How many times have we watched this movie now?
The one in which Alfredo Morelos returns to writing, he lacks discipline and becomes a burden to the Rangers, despite being the central character.
In the latest release, the striker was removed from the Rangers squad for today’s Champions League second leg against PSV Eindhoven due to concerns about his fitness and behaviour. He was also sent off, just 13 minutes after coming on as a substitute, against Hibernian on Saturday.
Rangers coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst confirmed, on Monday, that he had informed the other players, on Monday, that he had left Morelos, the team’s all-time top scorer in the European League, from the squad that travels to the Netherlands.
Van Bronckhorst said he was “build for a while” due to the Colombian’s behaviour, and the athlete He understands that he was late for his recovery session on Sunday 14 August, two days before the first leg in Eindhoven. the athlete At first he misreported that this happened on Sunday, August 21, but sources confirmed that it was in fact the previous Sunday.
“I think he should show me that he wants to play for Rangers,” said Van Bronckhorst. “I know he wants to play, but to play for Rangers you need to be at a certain level mentally and physically, and at the moment I think he is not ready to play.
“As a person, it was a difficult decision. As a manager, it was easy because we are here to represent our club and to qualify for the Champions League tomorrow night. From my point of view, this was the best squad to play with.”
There was a time when Rangers sporting director Mark Allen wanted to take the Colombia international out of the club, shortly after seeing him and Carlos Pena exit a supermarket with a beer as they walked back to their shared apartment.
Steven Gerrard improved Morelos as a player and for long made him a full striker, but also left him out of a squad to face Hearts in January 2020 after returning late from a trip to his home country of South America.
Morelos got his place back, and after the club resisted offers from France’s Lille – although the coaching staff were understood to have been open to replacing him – he finally found a shape to help win the 2020-21 title. In January of that season, he was so committed to staying that even if a show was made during the winter window, he wanted to stay, and that was the spirit of the team and the focus on becoming champions.
But he got back into trouble again and was fined on more than one occasion for being late.
By last summer, a little of the rope that Gerrard had allowed him had disappeared after returning late from Colombia (again) and he was deemed unprepared for the first leg of the Champions League qualifier against Swedish side Malmo on 3 August. You will continue to lose. However, there is a defense issue with Morelos here, as he has had a shorter off-season break than anyone else due to his presence on the national team assignment at Copa America until July 11.
He then had to quarantine after returning home for vacation, so he was unable to train with the team. The club floated the idea of arranging a holiday in Europe instead to get around the need for long solitude, but wanted to see family, given that he was already in South America and lived far away.
He doesn’t tend to make excuses for any out-of-line behavior, but a source close to the situation said last summer that “he’s either in trouble or back for forgiveness.”
However, Morelos comes from Seret, a region in northern Colombia where the consequences of real-life mistakes can be darker than any fine or drop from a team.
He got to the point where his contract included special fitness clauses when he renewed them in early 2018.
A carrot tends to work better than a stick with Morelos but getting to it once and for all is a challenge.
Van Bronckhorst appeared to be the man to do just that after he sparked new life into him when he succeeded Gerrard last November. But even now, with a manager and assistant at Roy Makaay who can talk to him in Spanish, he finds himself in trouble.
Morelos is still the villain in this piece, but the ruthless football club would have separated itself from the Colombian by now.
Rangers are still a team essentially captivated by the whims of a rebellious footballer and an eccentric human being, as proven when it was announced on the eve of the ‘do or die’ match against PSV Eindhoven to determine who would advance to the Champions League group stage. Not just from the team but from the team.
Morelos has proven in his five years at Rangers that he is capable of a few great months, sometimes up to six months in a row, but he is unable to maintain his top level for an entire season.
There were various reasons for this relating to all of the reasons Van Bronckhorst identified – fitness, behavior, commitment – but it is universally considered hard work for those with a role where they have to nurture and keep him motivated. And on the rails.
He changed agencies after the last transfer window in January did not result in a move to a Champions League club, but there is a reason why interest in him has faded and why Premier League teams have not been standing in line at the door to sign him despite him being there. The game seems to be made for the British style of football. However, Morelos has opened up his agency representation to a Spanish-based company, and it is understood that Sevilla are interested in giving him an advance contract this winter.
The news spread and smoke began to rise from various sources before the fire was finally seen yesterday, when it was confirmed that he was staying at home rather than traveling with his teammates to Eindhoven.
There have been whispers that he’s back to some of his old off-court behaviour, and that doesn’t bode well for a player who is supposed to be on the pitch right after returning to action after being out since hip surgery in March.
“He’s had more nights than the moon” is how someone well connected to the team described his career off the field.
His lifestyle did not help him to keep fit at all times, with his fondness for seafood dishes and nights out.
Morelos has gone from being a poor little village boy, married to his teenage sweetheart and dreaming of soccer fortunes, to the most famous face of one of Europe’s most football-intensive cities, with more money than he knows what to do.
This is a transition that many footballers fail to deal with and he is not the first or the last player to make the mistake of some of the trappings that come with the job.
After the first leg against PSV Eindhoven last week ended 2-2, Van Bronckhorst was asked if the decision not to play at all was tactical or due to his physical fitness. He said it was because summer signing Antonio Colak was performing well, but Morelos was spotted in Glasgow city center the weekend ahead of Tuesday’s game.
He’s posted videos of him working out in the gym and motivational photos to Instagram — as he did on Tuesday, saying: ‘The best warrior is not the one who always wins, but the one who returns to battle without fear’.
Morelos appears to have more life than a cat and the Rangers say that despite his new contract talks being suspended, he still has a future at Ibrox provided he proves his fitness and commitment.
The 26-year-old can be a celebrity amongst the team when he’s fit and shooting, but he can also be detrimental to the overall harmony. The coaches tried to give him more space than others would allow, but when he was in a bad place previously, his contribution to training leaves much to be desired.
On Saturday, it was his arm swing that enraged his teammates as he left Rangers – already down to 10 men – with nine men from the 75th minute. It ended up tied in injury time, with a two-point drop. No wonder it wasn’t Mr. Popular exactly then.
🎙️ “It’s not dangerous for me. It’s not violent behaviour, it’s not a red card.”
Rangers regressed to nine men at Easter Road after Alfredo Morelos was sent off for this incident 🟥 pic.twitter.com/jy68fnslyr
– Sky Sports Scotland August 20 2022
“I just think the bout and the throwing are two of our most important players,” Rangers defender Conor Goldson said on Tuesday.
“Until he’s back at that, I don’t think he’s helping us as much as he can. He’s had a serious injury – probably the first major injury he’s had in his career. It took him a while to come back from that, but we need him to be fit and ready.”
Kulak is recruited to be Morelos’ rival, and he does what he says in the goals. He has four games in his last five games, but what he’s not doing is bullying entire European defences, single-handedly giving Rangers the golden escape route of always having an outside ball.
No Morelos means the very limited Rangers will take the field tonight. It is inevitable.
Van Bronckhorst has developed a reputation as a prodigy coach up his sleeve but to outsmart compatriot Ruud van Nistelrooy and win a seat on the UEFA Gravy Train, he will have to do it away from home rather than help Ibrox. A large crowd, and without the guy, much of the side’s recent successes in Europe have been built.
Rangers have now gone to the Champions League third round qualifiers, the Europa League semi-finals, the Europa League final and now the Champions League playoff either with no striker available or with only one spare option ready to play.
It’s not all about unfortunate injuries, and it calls into question sporting director Ross Wilson’s planning to go into this season with just three strikers, two of whom are flaky Morelos and Kemar Rove, who have been equally injured. It has been available for the past two seasons.
Van Bronckhorst has other problems hampering his start to the season other than Morelos as well.
Ruff and John Sutter are still more than a few weeks away from rivalry, but it’s hopeful that Ben Davies will be back in a month.
If the futures of Morelos and Glenn Camara are in doubt, getting the job done in Eindhoven becomes even more crucial to this season’s track after an unconvincing start domestically.
The squad should feel fresh compared to last year, when they started the season on less-than-ideal ground with Gerrard believing they had let him down as guarantees of a £6-8m transfer budget – ironically with PSV midfielder Joey Fermann identified as the primary target. – It never happened. This started to develop malaise in
Twelve months later, there is a distinct feeling for a team with issues to solve, but Van Bronckhorst has proven before that he can pull a rabbit out of the hat when he needs one most.
(Top photo: Steve Welsh/Getty Images)