Ravel Morrison was once described as Manchester United’s best talent since George Best, which with his age at the time was a flattering thing to be said about the player. Sir Alex Ferguson had a god eye for talent and Morrison was going to go a long way in the game, or so it was thought at the time. It never worked for him at United for a number of reasons. Going into the slightest detail in his book, Leading, Ferguson said:
“Sadly, there are examples of players who have similar backgrounds to Ryan Giggs or Cristiano Ronaldo who, despite enormous natural talent, just aren’t emotionally or mentally strong enough to overcome the hurts of their childhood and their inner demons.”
Morrison left United in January 2012, signing for West Ham United. It was not going to work at United because of the off the field activity he had got himself involved in – Manchester’s gang culture. It is not the best thing for a footballer to do, especially one as talented as Morrison was. He had a chance to get his career back on track, away from Manchester. At the time he signed for Sam Allardyce’s Hammers, Ferguson also said:
“A brilliant footballer. Brilliant ability. Top class ability. Needs to get away from Manchester and start a new life.”
At West Ham, Morrison made 24 appearances scoring five goals in three seasons. He was loaned to Birmingham City (30 appearances, three goals), Queens Park Rangers (17 appearances, six goals) and Cardiff City (seven appearances, no goals) before the player signed a pre-contract agreement with Lazio in January 2015 this his contract was terminated with the Hammers the following month. He made eight appearances scoring no goals for Lazio before becoming unsettled and was loaned out again.
This time, Morrison headed back to QPR (five appearances, no goals). He then spent the 2017/18 season on loan with Atlas in Mexico, making 25 appearances and scoring four goals. He returned to Lazio where his contract expired. He then signed for Östersund in Sweden, signing a six month contract, making nine appearances, scoring one goal. It just seemed like it was not going to work for him. It was not his fault though!
That will be according to the player, it was never his fault. There is an age old saying, ‘talent can only take you so far, hard work will take you to the top’, or words to that effect. I am sure you understand what I mean. Morrison had plenty of talent but the lack of hard work was the problem. Players who fail never seem to blame themselves. There is always an excuse. For Morrison, he needed to have many. Failure seemed to be everywhere.
In July 2019, Morrison was given another opportunity to find his feet by Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder. It was a chance for the player to right all his wrongs, and there were many of them. However, fast forward six months into his one-year deal and the player, after making four appearances scoring no goals, Morrison was loaned out to Middlesbrough where he made three appearances. He was send back to the Blades with one match remaining – clearly another failure.
Who do you blame when what seemed like a last chance resulted in even more failure? Well, you take to Twitter and tell people that they ‘could never walk in the shoes he has walked in’. It would seem the feel sorry for me mentality is now coming out and it will not work, almost like all the chances he has had during his career so far. How many chances can someone get and then not pay them back with hard work and determination? Morrison, on his Twitter account, said:
“Don’t compare me to your average, there’s different levels…
“There’s no next Ravel Morrison [or] he’s the same as Ravel Morrison because they have hiccups. I’ve had life struggles, the amount of obstacles I have had to climb in my life use will never understand.
“You could never walk in the shoes I’ve walked in, never and will NEVER come across scenes of what my eyes have seen, sometimes in life things plan out perfect and sometimes things are just not ment to be!
“Life can be difficult sometimes. BUT I’m born to [lose], Built to win amen. Just don’t judge me before you no me [sic].”
It is a shame that it happened this way. The lad had a massive amount go talent in his locker and if he had applied that correctly and put in the work, instead of getting involved in gang culture, it might have been so much different for him. The best thing the 27-year-old can do now is look at his list of failings, take ownership of them, deal with his inner demons and try to find a way to make it all right. In football though, he might not get another opportunity to create a career for himself and that is only down to him.
Written by John Walker