Let me begin with a depressing realisation, Ravel Morrison is arguably England’s answer to Mario Balotelli. A player seemingly destined to have his natural born talent overshadowed by his questionable attitude and off-the-field antics. Except unlike Balotelli, Morrison’s ‘indiscretions’ aren’t the light-hearted anecdotes of buying a trampoline when your mum sends you to John Lewis in search of an iron.

Morrison has quickly built a reputation as a stereotypical youth prospect driven only by financial greed rather than the lust to develop as a player. As a result the talented youngster soon found himself departing Old Trafford having failed to heed the famous words of Sir Matt Busby:

“You don’t need to chase money at a club like Manchester United, it will eventually find you. If you’re good enough, you will earn money and become rich playing for us, there’s no doubt about it.” (Mirror)

The new season therefore represents the perfect opportunity to prove a point and build on the elements that made the early stage of his career so promising. The same could be said for his new manager Lee Clark, who secured a 12-month loan deal for the youngster following his arrival at Birmingham, just four months after his shock dismissal from high-flying Huddersfield.

Clark has wasted little time in luring key figures to St Andrew’s who boast a wealth of Championship experience, which is perhaps why many fans were surprised to see Morrison join his list of imports. Squad harmony has proved a valuable trait for the recent success stories of Reading and Blackpool, so how will the current Birmingham squad react to the introduction of a potentially disruptive influence?

If Morrison was expecting an easy ride at Birmingham then he should brace himself for the barrage of expectation set to come his way. His goalscoring debut performance in the recent friendly against Royal Antwerp prompted Clark to compare the starlet to a young Paul Gascoigne, another talented player to have a career submerged in controversy.

I was lucky enough to be around when a young Paul Gascoigne broke on to the scene at Newcastle…He just had this aura about him, that the ball was like a magnet to him.

“Ravel, without putting too much pressure on him, in terms of that is similar.

“Ravel has got that type of mentality where he always wants to be on the ball, he’s always trying to create things. He has got great composure.” (Birmingham Mail)

Perhaps fans are dreaming that Morrison could mimic the exploits of Adel Taarabt during QPR’s stunning surge to the Premier League in 2011. Both players share the same creative flair, an eye for goal and even a tendency to have a tantrum if things don’t go their way. Morrison does possess a lethal left foot, a rare attribute in modern football, which he demonstrated in the 2011 FA Youth Cup quarter-final victory over Liverpool. That game is to date Morrison’s greatest individual performance, which gives an insight into his minimal impact on the first-team of both the Manchester United and West Ham.

Morrison has endured a chaotic past six months as the subject of two big moves in quick succession. The upheaval of his life in Manchester has only benefited one person, his agent, which perhaps highlights the growing victimisation of the country’s next generation of stars. It’s easy to forget that Morrison is just 19-years-old having been the focal point of much excited debate since he signed his first professional contract in 2007. The Championship will prove a daunting and physical test for Morrison who will need to find the correct mentality in order to flourish.

The sound of the first whistle on Saturday will heap the pressure onto Lee Clark, not only to continue the progress made under Chris Hughton but also to satisfy the underlying expectations of a strong push for the playoffs. Ravel Morrison will either be perceived as the catalyst to make such a target realistic or the ticking time bomb Big Sam has carefully offloaded to ensure his own ambitions aren’t impeded.

Join me on Twitter @theunusedsub

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  • Sean
    2 years ago

    Maybe he wouldn’t be compared to Balotelli if every terrible journalist didn’t try and draw comparisons. Ravel Morrison has committed 2 ‘crimes’ as such in his life, the witness intimidation when he was 16/17 and the ‘homophobic’ tweet, in which all he said was ‘faggot’ and he used it as a generic insult in the same way kids say ‘that is gay.’ They obviously do not mean that the thing in question is homosexual, IT IS A GENERIC INSULT NOWADAYS!! No difference than twat, prick, bellend, faggot is the same as those.

    So aside from those what has he done to make you compare him to Balotelli? Last year he spent the season playing in the development squad at West Ham, getting on with his job, lingering on the first team without making a fuss.

    Maybe he has grown up and is ready to leave his past behind him but it’s people like you that won’t let him because you feel the need to write a pointless article highlighting all his flaws every time he moves club or makes the squad or does anything of note?

    Reply
    • Will Taylor
      2 years ago

      I could have easily dedicated an entire article to the indiscretions of Ravel Morrison, however it seems pretty clear you’ve only read the first two paragraphs.

      The comparisons to Balotelli are obvious – similar type of player, troubled childhood, fell out with a high profile manager (Jose and Fergie), personal life overshadows events on the pitch. Whether you think any of these are ‘fair’ or not is another matter.

      Balotelli proved his credentials at Euro 2012, I’m simply waiting for Morrison to do the same in the Championship.

      Reply
    • josh
      2 years ago

      completley agree i have been watching rav since he was 15 and the media love to highlight and make the most out of everything he does. you say you could of written an entire article i dont think so some how. bar what you already stated he had a ‘domestic’ argument with his gf which i am sure we have all had at times. yes it will be his own downfall id he does not hit dizzy heights because he has sublime natural talent but give him a break he got MOM today and its like you all forget he’s english why not encourage so our national team will also have a bright future, you know were not too great at the minute!

      Reply
      • Will Taylor
        2 years ago

        Man of the match? He was subbed after 60 minutes…

        Reply
  • Alex
    2 years ago

    I agree with Sean/Josh, Journo’ are far too quick to latch on to the same negatives about him, give him a chance to play a few games, i think he will shine this season. Make no mistake he is a top drawer player. And yes, he did get Man of the Match and was subbed after 60 mins… whats your point?

    Reply
  • Antonio W. Burns
    2 years ago

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