Steven Gerrard now has a massive problem


As we alluded to in our last entry, Rangers have been, frankly, a different beast over the past few matches. While it’s not vintage 9IAR stuff of course, it’s a notable improvement on the miserable March Steven Gerrard’s men suffered following not a single win recorded.

But then the low point of the entire season seems to have given Rangers a new lease of life, changed the system, and provided impetus, gumption, and a totally new mentality: Alfredo Morelos’ red card.

There is absolutely, unequivocally no doubt that Rangers, bizarrely, have benefited from the Colombian’s absence, from the loss of his baggage and red cards, and the emergence of the hyper-clinical Jermain Defoe in the past three outings has blessed a completely new approach to matches.

Gone is the wasteful passing in midfield which goes nowhere, gone is the Morelos circus up top and his wasteful and selfish use of the ball in the box – in its place a more intelligent Rangers, using the ball clinically, not passing it to death – tackling more sharply and harassing opponents rather than standing off them and waiting for something to happen.

When Jon Flanagan’s excellent midfield tackle led, ultimately, to Defoe’s opener at Tynecastle, it was a goal which just didn’t happen with Morelos in the team.

Defenders weren’t defending in midfield and stealing the ball, midfielders weren’t using the ball sharp and playing in strikers quick, and Morelos given that amount of time through on goal would 70% of the time have wildly wasted that chance. There wasn’t a single second we feared Defoe wouldn’t score.

And that difference, that edge, that more ruthless Rangers of the past three matches, in Morelos’ absence, is a refreshing change. Defoe has been excellent, pure and simple – he’s a predator, and by and large when he shoots he scores. He is one of the most clinical and natural finishers we’ve had at Ibrox in a long, long time, and Rangers benefit hugely from this killer edge.

The question now, clearly, is when Morelos returns from suspension and becomes available again, should Gerrard select him?

From Ibrox Noise, 100%, absolutely not, and as far as we are concerned, Morelos’ time at Ibrox is over. If Stevie brings him straight back in, then he risks angering a lot of people.

Do you agree?

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  1. Defoe scored a good goal today but did very little else and in fact passed up a couple of shots which I`m sure Alfie would have taken.We`ll see how the Aberdeen goes before decision should be made .A good win and Alfie starts on the bench. It would be interesting to see how he would play in this new system with Arfield and Candeias in closer support, he may even make it work better .

    • Alf doesn't pass up a single shot. And that's half the point. It's maturity and experience on Defoe's part to know when doing so is beneficial. Had Arfield been more clinical on one of them you'd have praised Defoe's unselfishness and awareness. Or maybe not.

  2. Why even think that Morelos should get a look into this team now, he's history, or should be. Why change a winning formula. Ibrox Noise i know you don't like answers like this but here goes. "I could not have put it better".

  3. Why change a team and system that works -finishing with 11 men for a start👍and
    Playing some nice football and still winning


  4. There is a fluidity about Rangers play just now. It's like the team performance has stepped up a level during Alfredo's absence. Alfredo has tremendous strength, work rate, and of course he scores goals. Defoe has experience and intelligence, they both have very good qualities, but we can clearly see that Defoe is more clinical and makes better decisions.
    In my opinion, Defoe should stay in the team for as long as he continues to perform the way he has been in the last 3 games, with Alfredo on the bench. It is now up to Morelos to win back the position, rather than automatically coming back into the team because we didn't have any alternative striker.

  5. Defoe has done enough to keep his place and Morelos needs to learn that his actions have a consequence. Keep him out the team and use him as an impact sub. The worst that can happen is that we have a good player with us next season who has maybe learned a lesson or two. At his current rate Defoe would probably score as many goals as Morelos, despite not contributing much "to the team".

  6. For the ongoing development of the club, I believe it’s more important that we keep Defoe for next season than Alf. I’ve nothing against Alf but I really despair at his unwillingness to control himself and apparent lack of intelligence. What can our younger/less experienced players learn from him, compared to a former international striker who has spent years at the top level and despite his age, is as fit as you could wish for both physically and mentally? The quality that he, Arfield and Davis are bringing to the team will be short term but could be vital to the future in terms of developing our own players and attracting others. Or perhaps we should be pursuing the likes of Moult or Cummings or Allan (FFS) as some regular posters on here seem to think. We can then watch the club stagnate and SPL standards continue to slide.

  7. Clearly I'm in the minority here but I believe that if fit and eligible Morelos should be the first name on every Rangers team sheet. That said I can see that there is a strong argument to leave the team as it is, the last 3 games have been easy to watch and we have played well but I don't think that has anything to do with Morelos's absence. Like you point out it was the high pressing, quick passing from midfield and the closer support for the striker from Arfield in particular that has created chances. All this can happen with Alfie up front and I believe that the results would have been even better if he had been available.

    Stopping Celtic next year is going to be hard but doing it without Alfie will make it almost impossible.

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