Glasgow Rangers sit at the top of the Premiership despite suffering their first defeat of the season at the hands of St Mirren in the Scottish League Cup on Wednesday, and now Steven Gerrard needs to take time to reflect and learn from this big wake-up call for the club.
The Govan-based Glaswegian giants had won ten consecutive domestic games in a row, but a combination of complacency and arrogance from some of the players proved to be their undoing, as Conor McCarthy scored late to win the Betfred Cup tie for the Saints.
Gerrard has accepted full responsibility for his side’s shock defeat and he will want to to ensure that they avoid a repeat of the last-gasp goal that brought their unbeaten run to a devastating end.
While the likes of Brandon Barker, George Edmundson and Jordan Jones could find themselves on the chopping block, which wouldn’t be all that surprising, there may be a couple surprise exits in store for Rangers fans in January.
Ross Wilson will have the unenviable task of clearing out some of the deadwood when the winter transfer market opens in just under a few weeks’ time, but he may decide to cut his losses and cash in on star striker Alfredo Morelos as well.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, former Aston Villa and England striker Gabriel Agbonlahor believes the Colombia international could be heading for the Ibrox exit after his latest charge of violent conduct.
Morelos has been handed a two-match ban by the SFA having hit Dundee United defender Mark Connolly in the face with his forearm and Rangers have decided to accept the suspension.
This isn’t the first time El Bufalo has been banned for reckless behaviour, either, as he was banned for three matches after an appeal on his red card against Aberdeen was rejected in 2019.
It’s getting to the stage now where his performances have done little to make up for his lack of discipline, as he has failed to score in the Premiership since September, while the likes of Jermain Defoe, Kemar Roofe and even Cedric Itten have been in such fine form in recent weeks.
He said, as quoted by The Daily Record: “He’s not the player he was a year ago. Before he would be on his toes, the ball would drop to him and he’d smash it into the back of the net. You can see the frustration oozing out of him.
“As a striker you go through spells where you can’t score but the problem, I think, with Morelos and for Rangers as a whole he’s not the talisman that he was a year ago. I think Rangers as a team could comfortably have him out of the side and Roofe could play at the top. Aribo could come into the side in the area that Roofe is playing in.
“I think the team would actually improve. Morelos, he doesn’t show anything as a team player. Before he was such a goalscorer and a real threat. He isn’t the same.”
Morelos became Rangers’ all-time leading European goalscorer this season, beating the record set by club legend Ally McCoist with a simple tap-in against Benfica in the Europa League.
However, in many ways he doesn’t fit in with Gerrard’s ethos, as his attitude and ill-discipline have cost the Gers on several occasions over the past couple of years or so.
If the Gers are to regain the title for the first time since the 2010-11 season, they need to get rid of the 24-year-old and put their faith in a seasoned veteran like Defoe to try and get the best out of players like Ryan Kent and Steven Davis, so Wilson must rid the club of Morelos once and for all.
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