Between the Lines

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Posts Tagged ‘Ravel Morrison’

Pavane for a Departed Prince

Posted by hakanrylander on February 1, 2012

Yesterday brought an awful lot of good news. A comfortable win over Stoke City, including a Paul Scholes masterclass and a sensational Paul Pogba PL debut. Darron Gibson scoring a cracker to help Everton beat City. And us snatching a great(?) young defender from our noisy neighbours.

It was almost enough to make me forget Ravel Morrison. Almost.

Ravel is by all accounts one of the most talented footballers of his generation. Top journalist Henry Winter has described him as  “a wonderfully skilful youngster who could grace England’s midfield for years to come” and “better than Jack Wilshere“. Others have called him the new Paul Gascoigne or the new Paul Scholes.

But talent alone is never enough to reach the pinnacles of sport. The long and successful careers of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are certainly based on great talent, but also on dedication, discipline and hard work. Morrison apparently lacked in all three of these departments.

A move to London and a new environment might help, particularly if he can loose his gangster entourage. With some first team opportunities he might just rise quickly to star status at West Ham. I will certainly try to follow his progress (or lack of) at West Ham. Time will tell whether he will be remembered as an England great or a talent sadly gone to waste.

Good luck, Ravel.


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A Star is Born

Posted by hakanrylander on October 26, 2011

I know this was only 20 minutes with the game already won against Aldershot Town who are fighting for survival in League Two. But in those twenty minutes the game changed from a satisfying but routine dismissal of Carling Cup fodder to an electrifying glimpse of the future. All because of the introduction of Ravel Morrison.

You have to wonder what the coaches told him before he came on. As he replaced Diouf I expected him to stick to the left side of midfield. Instead he roamed all over the pitch and was involved in virtually every attacking move, mainly from a central attacking midfield position. This was not a shy youngster finding his feet, but a star intent on running the show. My favourite moment was when he tried to convince Berbatov to step away from a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area.

Morrison strikes me as the kind of player who would benefit from playing alongside and against top class players, much like Rooney or Wilshere. Sir Alex, however, does not seem to plan a fast track for him to the first team. Possibly because his confidence/arrogance tends to get him into trouble off the field.

Unusually for a player who has featured so rarely in the first team, Morrison has a national cheer-leader in top journalist Henry Winter. Winter has praised Ravel on numerous ooccasions rating him as “better than Wilshere and Rodwell” and he’s at it again in The Telegraph this morning writing that Morrison “flowed across the ground all smooth, confident movement“. I suspect that Mr Winter has been right all along.

I would put him (Morrison) on the bench against Everton.


Posted in Manchester United, Match Reports, Player Analysis | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

England try to help Morrison back on track

Posted by hakanrylander on October 7, 2010

In the Daily Telegraph Henry Winter again praises the talent of United youngster Ravel Morrison, but he also adds further proof that the lad has off-field problems that appear to hinder his very promising career. In an interview with England Under-19 coach Noel Blake Winter writes:

The FA also focuses on ensuring the teenagers in its temporary care develop as rounded individuals as well as footballers.

“That’s absolutely massive,’’ said Blake. “What we do off the field is as important as on. So when we play for our country we’ve got to be good tourists and portray good manners.’’

One of the best teenagers is Ravel Morrison, a midfielder at Manchester United who has off-field issues.

“We are trying to work very closely with the club,’’ said Blake. “He’s a very talented boy but he has to help himself as well.’’

The exact nature of the off-field issues is unclear, but let’s hope that the joint efforts of Blake and Ferguson can get Morrison back on track. The early signs this season are positive as Morrison has played regularly for the Reserves and Under-18s. Last week he scored a good goal for the U18s against Blackburn.

Posted in Manchester United, Player Analysis | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Conspiracy to make Ravel Morrison a World Cup star

Posted by hakanrylander on November 13, 2009

I’m beginning to think there is more to Telegraph’s recent articles about our 16-year-old academy player Ravel Morrison than meets the eye. In fact, I think they might be part of a long-term scheme to make him a star for United and England.

Morrison is a tremendous talent. Telegraph’s football correspondent Henry Winter rates his potential as better than Jack Wilshere of Arsenal and up with Jack Rodwell of Everton. Two players who are generally acknowledged as perhaps the two hottest teenage prospects in England.

But Ravel also has an attitude problem. He is rumoured to be difficult to handle and not to be overly commited to training. The official site today published an article about 17-year-old midfielder Robbie Brady. Brady is asked who is the worst trainer at United and his answer is: “I’ll say Ravel Morrison. When he’s on his game he’s quality. But I reckon it’s just when he fancies it!”

So Alex Ferguson has on his hands a superbly talented youngster who is not motivated enough to put in the hard work necessary to reach the pinnacles of the sport. I suppose that all coaches at United are aware of this and that everything possible is done to strengthen Morrison’s motivation. But someone might have felt that it could be further lifted by the support from a very respected football writer. This would have the added advantage that it would raise the awareness among people around Morrison that he is “a potential gem for 2014”. I therefore believe that someone (SAF?) has had a word with Henry Winter.

This fits with my assumption that Henry Winter can hardly have found out about Morrison’s quality by stalking football grounds in the Manchester suburbs. I would be surprised if Winter himself has seen a single one of our youth team games during the last twelve months. In his position I can’t see how he could find the time to.

All in all, a nice plot if it works. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Posted in Player Analysis | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Quote of the Day

Posted by hakanrylander on November 13, 2009

“The case against Ferguson lacks perspective. It is like hounding Barack Obama for double-parking outside the White House. ”

“This is the club boss who could supply more than half of England’s starting XI in Ben Foster, Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Owen Hargreaves and Rooney, let alone cultivating Ravel Morrison as a potential gem for 2014. Better than Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere, certainly up there with Jack Rodwell, if Morrison does emerge as the pre-eminent English footballer of his generation, it will be because of a certain Scot’s shrewd guidance.”

Henry Winter in the Telegraph.

Better than Wilshere, up there with Rodwell… As you might remember from my previous post I rate Rodwell as the most promising teenager in the PL. Maybe only because I’ve never seen Morrison in action. Please give him a game in the Carling Cup!

Posted in Manchester United | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

“A youngster who could grace England’s midfield for years to come”

Posted by hakanrylander on October 14, 2009

In an article in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph, their Football Correspondent  Henry Winter claims that we have “a gem” and future England star in our academy.

“There is also a wonderfully skilful but wayward youngster at United’s academy who could grace England’s midfield for years to come – but only if he responds to Ferguson’s intelligent guidance. If Ferguson can rein him in, United and England have a gem.”

This is extraordinary praise from one of Britain’s top football writers. Most likely he’s refering to Ravel Morrison who is a 16-year-old midfielder/winger playing for United’s Under-18’s. The official site describes him as “a skilful, creative midfielder capable of scoring and making goals”. He was recently picked in the England squad for the UEFA Under-17 qualification starting in late October.

It’s unlikely that Henry Winter watches a lot of our Under-18 games or relies only on youtube compilations. More likely his very positive assessment is based on interviews with insiders at Carrington or the FA.

Telegraph describes Morrison as “wayward”  and on different internet forums he’s rumoured to have an attitude problem and be hard to handle. More worrying is that he was caught up in a guns and drugs bust five months ago. He was in a car stopped by the police and officers are believed to have found drugs and guns in the car (at least according to the Mirror). This explains why Ferguson might need to reign him in.

I’ve previously read some positive reports on Morrison, mainly at United Youth who offers by far the best coverage of our youth teams, but following the Telegraph article it will be even more interesting to follow his progress.

Posted in Player Analysis | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »