Rangers have launched an official appeal against Alfredo Morelos’ sending off in Sunday’s draw with Aberdeen.
The red was shown after the striker was clearly provoked twice with no protection from the referees.
This more than warrants appeal and investigation. In the direct sight of the linesman who made the call, he was aggressively shoved twice by Scott McKenna but nothing was done. Rangers undeniably have a case, whether you believe his kick out – or rebalancing act – merited the red or not.
However, there is a much knottier problem than incompetence or being targeted by opposition players; it also comes down to how Alfredo deals with it.
Whilst true that being targeted by opposition players demands greater protection from officials – and not the other way around as it appeared at the weekend – the young Colombian also needs to play the game.
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Reacting angrily and lashing out only gives ammunition to referees and players who’re gunning for him.
The best way to deal with this type of challenge is to front it. To smile and cause a reaction through your lack of reaction. To get under their skin instead. To keep yourself on the pitch and stick three into the back of the net.
There is no doubt Morelos should’ve been offered more protection by the referees on Sunday. If this appeal and Gerrard’s comments do anything in the future, it’ll put more scrutiny on how referees deal with the player and opposition tactics on him.
Going forward Morelos just needs to focus on his game and manage his temperament. Besides, he should take being targeted as a compliment.
If they’re focusing on him– they’re scared of what the talented striker can achieve on the pitch.