If you look at the back papers of any major newspaper in Scotland today, you’re likely to find some kind of reference to an incident involving Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos.
Off-form in front of goal, Morelos toiled at Tannadice but the Gers still managed to eke out a 2-1 victory over their Arab counterparts.
The match – which was heavily dominated by Rangers despite Dundee United’s stubborn defending – was overshadowed by an incident involving Rangers’ resident Colombian.
Midway through the first half Morelos foolishly leapt into Dundee United defender Mark Connolly – with all the force of Dundee United’s attacking intention in the match – and received a yellow card.
There is no doubt that on another day, and had Connolly made a bigger meal of it to his credit, it could’ve been worse.
Only in Scotland is this not a red!! pic.twitter.com/5ll5TdOLtr
— Chris (@Nomadicscotsman) December 13, 2020
The striker has his own issues to overcome on the pitch as he looks to get back to goalscoring form but it’s this singling out that is the issue.
Whilst yes, this was a return to the frustrating, petulant Morelos of the past, the constant pouring over of the clash is as predictable as it is tiresome.
Not that this makes Morelos’ actions ok.
The striker makes headlines, and whilst Morelos’ stupid forearm clash might be being overblown it did run the risk of harming our chances in the match and was undoubtedly selfish.
If Morelos had walked and it cost us two or even three points there would be plenty within the Gers camp calling for his head themselves.
But the issue here is the clutching at the straws, the desperation to reignite that loose cannon debate, the eagerness to get under the wee man’s skin, that passive-aggressive commentary from those clearly frustrated with our fine form.
Morelos’ lunge on Connolly wasn’t only stupid because it gave referee Steven McLean a decision to make, but also because it finally gave all the usual suspects something to bemoan Rangers with.
With Rangers unbeaten in 27, flying the Saltire in Europe and leading the Scottish Premiership by 13 points, there have been plenty left pig sick by our start to the season.
Desperate for something to bring the team down, the knifes are out and Scottish football’s gathering up their proverbial pitch forks to demand retrospective action.
Contrast this with Dundee United defender Ryan Edwards taking a chunk out of Alfredo Morelos’ leg in the 4-0 reverse at Ibrox – Alfie had to just get up and get on with it, man-up, welcome to Scotland.
Shocking incident involving Alfredo Morelos against Dundee United – how it wasn’t a red card remains a mystery. pic.twitter.com/1o9ckzcxWJ
— Seville Calculator (@SevilleCalculat) December 13, 2020
Or even when Celtic captain Scott Brown planted one on him In 2017.
Yes, Morelos was foolish for getting involved and was lucky that the incident didn’t spark more dramatic scenes.
But don’t think for a second that any of those loud voices bemoaning the situation have Alfredo’s or even Mark Connolly’s best intentions at heart.
For them, this was the first chance of the season to land one back on a Rangers side who have plenty in Scottish football up against the ropes early in this campaign.
Morelos himself took to Instagram to comment on his recent form with Rangers fans pouring in to give their support to the once talismanic forward.