When the Hammers found themselves the architects of a shock 3-0 win at White Hart Lane back in October of last season, Ravel Morrison’s crowning effort was simply the icing on the cake of what was a great day out for everyone involved with the club.
The 21-year-old England U21 international started a mazy run from inside his own half, and while making the likes of Jan Vertonghen and Michael Dawson look nothing more than school-boy defenders, Morrison finished the move by dinking the ball calmly over an on-rushing Hugo Lloris and into the Tottenham net. It was simply a stunning goal that the Upton Park faithful will not be forgetting any time soon.
While such a display of obvious talent should’ve likely held the ex-Manchester United starlet in good stead, since, his career has been plagued by a series of reported attitude problems and issues off the pitch. So has Ravel Morrison’s time at West Ham finally come to an end, and will the potentially brilliant England star find one last chance to resurrect what’s left of his career this January?
Morrison arrived at Upton Park in 2012 amid claims that even Alex Ferguson couldn’t handle his behaviour and questionable work ethic. His conviction on two counts of witness intimidation certainly didn’t help the young man in his early career, but since Big Sam carried with him a reputation of dealing with big egos and unpopular characters, Morrison’s court action was deemed as nothing new for Allardyce.
When Ferguson decides to give up on any talent however, nine times out of 10 it’s the correct decision and the rest of the Premier League should take note.
Despite coming to terms with ‘that road’ early on in his footballing life, it seems that Ravel Morrison’s initial problems would only serve to continue and intensify for the former Old Trafford man. Subsequent Twitter heat, a release of him wearing an Arsenal shirt while playing for the Hammers, and a return to court, this time for an alleged two counts of assault, have seen the 21-year-old loaned out in each of his three full seasons with Big Sam’s side.
Temporary spells at Birmingham City, QPR and Cardiff City respectively, have each born out of them some renewed hope for the player, but more significantly, marked a further decline and a distinct lack of stability within Morrison’s apparent state of mind.
With all this talk of off-field problems however, it is easy to forget just how effective and special the youngster can be on the pitch. He has a composure on the ball that is just unheard of among his England contemporaries, as well as applaud-worthy skill, vision and a desire to score great goals. If things had gone smoothly for Morrison, the West Ham no.14 could be well on his way to a Paul Pogba-style renaissance.
Now that Cardiff City have called time early on his loan deal, the man believed to become England’s ‘next Gazza’ now has very few options left on the table to resurrect his career.
While Fulham, Swansea and even CSKA Moscow have been touted as the surprise contenders to land Morrison’s signature in the past, former boss Harry Redknapp is currently believed to be keen on bringing the undeniable talent back to Loftus Road. The likes of Charlie Austin and Eduardo Vargas would certainly benefit from playing alongside the 21-year-old, and as the former United star would most definitely inject some sheer creativity into QPR’s side, Redknapp could be the beneficiary of a shrewd bit of business (as ever).
As his footballing life has so far been anything but smooth sailing, anything could happen to Morrison in his attempts to land the perfect career move. What does look more certain however, is that after several disputes and failed loan spells, this troubled but talented player’s time at West Ham looks to be well and truly over.