Rangers star Alfredo Morelos is one of the most talked about players in Scottish football and he’s rarely out of the media spotlight for too long.
The prolific forward is a menace on the pitch but his disciplinary issues have consistently clouded his career and offered reason for critics, justly or unjustly, to take aim at the Colombia international.
In light of his recent sending off against Celtic, Steven Gerrard has launched a staunch defence of the divisive figure, suggesting that he is criticised so starkly because he is seen as a threat by those outside Ibrox, per Glasgow Times.
“Because he is a threat, because he scores big goals and he is a big player for Rangers.”
And Gerrard later went on to draw parallels between Morelos and Luis Suarez, a player with a chequere disciplinary record whom the Gers boss played alongside during his time at Liverpool.
“When I played with Suarez at Liverpool, he didn’t really have any fans outside. I used to join up with England and the opposition players despised him and couldn’t believe you were saying he was actually a genuine guy and a family man and had a heart of gold.”
These Rangers fans were fully in agreement with Gerrard, with one fan suggesting there are racist undertones to the treatment Morelos is subjected to.
Steven Gerrard, on point again. How great for the Scottish premiership that rangers are a big enough draw to entice a genuine world class icon to a 3rd rate league? Scottish football should be pinching itself everyday that the icon Steven Gerrard is in the league.
— . (@Beesh24240265) January 9, 2020
He’s totally right! He is singled out for special treatment. We have pundits calling him insulting names on a regular basis, he’s verbally attacked in the streets daily, and is referred to a different standard! It’s bordering on racism! 👍
— Renegade (@Renegade_uk100) January 9, 2020
Hit the nail on the head there! The way he is refereed and treated by the media is ignorant and blatant!
— We’re going for 55 (@grahammccno1) January 9, 2020
This ☝️all day long. A planned and concerted effort to remove a major threat to their club. We see you.
Well done Chris for being one of the very few journalists (& that includes your own paper) to say it as it is 👏👏👏
— Colin Stewart (@RFC_Colin) January 9, 2020
The response from other supporters took on a slightly different tone though they remained in agreement.
One compared the Morelos situation to other Rangers players from times gone by, suggesting that had Joe Garner or Jason Holt also made the “game-over” gesture Morelos has been scrutinised for, there wouldn’t have been any major consequences.
Meanwhile, another supporter suggested a young Scottish player would have received different treatment.
If Joey garner had done the same thing. Nothing would have been said.
Of Jason Holt did it, he would have been laughed at.
They all fear him, the fans, their management, their captain and definitely their dud 7 million pound centre half. They know he’s the best in Scotland.
— . (@Beesh24240265) January 9, 2020
Absolutely, could u imagine a young Scottish player getting the same level of abuse? Wouldn’t happen. Atrocious how hes treated, glad the club are backing him more.
— Thefragglerocks (@thefragglerocks) January 9, 2020
Finally, these two supporters alluded to the longevity of this trend, claiming the treatment Morelos receives is part of a long-term theme and is not merely a recent phenomenon.
Been saying it for months mate and if its not obvious to anyone then they are party to it.
— blueknows (@b_simper) January 9, 2020
Getting more obvious as each game passes.
— ED THE BEAR (@EDTHEBEAR3) January 9, 2020