Alfredo Morelos stands in front of the mirror, practicing his line. “I’ve come here to chew bubblegum and kick Celtic ass…”
Oh well, unlike Roddy Piper, at least he’s not all out of bubblegum.
As he lined up to face the great wall that is Fraser Forster, it may well have been the inside of his own head he was chewing, such was his visible meltdown.
Former Celtic striker Jamie Smith once revealed that his uncle had gone to see a witch doctor and cursed Rangers. (It worked, thanks!)
You can only imagine that the doll he used must have looked like Morelos, who is now the longest-running comedy show outside of The Simpsons and It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.
The cash-strapped Ibrox outfit wouldn’t take £40million for him one week, or £50million the next. For a loose cannon, who hasn’t even been trusted to start in many of his club’s biggest games?
This is like saying you’re not going out to dinner with Scarlett Johansson if she asks you because you’re not all that hungry.
Yesterday’s penalty save was merely one of nine chances Morelos had on the day (surpassing the eight he once blew against Hibs).
A post on Kerrydale Street by Adam Smith 11 jokingly said that Morelos has now missed 47 chances against Celtic in 11 games, 14 of which were one-on-ones with the keeper.
That even sounds a bit on the low side, but what’s certain is that Morelos has a remarkable litany of failure to his name.
Still, the Colombian once again shouldn’t have been on the pitch long enough to suffer further ignominy.
Following on from last year when he lost the plot with a series of assaults on Celtic players, Morelos once again managed to avoid red.
This time, though, the Clown of Colombia got what he deserved from the game. Nothing.
Celtic repelled the man-child’s best efforts and left him, once again, a broken man.
This surely ends any ‘debate’ about who is the best in Scotland. Morelos has won nothing and done nothing in the games that count, excluding picking up red and yellow cards.
Celtic, in fact, have defenders who are better forwards than Morelos when it comes to the big occasion. See Christopher Jullien for starters.
Such is his profligacy in front of goal, he’s almost become a Celtic talisman (although Aberdeen fans will no doubt warmly remember the plastic hardman’s red cards against them too).
As the chances come and go, he increasingly resembles someone who’s two sandwiches short of a full picnic (and 15 quid short of a decent barber).
Here’s some of his best worst moments.
30 December 2017: From three yards out, Morelos gets on the end of a cross from the right. It’s harder to miss that score but Morelos manages to do it, thanks to tremendous reflex save from Craig Gordon. The game finishes in a draw.
11 March 2018: Scott Bain makes his debut in goals for Celtic at Ibrox. The Hoops fall behind twice and then go down to 10 men before Edouard scores what proves to be the winner.
Morelos, again from three yards out has an open goal to aim at after Bain saves, but contrives to hit the post with the ball falling into Bain’s arms. It’s a classic miss, up there with his best and any slim title hopes are extinguished.
15 April 2018: A month later, with Celtic coasting at 3-0 in the Scottish Cup (a draw that Rangers fans had celebrated wildly when the names came out the hat), Morelos was almost reduced to tears when Gordon pulled off a cracker of a save from his header.
That got to him as when he later pounced on an Ajer rebound from the bar, he contrived to fail to score, with Gordon saving his tame effort from all of five yards.
29 April 2018: With the Bhoys 5-0 up after just 53 minutes and cruising to another title, Morelos’s status as a comedy figure is confirmed as his substitute appearance is cheered by Celtic fans. He proceeds to miss a series of chances and is booked after losing his head. His name rings out among the Hoops fans at the game and in Celtic pubs across the country.
Since Rangers fans celebrated the cup draw, Celtic have now won three games (one with ten men), at Parkhead, Ibrox and Hampden and Morelos has had a memorable contribution in all of them for the wrong reasons.
31 March 2019: Angry that April Fools Day was going to start without him, Morelos gets his fifth red card of the season. He tries to by a fly man by goading Brown into a reaction. Brown is way too clever for Morelos and the Colombian manages to fall into his own trap, getting sent off during an incident he instigated.
It’s Wile E Coyote with the exploding dynamite (which goes some way to explaining the hair). Celtic win the game with a late goal and “the gap” that was desperately predicted to close is widened again.
9 December 2019: Nine chances passed up as he shrinks in the shadow of man-mountain Fraser Forster. In between another disastrous performance in this fixture in front of goal, (one highlight being the shot that ended up flying over the bar, above the city, through various weather systems before knocking out a satellite) he was every inch the seething ball of rage that has stalked Scottish football.
He deliberately tried to nobble Jullien, with Celtic already having used up their three subs. When he wasn’t giving his latest slapstick impersonation of a striker, he dived and cheat and fouled his way through the match. He wasn’t the only one, so much so this is the kind of behaviour that has to be sanctioned from the top, but he’s certainly the worst of the bunch.
Celtic have a striker who wins things, scores in big games and makes the difference. Yesterday, he drew the foul that won the game and later sent Johnston off on a run that should have sealed it.
Morelos? If he does one honest thing in football, he’ll admit that more than any Celtic fan, he wants to be Edouard.
Red card on Thursday, anyone?