do a bit better and just clear it. They don’t, and Bevis just wants the ball more, and he hooks his foot underneath Colak and puts it under the net.”
Tavernier had assisted Fashion Sakala’s goal just moments before, with former Rangers striker Thompson noting: “The quality of the ball in was sensational.”
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Balanced approach needed
As alluded to by Foster, it isn’t the first time that Tavernier has come under fire for his defensive frailties this season.
Comparisons can perhaps be drawn to Tavernier’s fellow right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, with the Liverpool defender hugely effective going forward but drawing criticism for his defensive displays.
Rangers skipper Tavernier has netted a hugely impressive 15 goals in all competitions this season, as well as chipping in with seven assists.
But Gers manager Michael Beale will want his right-back to have some sort of balance on the pitch as the club aim to shore things up at the back in their pursuit of Celtic.
The league leaders have 82 points to their name after defeating Hibernian at Celtic Park on Saturday (18 March), with second-placed Rangers currently nine points behind Ange Postecoglou’s side.
Tavernier delivered a pinpoint cross for Sakala’s goal, but the defender was visibly frustrated when Mugabi slotted the ball home after the right-back’s miscalculated header.
In other Rangers news, one player is set to leave the club on loan in search of regular first-team football.