Former Rangers striker, Billy Dodds, has urged Steven Gerrard to sell Alfredo Morelos and James Tavernier during the next transfer window, as quoted by the Glasgow Times.
With all football activity currently suspended amid a global health crisis, there’s uncertainty over whether or not the current Premiership campaign will be completed.
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Dodds apparently doesn’t want that to detract from the fact that the Gers have failed domestically this season, though.
Gerrard’s side lost the League Cup final against Celtic, were dumped out of the Scottish Cup at the quarter-final stage by Hearts and are 13 points adrift in the league, albeit with a game in hand.
Dodds suggests two of Gerrard’s key men, Morelos and Tavernier, are culpable and as a result, should be moved on at the next opportunity.
“My point is if you are going to try and close that gap then for me those players aren’t working anymore,” said Dodds, as quoted by the Glasgow Times. “They have to change and a decision has to be made.”
“So, looking to the long term, that’s been two years for Gerrard at Rangers, going into the third. How is he going to catch Celtic? I’m sorry but you’re not going to catch Celtic with that type of player, who is good enough on occasion but constantly lets you down.
“Whether it is suspension, whether it is mistakes, whether it is not turning up, you have at some point got to say I have to change the philosophy somewhere along the line. I’m just putting it in black and white.”
The quotes above are just one section of a lengthy Dodds rant with extensive criticism aimed at the Gers’ top goalscorer as well as the club captain.
In some areas, it’s hard to disagree. There’s no doubt that Morelos’ poor discipline has let the club down on countless occasions.
The latest of many suspensions left him unavailable for the crucial first few games of 2020, while a failure to return from a sanctioned trip to Columbia on time left Rangers without a recognised striker for the cup defeat to Hearts.
Furthermore, his form in the lead up to the suspension was well below par.
As for Tavernier, there’s no doubt he’s made multiple high profile errors this season. He was at fault for the Jambos’ winner in the cup, while other lapses at Young Boys in the Europa League and at Tynecastle in the league have cost points.
Both players have also struggled from the penalty spot.
However, it must be remembered that on their day, these are two of the best players in the Scottish Premiership. In fact, despite the problems mentioned above, Alex Rae recently named both Gers in his Team of the Season so far [Scottish Sun].
El Bufalo is the joint top goalscorer in the Europa League has a whopping 29 goals in all competitions, while Tavernier has contributed 15 assists from right-back.
Therefore, while it’s right to question the attitude or suitability of players, especially when they aren’t producing, there must be a recognition that even though they haven’t delivered silverware, both Morelos and Tavernier would be difficult to replace.