As we told you yesterday, Steven Gerrard was going to start with Alfredo Morelos today, and we have to question the wisdom of that call as the decision to deploy the Colombian, while not the only reason Rangers were held at Easter Road, was certainly a gamble and one which appeared to partially backfire.
Only Christian Doidge of the home side had a worse passing level than Morelos, with both around 60%, and it’s safe to say that while Morelos’ goal got Rangers back into it right on the stroke of half time, the former HJK man’s contribution overall in this match was absolutely negligible, and we have to wonder if his presence played any part in Rangers’ worst performance this season.
We aren’t keen on scapegoating players, and as you’ll see from other content on the site, we’re addressing the fact fans are slaughtering Connor Goldson, but there is something ‘about’ Morelos which seems to attract drama, and always has, and in his absence Rangers have been winning smoothly, efficiently, and clinically.
All of these traits were dramatically AWOL today and this performance was certainly the messiest this season under Steven Gerrard.
True, we were missing a host of players, but then that’s been the case the majority of the season, and we’ve still kept winning.
Morelos comes back, the performance falls apart, and the defence collapses.
Now, we’re not by any stretch blaming Morelos directly for this, but there’s certainly no denying that Rangers played much more like the tricky early 2020 stuff we produced post-new year than the infinitely more efficient Rangers we’ve been in campaign 20/21.
Even Ryan Kent was slightly subdued by his recently-remarkable standards.
Was this a decision which just didn’t work out?
Cedric Itten was available, so was Defoe – and while there was no Kemar Roofe, Rangers had enough on that pitch to put Hibs away.
But Morelos was selected and once again produced a sub-par performance as has been his want the past year.
Can’t shake the feeling it didn’t help.