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Stephen Craigan: Old Firm fans should enjoy Edouard and Morelos while they can and Tommy Wright deserves more time at St Johnstone

Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard
Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard
Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos
Stephen Craigan

By Stephen Craigan

As we know, in Glasgow football fans seldom even agree to disagree when it comes to their team and their opinion.

So, on the debate as to who is the better striker between Celtic's Odsonne Edouard and Rangers' Alfredo Morelos, it's no surprise that both sets of supporters are loyal to their own man.

Both men have been linked heavily with moves away from their respective club in the near future and if I'm honest the speculation is becoming a bit boring and repetitive.

I'm fully aware that agents have a job to do but both young men are thriving in their current environment so let them continue to shine rather than speculate as to where they will be playing next.

Having watched Edouard and Morelos in action over the past few seasons, what I've noticed is that they're top-class strikers but are very much different in their style.

Edouard - who is the most expensive player in Celtic's history at £9m - has really grown into the role as the Hoops' main striker since Neil Lennon returned to the club in January. Prior to the Ulsterman coming back, Edouard looked a bit lost at times and uninterested but Neil has brought the best out of the young Frenchman.

His style of play is for the football purist, of that there's no doubt. The way he glides across the grass with such grace is a joy to watch. His link-up play and first touch are exquisite at times and for Ryan Christie, James Forrest and Callum McGregor who play in behind him, he must be a dream to play with. He's always available for the ball.

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He doesn't like to stay central but rather loves to drift into wide areas as well as dropping deeper at times into a No.10 role, which makes him difficult for central defenders to pick up.

His movement is very clever and it creates space for his team-mates to exploit.

He also seems a very unselfish player and is quite happy to assist goals for others.

Edouard has scored some vitally important goals, including an Old Firm winner as well as netting the two efforts that sealed the historic treble treble last season.

As for Morelos, he's a typical old-fashioned centre forward who loves a good scrap and battle with defenders. His main strength is playing with his back to goal and he loves defenders getting tight to him so he can use his physical prowess to roll away from them.

Through sheer desire and determination, Morelos can occupy a back four on his own at times because of his strong running power and his willingness to lead the line for his team.

He's a great foil for his Rangers team-mates because they know they can throw the ball up to him and he will do everything in his power to secure it for them.

He also has a single-mindedness once he enters the 18-yard box and thinks of nothing but goals, which is a trait top strikers possess. His goal in Porto on Thursday night highlights that. Ruthless.

Sixty-four goals in his 112 games for Rangers tells you that Morelos knows where the net is - although some will point out he's yet to score in an Old Firm game and that gives Edouard the edge.

I'm sure Lennon and Steven Gerrard are happy with their respective striker and won't care about what others think, however the debate will rage on as to who is better.

If truth be told, it's all about personal preference as to whether people want more of a link-up centre forward in Edouard or one who carries the fight to defenders in Morelos. Either way, I'd say enjoy them both while they're here because if their current form is anything to go by, they won't be here for long.

Wright will be hurting, but no doubt he has done plenty to deserve more time

It was only a year or so ago that Tommy Wright was being mentioned in glowing terms as a candidate to become the new Rangers manager before Steven Gerrard was appointed.

But as it stands today, Tommy is the only manager in the Scottish Premiership not to have won a league game this season.

Tommy is by far St Johnstone's most successful manager having won the Scottish Cup back in 2014, the club's only major trophy. That alone is credit in the bank and deserves calm in this difficult situation.

That seems a long time ago, though, as he tries to arrest his side's slow start to the campaign.

St Johnstone should be aiming for survival every season yet Tommy has raised the bar during his spell by pushing for the top six year-on-year and has delivered European football on numerous occasions. No one will be hurting more than Tommy and he knows a win can kickstart their season. He will hope it comes today against Hamilton.

He pulled no punches last weekend when he said both he and the players were letting the club down. Strong words indeed.

I've always admired Tommy's honesty, I just hope his players do and he gets the response and win he deserves.

Belfast Telegraph


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