24 Apr 19
The Scottish Sun
MARK HATELEY has revealed Jermain Defoe, Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack are the three Rangers players who have impressed him most this season.
The Ibrox legend was put on the spot in a Twitter Q&A with fans as he discussed his three favourite current players.
Hateley answered a wide-range of questions in fan Q&A
The former Light Blues star was particularly full of praise for former England international Defoe as has hailed him as ‘quality’.
When asked about the current crop, he said: “There are a few in the team. I like what Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack do.
“Jermain Defoe is quality. How he moved against (John) Souttar on Saturday v Hearts was terrific.
“Great movement and technique for his goal.”
Defoe fired home for the Light Blues against Hearts
Steven Gerrard’s men are on course for a runners-up finish in his first campaign in charge.
A Europa League run that saw the Light Blues navigate four rounds of qualifying to reach the group stage was a particular highlight for fans as was the derby win over Celtic.
Aberdeen knocked Rangers out of both domestic cups but Hateley is convinced the current squad are close to reaching the next level.
When asked of his assessment on the squad and what areas need improving, he said: “We are not far away. In a short space of time we have covered a big distance.
“I think three or four experienced players at the next level sprinkled with the current squad would lift us to a higher level.”
Mark Hateley Q&A
Q – What is your overall favourite goal for Ranges?
A – “Aberdeen at the end of the 1990/91 season was a big marker for me.
“On the back of two years without much football. It took me 20 odd games to get back into the swing of things. Half a season to get my game head on.
“That last game of the season v Aberdeen proved me to the doubters.
“It was such an important goal and we kept our run going. Everything about that game was good for me. It was back to me being me.”
Q- Has there ever been a better big striker/poacher combination since you and Ally McCoist?
Hateley during his playing days at Rangers
A – “Not many on games played and goals returned.
“I played with a lot of fantastic strikers like Ramon Diaz, Paolo Rossi, Gary Lineker and George Weah.
“But as an understanding we just had it. We knew each other’s strength and weaknesses.
“Graeme Souness and I knew Ally could go from a 25 goal striker to a 40 plus a season striker and that’s what we did together.
“We scored about 300 goals between us and he was injured a year – and that was my best year actually in 92/93.”
Q – If you could choose a striking partner in the modern game who would it be?
A – “Sergio Aguero would be a good player for me to play with – he plays between the six-yard area and 18-yard box.”
Q – What is your favourite goal against Celtic?
A – “Scoring after 57 seconds. 30 up after 20 minutes.”
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Q – If you could relive any season of your career at any club, which one would it be and why?
A – The 92/93 season. First Englishman to win the Player of the Year, top goalscorer and a Treble.
“The only thing I didn’t win that year was the Eurovision Song Content, and I still think it was a fix!!
Q – Do you think we’d have went on to win the Champions League had you not been sent off against Brugge?
A – “We would have had a good chance. Yes.”
Q – How did the move to Milan come about? Was it the same for Rangers both times?
Hateley wheels away after netting for AC Milan
A – “The Milan move came on the back of scoring against Brazil in the Maracana.
“I had a great season at Portsmouth and we won the European Under-21 Championship with England.
“Four of five days after scoring the winner for England I was an AC Milan player.
“John Greig tried to sign me when I was 17-years-old at Coventry so It could have been earlier.
“Graeme Souness wanted me after my first year at Milan.
“Then he tried to get me when I went to Monaco, but I wasn’t ready to leave Europe.
“It was a chance meeting actually when I was recovering from injury.
“Graeme Souness, David Holmes & Ian Skelly were staying in Monaco ahead of the 1990 World Cup. I spoke to Arsene Wenger at Monaco and he said it’s up to you, so I decided to join Rangers.”
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Q – What did you expect/hope to achieve personally at Rangers?
A – “I just wanted to enjoy my football at Rangers. If that was achievable I would have been playing the best football of my career.
“I wanted to win and I knew Graeme Souness would build a strong minded team that would fulfil its potential.
Q – Was the cross at Elland Road in the European Cup the best cross you produced and do you think Ally McCoist’s header was even better?
A – “It was the whole move. It was a fantastic slick, quick counter.
“My first position was left wing so I was comfortable playing there.”
Q – Pick your favourite: Last game of the season v Aberdeen or Leeds away?
A – “Aberdeen – that’s where it all took off.”
Q – What was your favourite game in a Rangers shirt?
A – “There were so many good ones. I scored some good goals against Aberdeen and Celtic. All the big teams were big performances.”
Q – Do you still own any of the wild suits you wore in the 90s?
A – “I do and they are worth a fortune. I never throw anything away!”
Q – If you could pick one memory of your time at Ibrox what would it be?
A – “Coming back for nine-in-a-row was a highlight. Coming back and putting the disappointment of leaving to end my career at the highest level.
“Scoring my final Rangers goal as scoring for QPR in England in the Premier League paled into insignificance.”
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