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18th Dec 2019

Should you try and change a player like Alfredo Morelos?

Wayne Farry

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He is a man whose reputation precedes him

Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos is a man who scores lots and lots of goals. The former HJK Helsinki forward has been a revelation since joining Steven Gerrard’s Gers side, and has devastated Scottish Premiership defences week-in, week-out on his way to scoring more than 40 goals in 80-odd games for Celtic’s bitter rivals.

This season alone he has 11 goals in 16 league games and has helped Rangers to a lofty position just a point behind Celtic in the table.

Ask football fans about him, though, and the first thing to spring to mind is likely not his goals and rather his temperament.

The Colombian forward has always been known as something of a fiery figure, but since moving to Scotland this fieriness went up a few notches.

During his first two seasons in Scotland he received his marching orders on no fewer than five occasions, and over the weekend he received his first sending off of the season, against Motherwell.

That red card came after he had scored his side’s second goal of the game – immediately after, actually. Morelos has been booked less than ten minutes prior to the goal, only to receive a second yellow card for his, ahem, rather over-exuberant celebration.

The topic of Morelos and his ill-discipline was discussed on the latest episode of Liquid Football, where host Kelly Cates was joined by guests Wes Brown, Luis Garcia and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Discussing Gerrard, Garcia – his former teammate – said that he thinks the Rangers manager is the perfect man to deal with Morelos.

“He’s got so much experience and he was one of those players. In certain moments, he could flip and get two yellows,” said the Spaniard.

“I remember Liverpool-Everton, two yellows in 60 seconds. Yeah. So you know, he’s got that experience.

“I know that he sounds bad at the moment. Six red cards in the last 18 months, but he has only one red card this season and he had five last year. I think that’s an improvement.

The panel were then asked they had played with a player like Morelos, and Brown was quick to state that Wayne Rooney was very similar at the same age.

“Wayne was a bit like that early doors, if he got fouled or if something didn’t go his way from the ref. I used to say to him, ‘Five seconds…’,” said Brown.

“You don’t want to take that out of him, but you just need to control it and learn how to control it. Because if you take it out of him, you could become a different player.”

Brown also revealed how everyone on the team would be aware when Rooney was about to lose his cool when playing.

“You’d see him sprinting, you just know it’s happening and you see him to sprinting, but he’s not necessarily trying to hurt the guys.

“He’s just trying to win the ball and taking a bit of anger out. And then you’re like ‘that’s first yellow’ ‘and the second yellow’.”

Discussing Morelos particularly, Brown stated that he’s still young enough to mature and improve his temperament on the pitch

“He’s young. He’s still young. As you get older, you can handle it better, but he’ll be fine. But I think doing what he did to the crowd, it can… probably stop.”