Out of favour West Ham midfielder Ravel Morrison, currently on loan at Cardiff City, has been likened to the world’s most expensive player – Gareth Bale.
The comparison was made by Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp, who suggested in his latest book ‘A Man Walks On To a Pitch’ that his former loanee has the talent of Real Madrid superstar Bale but is being held back by his poor attitude.
The 21-year-old has often been a point of controversy and has had more than a few off-the-field incidents that have made the news and overshadowed his footballing potential. He was once considered one of Manchester United’s brightest prospects, likened to Old Trafford favourite Paul Scholes by Sir Alex Ferguson, yet with all his ability there has always been something preventing him from fulfilling his potential.
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has never been convinced by the England under-21 international and has stated that his loan spell at Cardiff is his last chance to prove himself worthy of a place in his squad. Despite impressing in the first-half of the last campaign – he scored three goals in 15 Premier League appearances – Allardyce still decided to send Morrison out on loan to QPR, where he endured his fair share of struggles.
Big Sam clearly isn’t a fan of Morrison and if it wasn’t for the board’s desire to keep him, he probably would have been sold in the summer. Redknapp, however, insists that he saw enough at QPR to convince him that he has real star potential.
“There was one game last season when we’d lost confidence and were losing. I asked him to change his position, to play on the left. His face fell into a petulant pout," Sportsmail reported. “I pulled him away from the rest, took him outside and explained as patiently as the time allowed. “Ravel, we are losing the ******* game,” I said. “I just want you to play there and do a job for the team. We have to win the game. It’s not about you, OK? It’s about the team.
‘”People look at your face in there when I’ve asked you to do something, and they will all go away and think you are a big-headed *******, because your attitude stinks. That’s what people say about you.
“Second half he was absolutely different class. He ran the game, everything good we did came from him and we were all watching it thinking, ‘what a talent’. You looked at that performance and thought he could get us promoted on his own if he put his mind to it. It was like watching a player with Gareth Bale’s class in the Championship.”
That pretty much sums up Morrison as a footballer. If he could put his attitude problems behind him he could become one of the best in the world, but his ego is stopping him. He has incredible natural ability and glides on the pitch, driving past people like they are not there – much like Bale can – and this was evidenced when he scored one of the goals of the season against Tottenham last term.
He could be a central figure in the international scene with an England squad full of young potential, yet his inconsistency and inability to hold down a regular place at any of the club’s he has played for is alarming. It would be a big shame if a potentially great career is wasted and solely remembered for the off-field antics that Morrison gets himself involved in, though it is looking increasingly likely that will be the case unless he matures with age, but by then it could be too late.