Steven Gerrard last night explained away Alfredo Morelos’ absence from the past two matches as a groin strain. This is not us reading between the lines and claiming our manager is being economical with the truth, but merely observing that thanks to club politics Steven Gerrard was once forced to say an out of form Jon Flanagan, Andy Halliday and out of sorts Borna Barisic were all better options than Lee Wallace. So sometimes, our manager is placed in a position where he has to be loose with the facts.
That’s football management, and anyone who thinks the boss is 100% honest always is naïve to the point of lunacy. He may be an honest man, and we’re pretty sure he is, but Stevie is now a manager, and like his peers in the game has to be a little careful with what he says.
With that in mind, we can’t help wondering if Alfredo Morelos’ ‘groin strain’ is just a way of keeping him out of the team in light of interest in his services.
Gerrard’s rhetoric about Morelos appears to be downright encouraging suitors to make an offer, and quickly, while the player himself is clear that he wants to leave.
This is not language that is desiring the Colombian’s extended residence at Ibrox, from either himself or his manager.
And of course if he was to play on Tuesday he will be cup tied for another club until the group stage, which may just be an obstacle for any fellow UEL qualifying side. We’re not 100% sure if that applies to the UCL qualifiers too.
There’s a real circus around Morelos, and we can’t help feeling Stevie is completely fed up with it. He lost patience with the striker after the Celtic red card last season, and ceased the excuses.
Since then his language about him has changed from flowery praise to factual observations. The ‘we love him’ type stuff has been reserved for the likes of Scott Arfield, and it feels, just feels, like Stevie is waiting for an offer to come in and be done with it, so he can sign a permanent replacement and move on.
Of course, this could all be conspiracy piffle. It might just be that Morelos really just does have a minor injury, but then so did Carlos Cuellar back in 2008 and he ended up at Villa.
End of the day, no one knows what’s going to happen with him – Palace are sniffing around him, as are Newcastle, plus a few continental sides, but until one of these outfits stumps up a good offer Morelos will go nowhere.
So… what is actually happening with Alfredo Morelos?
Your guess is as good as ours, folks.