A story on the Guardian’s website this week claimed that United youngster Ravel Morrison’s future at the club was “hanging in the balance.”
Morrison who turns 18 in a fortnight, has for the last year or so been touted as one of the most naturally gifted players to emerge from United’s academy in recent memory.
Morrison’s performances for both the academy and more recently the reserves have won him many admirers and even led to a cameo for the first-team in the Carling Cup.
The Wythenshawe-born youngster is a fast-paced strong, skilful winger who doesn’t look too out of place playing just behind who ever’s leading the line.
The reason the young winger’s Old Trafford future isn’t secure has nothing to do with his footballing ability or his desire to play elsewhere. No, like many young players who come from some of the less affluent areas Morrison has found himself with a reputation for shall we say ‘running in certain circles.’
It’s all been a bit ambiguous as to what exactly the young Mancunian midfielder has actually done wrong although there has been rumours of some sort of charge for ‘witness intimidation’ or something along those lines. These are only rumours though and as of yet there is no evidence, at least not in the public domain, to support them.
Morrison had supposedly been suspended from playing by United for ‘off the field issues’ however again there is no real evidence to substantiate what is going on.
I’ve met Morrison a couple of times in my part-time job at the Powerleague and while it’s obvious he is a little rough around the edges, he seems no different from any of the other lads we get in there, who come from certain areas.
Admittedly, occasionally meeting him hardly qualifies me to make a judgement on his character and I like many other Reds would be hard pressed to tell you if he really is a troubled youngster or not.
The problem many United fans have is two-fold. Firstly : Morrison’s actions remain clouded in mystery, no one really knows what is actually going on and even though you could fill a novel with all the rumours, theories and conjecture surrounding him, it’s all still very murky. Secondly- Morrison seems to be one of the most naturally gifted players the club has produced in the past few years, anyone who seen him play will testify that he has bags of skill and could easily go all the way.
If we were talking about a player who was merely ‘good’ we wouldn’t be talking- if that makes sense to anyone.
Morrison is the type of player who stands out to you, when you’re watching some of the brightest young stars in English football, and that for me speaks volumes.
There’s no doubt that thanks to the Guardian story Sir Alex will feel the need to act one way or the other, either issuing a statement declaring Morrison is fine and staying at United or perhaps issuing a press release saying he’s left the club.
Personally, despite the problems having a troubled player like Morrison at United could potentially cause, I’d like to see the club give him a chance and try and salvage his career.
I’m hoping someone like Wes Brown, who grew up in Longsight and was once reported to be at loggerheads with Sir Alex over moving out of the area, can put his arm round Morrison – or get him a headlock and talk a bit of sense to him.
It all may depend on Morrison himself, after all we’d all probably give our right arm to play for United but not every supremely talented teenager always feels the same, or has the real sort of foresight.
Ravel Morrison’s career is at a crossroads and although he may only be 17, if he’s not careful he could end up looking back on it with a mixture of regret and anger rather than contentment and pride. I for one certainly hope it’s the latter.
Read more of Justin’s articles at the excellent ‘Red Flag Flying High’