The wailing has started up already. You can hear it in every corner of the land. The most picked on player in Scotland is being picked on again. Morelos gets another red card. Once again, he deserved it. Once again his defenders come rushing to justify his behaviour.
Some in the media are moaning that it was harsh.
That’s a word you only here when the rulebook has been followed but people would rather it hadn’t been.
I’ve seen – we’ve all seen – Morelos get away with worse in this campaign.
Perhaps that’s the problem.
All these people, and especially the lunatic fringe of the Sevco support, ought to go for a lie down.
Once again they are shrieking all manner of nonsense about conspiracies and even throwing allegations of racism into the mix. There are dozens of black players in Scotland; if this country was a cesspit of racism – and not just sectarianism – then we’d certainly know all about it by now.
It’s a smokescreen though, a convenient cover for a player who simply cannot behave.
Those who are saying “Oh but his discipline record is better this year …” are on the mark with that, but all that does is make a case for studying those refereeing performances – and there are many of them – where he’s got away with murder; snarling, snapping, diving, feigning, elbowing, kicking … much of it under the radar, but enough of it out there, plain as you like, to make you wonder if some new edict in in effect, laying out the terms under which he can be booked.
For much of the game last week, you wondered what it would take before the yellow card came out. In the match against Aberdeen he snarked and shoved and went down under every challenge as if he’d been hit by a hammer.
Their players were entitled to wonder if he had been given Scottish football’s equivalent of diplomatic immunity.
All told he did the same again today, bitching and moaning and leaving in the boot, spending as much time on the turf, looking for decisions, as he did on his feet shooting for goal. The thing of it is, he got another today and so it’s ever more obvious that he doesn’t need all this extraneous nonsense in his game but can’t or won’t shake it anyway.
Having been booked, he could have responded to the goal by celebrating with his team-mates or in front of his own fans; instead he decided to wind up the Motherwell supporters, and drew the deserved second yellow. The petulant “what, me?” look on his face when the cards came out was genuine dismay and disbelief; after all, he did the self-same thing a few weeks ago in front of rival fans and drew no sanction whatsoever.
His bemusement comes from a very real belief that he is special, that the rules don’t apply, that refs are supposed to treat him with more leniency than others. It’s been like that for the whole campaign; if the rules changed today nobody told him in advance.
The truth, Morelos has all the self-entitlement we’ve come to recognise in the club itself. No wonder their fans have made a hero out of him, and it has nothing to do with his goals or his general displays in the team. When they say he’s “one of their own” you better believe it.
Our cup win yesterday continues our utter dominance of the hapless Ibrox NewCo … but how well do you know the history of our successes over them? Try our new quiz and find out. You can click this link or on the first question above ..