Making A Case For Alfredo Morelos, The Most Divisive Player In Scotland

Is 'El Buffalo' a loose cannon or unfairly punished?
15:01, 11 Jan 2020

When fans of the SPL saw World War III trending on Twitter, they’d have been forgiven for thinking it was just the latest part in the Alfredo Morelos saga. The forward might have a huge amount of talent, but along with death and taxes, a certainty of life is if there’s trouble, Morelos is certain to be at the centre of it. 

Now, given the fierce rivalry between Celtic and Rangers, you’re obviously going to get answers that are polls apart when you ask the question does Morelos bring it on himself - he has developed this reputation and now suffers for it, or is he really an innocent bystander who just gets carded at will because of an agenda either against the player or against Rangers themselves. 

Well, as always, the answer resides somewhat in the middle. Yes, both opposing councils will have arguments for the defence and for the prosecution. So, let’s begin with the prosecution.

Morelos has, in the past, gone down very easily. He’s certainly there or thereabouts when fights or issues break out on the field and isn’t a stranger to a naughty gesture in the direction of other players or the fans. Yet the defence will tell you there’s no denying that sometimes, Morelos is penalised and unfairly talked about because he is Alfredo Morelos - and can’t seem to do right for doing wrong. 

In the same way that if Harry Kane goes down in the box, it’s clever team play and a well-won penalty, but if Sadio Mane or Mo Salah do it, then we have to talk about a blatant dive, there is certainly a lingering feeling Morelos is often punished simply for being a player who isn’t Scottish. 

Yet if Morelos is only being punished for far more sinister reasons than his on the field play, it does beg the question as to why it only seems to be he who gets into trouble, and so frequently at that. The question of anti-Rangers bias and double standards has set Twitter alight of late, and the Ryan Christie saga has only added fuel to an already raging fire. 

Christie, in case you missed it, grabbed at Morelos’ genitals and did not get sent off for it. He’s now received a ban - fair enough, you’d think - yet Celtic have branded that decision "extremely disappointing" and made sure to point to a "worrying lack of consistency" as well from the Scottish FA. They are of course referring in part to Morelos seemingly doing the same to Christie in a previous game and avoiding a ban.

How ironic then, that Rangers would point to exactly the same lack of consistency and double standards. Scott Brown called the decision to ban Christie "laughable" - the very same Scott Brown managed to avoid a ban for gestures made when celebrating in an Old Firm, yet Morelos manages to get carded for the flimsiest of celebrations. 

Brown, of course, gets away with plenty, and there won’t be any shortage of Rangers fans telling you that - and the question of a bias towards Celtic has certainly been asked time and time again - yet do all the ‘big boys’ not get this in their respective leagues? The answer will vary depending on who you ask. Take the Premier League for example - Liverpool fans will tell you they’ve not had advantages this season, rival fans will bring out "LiVARpool" - the same fans who said that Liverpool didn’t win the league last season because of a lack of VAR. You see how it goes. 

As with most things in football, your truth depends on what colour tinted spectacles you view the game with. If you’re putting an bet on during the Old Firm, you’re going to put a Morelos red card in there for good measure - or at least a yellow. Closing arguments? There isn’t a clear cut innocent party here, or a guilty one.

There are two sides and a governing body who at their heart can’t seem to make clear cut and consistent decisions when it comes to both sides, so it’s up to you, the jury to decide. 

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