It didn’t bear fruit at Celtic Park, but Steven Gerrard should stick by Alfredo Morelos and Kyle Lafferty up front.
Rangers were beaten 1-0 at Parkhead on Sunday thanks to Olivier Ntcham’s goal. It was a sucker blow just when Gerrard’s men seemed to be coming into the game.
The supporters weren’t happy about many aspects of the team’s performance. One of them, however, should be one that Gerrard sticks by in the future.
Morelos and Lafferty had ineffective games at Celtic Park respectively. Tasked with pairing up and working that Celtic back-line, the duo failed to seriously threaten. Morelos gave Kristoffer Ajer the occasional problem and forced Craig Gordon into a good stop. But other than that, little occurred from either forward.
It would now be easy to drop either one of the them in two weeks’ time when Rangers face Dundee at Ibrox. Both men didn’t do anything to deserve keeping their place over the other in the next outing. It was also a surprise in the first place that both were selected.
But Gerrard should make the decision now and keep the two of them in when the Dees visit Ibrox.
Both men have clear pedigree in the division. Morelos has started the season extremely well, whilst Lafferty can score against anyone in the country. As a combination, we’ve yet to see the best of what they can do. But Rangers have shown they have the talent to play with both without it having a seriously negative effect on the midfield.
Against Celtic, we didn’t see any real combination play between the two. But whether this was down to poor individual displays, or the tactics employed by Gerrard, it’s difficult to say.
They now deserve the chance to continue their partnership however. Sections of the support have been crying out for a partner for Morelos. Lafferty could very well be the one after an impressive brace at Fir Park last week.
Rangers have quality in the midfield in Ovie Ejaria, Ryan Jack, and Scott Arfield. Lassana Coulibaly will rejoin that surely after the international break if he shrugs off his knock.
Therefore, there’s not an overwhelming need to flood that area with numbers and leave just one up top. Morelos can often look frustrated in that system, and deserves the chance to develop alongside a partner.
Meanwhile, Lafferty will be itching to get over the Celtic defeat as soon as possible. Dropping him now is the worst thing he could do for the Northern Irishman’s confidence.
It remains to be seen what happens from here on. But one thing’s for sure, this partnership has real potential to thrive if given the chance.