Hands up…did anyone seriously believe that Sir Alex Ferguson would finally give up on an unpolished diamond (that’s football wise, not human being wise) unless he had exhausted every possible avenue, and was convinced in his own mind that the potential benefits were simply not worth the effort, the disruption, and the negative press that stuck to the lad like you-know-what to a blanket? The fact that Ravel Morrison continues to un-ravel in the most spectacular and cringe making ways should surprise no one.
Our very own plastic gangster saw Fergie off, and as long as he is involved in the beautiful game, will do the same with every manager who tries to tame him; Big Sam Allardyce’s legendary ego wont allow him to play out constant media battles with our Arsenal loving playmaker, and his recent declaration that Morrison didn’t feature in his plans seems to have been based on a knowledge and understanding of the boy’s inner workings that was witnessed at close quarters and in high definition, technicolour and 3-D. For once the portly gum chewer from Dudley seems to have called things correctly, only to be over ruled by his paymasters.
The current unsavoury court case, yet another, and the recent posing in his Ferrari dressed in an Arsenal shirt reveal the inner workings of an immature and confused mind. There is no balance or focus, no understanding of acceptable and responsible behaviour. His is a world of flash, cash and trash. There is a cocky swagger that is designed to both impress and intimidate in equal measure; perhaps understandable given his background, age and new found financial wellbeing, but nonetheless lamentable given his status as a high profile Premier League player where, like it or not, standards of decency and behaviour just have to be as clean as they can be.
The fact that young Morrison has spent more time in the prison exercise yard than on the training pitch just days before the new season opener against Tottenham Hotspur is as damning as its gets. Andy Carroll is injured, Enner Valencia is recovering from the World Cup. Places have become available when against all the odds it looked like his Hammers career (?) was over before it had really started. Would most youngsters with a second chance (we still don’t know how many Alex Ferguson gave him) not be busting a gut to make that elusive first-team squad, to get fit, to train hard and to grab every opportunity with both hands? Yes, most would. But this is a troubled soul who just doesn’t get it. Who hasn’t grasped just how talented he is, how lucky he is, and how delicately balanced his football future is.
Although positive by nature, I genuinely fear for Ravel Morrison and for his future. Given the catalogue of issues that need to be dealt with by West Ham and Allardyce, I suggest further limited and precious time spent on managing and coaxing and pleading with this ticking bomb is hard to justify, and now is the time to cut losses and move on. Time spent keeping tabs on Morrison could be spent encouraging young talent that has a desire to improve and flourish; the Elliot Lees and Dan Potts of this world.
Alex Ferguson rarely made mistakes.and he knew for sure that releasing Ravel Morrison was necessary for both his, and his club’s wellbeing. I fear that West Ham now have a serious decision to make.