Many weeks ago, before Sevco went out and signed two new strikers, I said that there was at least one major story which the media didn’t want to go near bubbling away nicely at Ibrox and it was about the scale of the loathing that now exists between Gerrard and Alfredo Morelos, the club’s most valuable transfer market asset and top scorer for the last three years.
The press certainly knows about it, as they’ve known for many months, but for reasons we all know well, having to do with the policy of saying nothing that annoys the hierarchy over at Snake Mountain, nobody in the press corps wants to write about it … not even now when it stands out like the ugly on Jimmy Bell’s torn face.
If they aren’t writing about it tonight they never will, frankly, because Gerrard is making it clear now in a manner that’s impossible to ignore as he lords over the club’s best player like any petty tyrant, rubbing his face in the degree of control he has over him.
Tonight they beat Hamilton in another of those games where you stop watching after 20 minutes because the full-time whistle at that moment would be a mercy killing for everyone including the audience at home. Gerrard didn’t make a substitution until the 75th minute, and I was to take off Hagi, who did nothing except scramble the ball over the line for the opening goal, and replaced him with Arfield as Morelos sat morosely watching the proceedings.
But the real insult came on the 90th minute when Gerrard brought off Roofe … and replaced him with ex Kilmarnock and Aberdeen player Greg Stewart, who they are desperately trying to flog. There was no need to get Stewart on the park with the game over, so I can only conclude that it was a pointed move to further embarrass the Colombian superstar.
You know, there is a section of the Sevco support which loves Morelos and desperately wants him to stay at the club, knowing, as they do, how many times he’s been the difference between three points and one or even none.
They wonder if Roofe or the Swede will be able to score with the same predatory regularity, and they are right to wonder.
Those fans refuse to accept that Morelos is one of the architects of his own downfall, and they are very happy to blame the media in Scotland – which is ridiculous – for “hounding him out” and refs for deliberately targeting him and even the phantom Celtic car bomber, even when they know the truth about that story as it’s been all over the papers.
Odd then that none of them seems to have pinpointed the real reason Morelos can’t wait to get of Ibrox; the guy in the dugout who has made his life miserable since at least January and who’s attitude towards the player was grating on him long before that.
Gerrard’s vengeful nature is such that he no longer cares that Morelos loses value with every day he’s out of the Sevco squad.
He came out after the game and slammed the team for their “wastefulness” in front of goal … and yet their proven scorer never made it off the bench.
It’s not even disguised. This is open war.
The manager is now publicly humiliating him in a manner that will do nothing good for dressing room morale as every player knows it might be his turn to be treated this way next.
Morelos isn’t the first and won’t be the last.
But his relationship with Gerrard is damaged beyond repair, and that’s a situation which does not exist at Celtic Park.
Neil Lennon was not gratuitous in his treatment of his players in midweek, even if he ought to have kept his concerns inside the club itself.
Gerrard seems to break things at times just because he can.
This is a small-minded man who will lash out at anyone at the first sign of being thwarted or defied, the kind of “leader” who has thinks rule by fear is a viable strategy in a room full of millionaires.
The CelticBlog aims to keep getting better and better. If you like what we do, please subscribe and never miss another article. If you’re on Facebook, join us on our Facebook Group or share us on yours, and if you’re on Twitter remember and re-tweet all our work.