Alfredo Morelos Dropped For PSV Clash Due To Fitness And Attitude Concerns
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst made the decision due to a number of concerns, including the striker's fitness and attitude in the early stages of the season.
Morelos was left out of the squad for the crucial Champions League second-leg play-off match against PSV Eindhoven by the Ibrox manager.
Van Bronckhorst insists he made the decision on his own, claiming Morelos is unable to play due to a "certain level mentally, physically."
The Rangers manager is confident that the decision to exclude Morelos from the PSV match day squad had no effect on his players.
Alfredo Morelos dropped by Rangers
Giovanni van Bronckhorst insists that Alfredo Morelos dropped for PSV clash League squad was an 'easy decision.'
The Colombian striker was left out of the traveling party for the second leg of the play-off against PSV at Eindhoven's Philips Stadium.
Concerns were raised about the 26-year-fitness old's and attitude following the eighth red card of his Rangers career in a 2-2 draw with Hibs at Easter Road.
Talks about a new contract have also been put on hold.
His decision, he claimed, was the result of "something that was building up rather than a direct reaction to the red card."
Van Bronckhorst admitted that he felt obligated to send a signal to the South American and challenged him to show that he still wants to play for the Rangers.
‘We are playing a lot of important games at the moment and I think for me it is always the case as a manager that I have to bring the players with me who I think is ready to play,’ said the Ranger boss. ‘For me, that was the moment I didn’t include Morelos. ‘As a person, it was a hard decision, as a manager, it was an easy one because we are here to represent our club and to get into the Champions League tomorrow evening. In my eyes, this was the best squad to take.’
Questions have been raised about Morelos' weight and attitude after he laughed off his weekend red card at Easter Road.
When asked where the forward goes from here, van Bronckhorst replied:
‘I think we wait and see what happens. I think the biggest factor in that is Alfredo himself. We have to see how the coming days and weeks will go.
‘I think he has to show me he wants to play for Rangers. I know he wants to play, but to play for Rangers you need to have a certain level mentally and physically and at the moment I think he is not ready to play.’
Morelos' actions against Hibs have been criticized by both captain James Tavernier and defender Connor Goldson.
'No, I made the decision myself,' van Bronckhorst said, denying reports that he consulted the other players before yielding the removal.
Of course, we have a leadership group, and I meet with them frequently to discuss a variety of issues. I'm always in touch with them.'
The Colombian striker wasn't involved in the first-leg draw as he was left on the bench throughout the entire 90 minutes.
Morelos did, however, feature in the 2-2 draw with Hibs at the weekend but was shown a straight red card for a swipe at Marijan Cabraja just 13 minutes after being subbed on.
It was also revealed Morelos has been dropped from the Rangers squad after Van Bronckhorst spoke with senior pros about concerns over the striker.
On his Instagram account, Morelos posted a cryptic message in Spanish that translated to: “The best warrior is not the one who always triumphs but the one who returns without fear to battle.”
Morelos captioned the post, which also featured an image of a clenched fist, with the words “miedo a Dios “fear of God”.
Rangers are attempting to qualify for the Champions League group stages for the first time since 2010-11, and the Europa League finalists from last season have a lot of work to do after a 2-2 draw in the first leg at Ibrox.
Kris Boyd examines the Rangers' decision to release Alfredo Morelos due to fitness and attitude concerns.
“Rangers have decided to act and I think it shows leadership from Giovanni van Bronckhorst.
“No one is bigger than Rangers FootballClub and Giovanni has acted because Alfredo has been nowhere near the level of fitness he was when he first took charge.
“If I was a player and I was being outed in the dressing room as a bad player that would really hurt me.
“He’s had a long injury, but he’s been back for a while and there’s no reason for him to be in the condition he’s in.
“He needs to knuckle down, get himself fit and I'm sure he could maybe force his way back into Giovanni’s thinking.
“It shouldn’t come to something like this for you to kick start your career again. It’s becoming a problem and I think the Rangers deserve a lot of credit for dealing with it.
“Waiting to get games to get fit is a thing of the past. Antonio Colak has come in and shown he is the Rangers’ main man at this moment in time. Has Alfredo Morelos downed tools and isn’t up for the fight? That’s what it seems to be.
“You always want a good dressing room and if there’s a player who is being a hindrance then you don’t want him in it. The players have spoken, they’ve decided enough is enough and the manager has had his say.”
To sum it up, Alfredo Morelos dropped for PSV Clash over “fitness and attitude” issues.
It came as a result of a meeting between the manager and senior club players.
For the time being, the manager has firmly placed the ball in Morelos' court, and the message is clear: only time will tell if the player's issues with fitness and attitude are addressed.