Ravel Morrison

From Manchester United to Mexico: Ravel Morrison’s fall from grace

Once heralded as Manchester United’s new golden boy, Ravel Morrison now finds himself striving to salvage his crippling and peripatetic career in the depths of the Mexican League with Atlas FC. His recent move further raises the question as to what exactly went wrong for one of England’s most prodigious talent.

If there was one player almost certain for greatness from United’s youth ranks back in 2010, it has to be Morrison. In a team blessed with an abundance of young talents like Paul Pogba, Jese Lingard and Michael Keane, Morrison was the anointed one. A beguiling playmaker with electrifying feet, surging pace and an eye for the outrageous, the Wythenshawe-born had it all. Such that his coaches dubbed him the next Paul Scholes.

However, his behaviour away from the pitch wasn’t particularly as colourful as his performances on it. He was once found in a car filled with drugs and guns. Before that, he picked up a caution for assaulting his mother. Shortly after scoring twice in the FA Youth Cup, he was fined £600 for throwing a girlfriend’s phone out of a window during an argument. Too much snag from just one man. At this point, Sir Alex Ferguson reached the end of his tether. A call was made to old friend Sam Allardyce.

“It was painful to sell him to West Ham in January 2012 because he could have been a fantastic player, ” the Scot said in his 2015 book titled Leading. “But, over a period of several years, the problems off the pitch continued to escalate and so we had little option but to cut the cord.”

Big Sam, promptly admired Morrison’s raw talent, accepting he needed regular first-team football and sent him to Championship outfit Birmingham City. Though his attitude didn’t change much, Morrison managed to put up a string of stunning displays. Enthused by his revival in the Midlands, Allardyce recalled the player with the belief that the troubled youngster was at last maturing. There were even rumours of an England call-up.

Then, as is so often the case with Morrison, just when everything finally seemed to be coming together, it fell apart again. With suggestions of poor attitude and indiscipline reappearing once more, he was sent on loan to Queens Park Rangers. Harry Redknapp helped him to blossom and reignite the club’s faltering promotion push. Morrison even scored twice on his return to St. Andrew’s.

He was an unused substitute in the play-off final at Wembley as QPR made it to the Premier League. Hopes that he would seize the initiative after a year of fluctuating fortunes went unrealised, as Morrison played seven games on loan at Cardiff before being sidelined and sent back to West Ham early. At the end of his contract in the summer of 2015, he moved to Lazio on a four-year deal. Despite agitating to come home ever since Mexico is set to be his next destination.

Not like he had no offers from England. Birmingham where he practically spent the whole preseason on trial were reluctant to pay more than a small proportion of his wages to take him off Lazio’s hands. Reason being he now represents something of a risk. Not one that Redknapp felt was worth taking too much on.

“We made an offer, it was only a very small offer to Lazio because I feel Ravel is not quite where he was at, at the moment,” the ex-Tottenham boss told Sky Sports.

Today Pogba and Lingard are key cogs in the Red Devils team while Keane has established himself as one of the best young defenders in the Premier League. Well, for Morrison, he has to now contend with scraping the barrel to make a career. Whichever way, the 24-year-old has another opportunity to at least prove to himself (if not everyone) that he isn’t just yet finished.

About the Author Toby

An unrepentant soccer freak other freaks call geek.

Leave a Comment: