Monday, 1 October 2018

OPINION: Dr Jekyll and Mr Morelos



We cover Alfredo Morelos more on Ibrox Noise than we would perhaps like to. The focal point for Rangers’ attack, manager Steven Gerrard made it clear early on in his reign that the recent Colombia debutant was a player he not only admired, but loved, and he was explicit in calling the ex-HJK Rangers’ best player. ‘Arguably’.

So there’s certainly a lot of ground to sum up when it comes to the 22-year old hitman and yesterday’s disappointing display from him (and many others of course) is the latest chapter in the rollercoaster that is his career, and while we never quite know what we’re going to get with Alfredo, we want to be fair to him.

He had a slow start to life in Govan – struggling terribly in Luxembourg, looking disinterested, slow and clumsy, Morelos didn’t really get going till the visit of Hibs to Ibrox deep into August, which led to a five-match burst of goals and his sudden rise in stock. He appeared to become free-scoring and Ibrox Noise’s predictions of him being Rangers’ Dembele seemed bang on the money.

But then the first Old Firm happened, and Morelos’ blank in this one (Craig Gordon pulled off a stunning save to deny a header) led to a huge drought of nothing in 8 matches and Morelos didn’t score again till December.

However, that goal v Ross County sparked him back to life and while his rate wasn’t scintillating, it was pretty good up till the split - 8 in 17 is a reasonable return. A young striker in a new country won’t be too downhearted with that.

However, then the big matches came hard and fast and frankly Morelos struggled – he posted just one assist (no goals) in the five hardest games, and got himself suspended for the final trip to Easter Road.

18 goals, 43 matches, and 8 assists. It is far from failure, but when we look at the nuances of it, he’s rarely delivered in big meaningful matches and never against Celtic.

This season, following two windows in a row of transfer speculation controversy, his performances have been much the same as last season. His profile has been boosted by his Colombia cap (if not his display) and Morelos remains pretty much the same player.

That is to say he works hard in the 10 position for his team – he wins fouls, drags defenders away, creates space, and provides a physical threat and significant nuisance factor. His touch is often poor, however, and his use of the ball, even outside the box, can often be patchy at best and terrible at worst.

Then we have him inside the box – the hard team work outside it seems to often become a distant memory and he shoots wildly, frequently missing by a mile or, more often, being easily blocked by defenders.

His goals this season (in all competitions) are exactly the same rate as his strongest spell in the SPL last season – 8 in 17 with an impressive 4 assists and a less impressive five bookings and two red cards.

There’s a strong argument to be made that he has technically improved – same rate of scoring but managing a couple in the UEL qualifiers which is a more impressive feat. And his value has clearly gone up significantly too.

However, there remain question marks over every aspect of his game, and even his attitude. His brand-new contract, despite the extension to 2022, was accompanied by yet another lack of long-term commitment to the club, saying only:

“I am delighted to have extended my contract. This is such a massive club and I want to be with Rangers for as long as possible."

‘As long as possible’ – that could be January (!) Morelos has never committed himself in words to Rangers for the long term, and he never will. In signing the deal, he did the right thing in guaranteeing the club has good bargaining power and will get a big transfer fee for him, and we applaud him for that.

But the player will continue to divide supporters down the middle – even individually. We go from loving Morelos to grinding our teeth over him. And this happens far too much for it to be normal.

When Alf is in the mood, with good attitude, and plays at his best, he is a 100% asset to the side – but the Hyde side of him, like yesterday, and the red cards, and the petulance, and the shooting aimlessly… we can do without it.

It’s just a shame he doesn’t seem to be shedding that unwanted side of his game as he develops. Same time line as Dembele, but simply not the same level of player for Rangers the Frenchman was for Celtic.

Frustration!

25 comments:

  1. Funny his 'best' always seems to coincide with us playing small, easy to beat, teams. ?

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  2. Why compare to Dembele, two completely different players in terms of ability and how they play, to a degree I see your point in terms of contracts, both just looking to maximise their income in whatever way they can or could. Get shot of him for me!!

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  3. Is he as good as we keep talking about?Rangers will sell him when the right offer comes in , but who is going to buy a player who seems to be a risk of not finishing 90 minutes or picking up silly yellow cards.He is supposed to be our main goal scorer but i am sorry he does not do it for me in front of goal and maybe it is one of the reasons along with his on field antic's that he has not received another call up for his national team.Like most foreign players and others that come to Rangers or Celtic they have one eye on the E.P.L.but time will tell i hope he will prove me wrong but for what i have seen for now the jury is out.

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  4. The fact that he is left out of the squad for Columbia next game says everything .We where never going to get 11 to 15 million for him .Do you think good old Dave the rave refused that kibd of cash when we are scratching our arse come guys lets get serious here.

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  5. He is a pretty pure excuse for a Rangers striker. I don't understand why the fans constantly sing his praises

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    1. Me neither. But I got shouted down, when I tried to point that out.

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  6. If Morelos is in the ten million class then the livingston centre forward Dolly Menga must be worth twice that amount He showed yesterday how a centre forward should play he had our two cbs on toast and no greeting faces and diving everytime an opposition player came near him get Morelos off the books in January

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    1. If I'm not mistaken I think that was Menga's first goal of the season. Yes, let's sign him.

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  7. sell jan, i would rather try middleton and lafferty as wee glen has the attributes to play the morelos role, dynamic with pace to burn can take it into feet and hold it,bring others into play and get in behind. I remember saying the same with lovenkrands before he scored 2 against celtic having moved from the left wing to playing centrally. personally cant see the morelos/lafferty pairing working up top. big laff has to either play the lone striker role or central with two wingers, no point in him playng wide and tracking back.(neffective). The last 15 mins against livi throwing crosses in having taken off the target man and no ariel threat, nuts. seen the difference when barisic delivers quality for the lafferty header against motherwell, simple. Isn't that why we signed borna?

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  8. Morelos's contribution as you point out is much greater than just the goals he scores. I think his hold up play is very good. His work rate is excellent & he's a pain in the arse for defenders. Can't agree with you about his touch and distribution which I think is first class and while I agree that his shooting can be erratic I don't think you can blame a striker for continuing to have the confidence to keep taking the shots. On top of that his goal & assist rate is good & only going to get better.

    Obviously his temperament is a big problem and could potentially affect his career (and more importantly how much we can get for him) but he is still young. At the moment every time he gets fouled or a decision goes against him you expect a temper tantrum and at least a yellow and that's got to stop. If he can calm down a bit and maybe avoid straying offside so often as well there's no telling how far he can go. I believe 10 million or more is very possible.

    And lets not kid ourselves here, any young player with potential, especially from outside the Scotland is only going to see Rangers as a stepping stone to the EPL. If they don't have that sort of ambition we shouldn't be signing them. Our proximity to the EPL is the one big advantage we have over the other second and third rate European leagues

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  9. Can I check, are we getting an article on each player who didn't turn up on Sunday, or just Morelos?
    Secondly. just how long do we expect SG to stay at Rangers when Liverpool come calling? People want a bigger stage and more money than we can offer, can't blame them for that.

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    1. Scots, you’re being a tad facetious. Morelos is our star man. If Messi was awol for Barca, he’d get more analysis than Suarez and Busquets would. It’s the territory of being the ‘main man’. But we do like to cover as many individuals here as we can!

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    2. Never mind replies to defend yourselves, where’s my post on the topic...or don’t it fit the agenda?

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    3. Ok, perhaps guilty. However, I don't honestly think Morelos is our star man. He is the striker, but the star man category at the moment, imho, is divided between McGregor, Goldson, maybe Katic, maybe the fullbacks, Coulibaly, maybe Arfield, Kent and Middleton.

      My point is that right now there is not just one person who makes us tick. We have a lot. So we should be able to cope with one guy off the boil. Shagger and Goldson lock the back door, that guarantees a point. Captain throws in dead balls and assists.

      That wasn't what happened Sunday. They were all off the boil, so my point was that it was a team failure, not just Fredo's. I agree about Messi, just feel that our stars are more evenly spread

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    4. Dino, our agenda is called ‘discretion’. Comments are approved or disapproved according to our moderation parameters which are available on the home page. Sometimes the odd one is accidentally lost. Either way, if you don’t like that, there are many other sites who will cater for your needs.

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    5. SWH I thought Morelos DID turn up on Sunday but he was awful. He couldn't trap wind and was diving around looking for fouls with a huge petted lip. He was as bad as he was good last week. Granted there were 10 others. It was a shocker! I doubt we could play as bad again so let's put it to bed. If we do then let's have a grown up conversation about the reason why instead of calling for heads.

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    6. Rob

      Fair enough, I am not saying he was great, but same question to you as IN. Do you honestly think everybody else was good, or do you agree that most of them were shoite?

      General consensus seems to be pass marks for Tav, Candeias and Kent, possible McGregore but nobody else. So It wasn't just Morelos. How did Lafferty do, he is much more mature than a 22yr old, has learned and grown, did he lead the line well or was he totally ineffectual as well?

      But I agree with you, it's over. Let's move on. 2 bad performances against them and Livi is better than it could be. Win our next 2 games and we will see it as a blip
      RTID

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    7. SWH I merely pointed out how bad Morelos was compared to how good he was the week before, maybe his best game. Are these the huge swings in form that we can expect from Morelos from one week to the next? I also think you are being very generous with the pass marks. We were shocking, Kent apart.

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    8. Rob,
      Fair enough. I agree with you that he was much worse than the week before, my point was that pretty much everybody was. As you feel I have been generous with the pass marks, you clearly feel that many other players were significantly worse than the week before.
      That was all I was saying, that it was not just Morelos

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  10. What i find strange about Morelos is he's been here over a year and he can hardly speak a fucking word of English,why isn't he being told to learn the language after all he keeps going on about playing in the epl,get him to fuck in January he's a liability with his petulance, no wonder Columbia never called him up again...No Surrender...

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    1. It’s a fair point. This is the surest proof that he both doesn’t respect his club or country of employment and isn’t interested in a long term stay. Equally though it also suggests he isn’t too bright given his ambition is England and they don’t talk double Dutch down there (!)

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    2. Max and In

      I too find it strange that someoen who aims to go to England has not bothered to learn English. Having said that, I do not know whether his English has improved but not been reported upon

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  11. steven davis should be a priority signing in jan, and what's happnin with big mcAuley, waldo ect. there are good players at the club but where do they fit in against a rotation system and the need to accomadate the loanee's. for me personally tinkering to often can lead to inconsistency,we looked more solid with katic and no nonsense defending, if it ain't broke leave it. the great walter would identify one or two transfer targets while keeping the core of the side and becoming familiar with each others style of play.

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  12. I for one would happily sell Morelos for a good profit . He doesn't score enough goals against the better teams we play..and his petulant behaviour is a disgrace he is in his early 20s FFS !
    I agree with a previous post I would play Middleton with Lafferty as 9 and false 9 and get Mark Allen on the case for January perhaps another Croatian raid ...Prso Mk 2 lol !

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  13. My Patience with Morelos has Run Out

    1. Hes Immature/Disrespectful
    2. Silly Yellows/Reds
    3. Doesn't Score Enough

    ...I could Go On

    I think if we get an offer of around £4m-£7m in January ...Take It.

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