Ravel Morrison, West Ham’s New Hero
Football fans around the country were shocked when the full time whistle blew in a muted White Hart Lane. A monumental victory for the hammers inspired by their man of the moment Ravel Morrison. Praise for the 20 year old’s mature performances this season have been continuous with Sam Allardyce labelling his glorious solo effort on Sunday as ‘genius’ and it’s the West Ham boss who should be taking the credit for Ravel’s progression. Signed from the Red Devils on January deadline day 2012, Allardyce offered the youngster a ticket out of Manchester and a fresh start to prove why so many professionals were singing his praises.
Ravel’s ego was something that the red half of Manchester could not control. Countless incidents with the police including witness intimidation, using homophobic language on social media site Twitter and conviction of criminal damage left him making a name for himself off the pitch rather than on it. After there were more appearances in court than on the pitch, Sir Alex called it time on Ravel’s career in Manchester although the echo’s from the courtroom suggest that Ravel was not given enough support from the club and that money was not the issue after Fergie previously stating that Ravel’s behaviour was because of ‘unrealistic’ money demands.
After being told he could leave the club it took a brave decision from Sam Allardyce to sign the troubled youngster who was chasing interest from some of Europe’s big clubs. Allardyce’s faith in Ravel is increasingly looking like a marvellous piece of business as the youngster appears to have put his troubles behind and his head down at the east London side.
His early season form has led to Gareth Southgate naming Ravel in his under 21 squad to take on San Marino and Lithuania in this week’s European championship qualifiers. There is no doubting that Ravel could become a key international for England but there is doubts whether his loyalty lies to Roy Hodgson and the England set up. After taking to his twitter account to voice his concern on which country to represent it is vital that that Hodgson and the FA do all in their power to stop this wonderful talent representing Jamaica over England.
This Premier League season has seen players like Everton’s Ross Barkley and West Brom’s Saido Berahino show that English talent can come through in top clubs and excel in our multi-national league where youth systems are becoming overpowered by talent from around the world. If Ravel was to choose Jamaica over England it would be a huge blow for Hodgson’s team who have slipped to 17th in the world rankings – their lowest ranking for 12 years.
The next 12 months are crucial for Ravel Morrison. If he stays out of trouble he could lead West Ham to another successful Premier League season and push established internationals to a place in Roy Hodgson’s much desired World Cup squad.