There were two things that Rangers fans could not let happen in the Old Firm clash at Celtic Park on Sunday: a Celtic win; and another red card for their striker Alfredo Morelos, who is valued at £2.7 million (by Transfermarkt).
Inevitably, Celtic won — giving them a 13 point lead at the top of the table, and has put them out of reach of the Ibrox club — and their 22-year-old Colombian forward was sent-off.
While the chances of lifting the title were a long-shot for Steven Gerrard’s side, they were always likely to be trying to secure a Europa League spot.
With Sunday’s defeat, Rangers are now only eight points ahead of fourth placed Aberdeen, and due to a petulant act, they will now be without their major goal threat until the end of April.
The player may well say he was provoked into his red card, but as a professional footballer, he needs to realise that will happen — particularly given his known short temper — and get over it.
So what does the future hold for the Rangers striker?
Gerrard lamented the player’s actions after the game, and admitted that he can no longer stand behind his player.
He told BBC Sport: “He’ll be punished internally and we’ll move forward.
“The reality is if you raise your arm, you leave yourself wide open. Obviously he’s been provoked in the first place but it’s happened on too many occasions now.
“I’ve gone above and beyond – I’ve backed Alfredo more than enough and I can’t defend him any more.”
The player has contributed 29 goals in all competitions for the Glasgow giants this season, but at what cost?
15 yellow cards and five sendings off — although one was later rescinded — is not acceptable for any club, least of all a huge club that needs everyone pulling together in a bid to wrestle Glasgow dominance away from their rival.
The writing was on the wall, in a way, last season, in which he was not sent off, but did receive 12 yellows.
So in total, he has 27 bookings and five red cards from his 88 appearances for Rangers.
It is time for Rangers to take a stand and acknowledge enough is enough.
You cannot pick a side, and send a player out onto the pitch when you know he will be targeted by every opposition defender, and see him as a ticking time-bomb, waiting to go off at any minute.
They need to bring in a striker who can score goals in every game, and not have to wonder how many he could have scored, had he not been off the pitch for so many of them, whether following a red card or the suspension which follows.
Rangers are not safe in the Europa League quest yet, and without Morelos’s potential goals in April, they are just a couple of bad results away from messing it up completely.
We say Gerrard should take a stand, and show him the door.
The player has proved time and again, he is a liability, and does not deserve to wear the blue shirt again.
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