Those of a certain vintage will remember the explosive impact a young Charlie Nicholas had on Scottish football.
Rated as the best young player to emerge at Parkhead in years and talented enough to fill the huge hole left by Kenny Dalglish three seasons earlier.
Rangers at the time had a striker, John MacDonald, who was around six months older.
The Ibrox side were toiling. They would go eight years without a league title between 1978 and 1987, nine years without a victory at Celtic Park and would win a solitary Scottish Cup during that period.
Their fans delusions of supremacy would be sustained four wins in the League Cup, the football equivalent to running on fumes.
When Charlie’s star was at its brightest, there had to be an equivalent constructed in the media and that’s where MacDonald came in. Two emerging strikers doing battle for the two ‘biggest’ teams in the country (despite the fact that it was Aberdeen and to a lesser extent Dundee United who were Celtic’s main rivals in those years).
Rangers would finish those seasons in 2nd, 5th, 3rd, 3rd, 4th, 4th, 4th, and 5th place respectively. The dwindling crowds needed hope and relevance and so some commentators started to talk of MacDonald and Nicholas in the same breath.
MacDonald’s contribution was largely to take a dive, like the submarine Polaris he was nicknamed after.
In reality, the only comparison between the players was that they were both born in 1961 and played football for a living.
A similar debate apparently “raged” between Kris Boyd and Henrik Larsson. Suffice to say, it was risible then as it is now.
There really isn’t a debate.
Let’s break this down a little. Edouard can take the ball from the halfway line, beat men and have the composure to finish. Left foot, right foot, inside or outside the box, he’ll find the net. Goals in Europe, cup final winners, important goals against top of the table sides, including five against Rangers. The man for the big occasion.
Edouard plays a clean game. No histrionics, no diving, conniving, off the ball shenanigans. He’s still developing and at his current rate could end up playing in any league for a top team. Just as Dembele did, he’s taking his chances with France U21s and his reputation continues to grow. When he goes, he’ll earn the club its highest ever transfer fee although, hopefully, Celtic have the pleasure of his services for a few years yet though.
Contrast that with Morelos. No goals in semi-finals far less winners in finals. No goals against Celtic. His main contribution in matches against Aberdeen is to head for an early bath.
Edouard collects trophies while Morelos has picked up more red and yellow cards than it took to cover Mo Bangura’s motor.
He’s been booked against Celtic at least four times and been sent off once. He should have far more reds, with John Beaton inexplicably failing to send him off for more offences than Charles Bronson in last December’s game alone.
This season, having been left on the bench in Rangers’ biggest game of the season, he showed why Gerrard doesn’t trust him by laying a fly off-the-ball boot on Scott Brown and stepping Jullien’s instep.
His miss for Colombia was one of the greatest of all time (at 0:58 on the video below).
The man for the small occasion.
Despite “reports” of £10m bids from China and “offers” of £200k a week, which he “turned down”, Gerrard said in May that the highest bid he’d received for the liability that is Morelos was for a mere €3m.
Rangers fans need equivalence, just as they did in the 80s. The club they follow now has failed to win a trophy. The fumes they exist on come from the Petrofac Cup (once your name is on it, you can’t get it off!) without even a sniff of a League Cup.
Never before has a club or it’s fans been so keen to punt a “hero”. The club, most likely, need to drive the price up to keep the lights on, while the fans will think they’ve hit the big time again after their “journey” if they get top dollar for Morelos. If Dembele went for £20m the argument goes, the Alfredo will go for “at least” that.
Unable to compete on the pitch, the need to rival in Celtic in some aspect (YouTube views anyone?) has manifested in this desperation to match a transfer fee.
This, for a player whose name has rung out during and after Celtic games most often from fans bedecked in green and white.
As with Nicholas “versus” MacDonald and Larsson “versus” Boyd, the only comparison with Edouard and Morelos is there’s no comparison.