Alfredo Morelos apologised to Newco fans for his red card on Sunday. The incident, which marked the troubled striker as the player sent off more times in a single season than anyone in the history of European football, may yet do him good. The Mea Culpa moment and the weeks suspended from action will provide an opportunity to the player to get some help.
You and me have previously discussed how clever you need to be to be a footballer these days. Now, it is not all about having brains in your feet, as it was in Charlie Nicholas’ days. Footballers need to make hundreds of decisions in line with tactical plans each game. They also need emotional intelligence to make the most of their talent. Managers will only invest time in players who cannot learn for so long. Gordon Strachan’s limit was telling a player something three times, after that, he moved on.
Of immediate concern is what the SFA Review Panel will do to Ryan Kent, Newco’s best player on Sunday, who delivered an upper cut to Scott Brown in the aftermath of James Forrest’s winning goal. Punching off the ball is rare in the game. Bilel Mohsni’s punch on Motherwell’s Lee Erwin in 2015 resulted in an additional three-match ban for “excessive misconduct” on top of a one game ban for the red card, and another three for totting up. Kent is 22-years-old, a guiding ban at this stage of a fruitless season would not be the worst thing for the player. The rate card indicates he should spend four games contemplating his violence.