I watched Morrison star for West Ham but what he did the next day summed him up

Kevin Nolan has revealed he is one of the many who tried to guide Ravel Morrison through senior football, but to no avail.

Morrison was a highly-rated product of the Manchester United academy and appeared destined for great success in the game.

Morrison was tipped for big things after his emergence in the United academy


Morrison was tipped for big things after his emergence in the United academyCredit: Getty

However, the now 30-year-old has played in what many have dubbed a ‘what could have been’ career as he failed to truly apply his talent.

Morrison has been somewhat of a journeyman across Europe and now in the USA for MLS side D.C. United.

The midfielder signed for West Ham from United in 2012 and Nolan was there to witness his talent, but even he couldn’t help the youngster fulfil his potential.

When asked about his quality on talkSPORT Drive, he said: “On the pitch he was unbelievable. Some of the things he used to do, and you look at Lucas Paqueta now and people like him, Jay-Jay [Okocha], he was a very special talent.”


Andy Goldstein recalled his stunning solo goal in a 3-0 win away at Tottenham in 2013 and Nolan added more praise for the then 20-year-old, but then hinted at how his lack of application off the pitch cost him.

A fine solo goal away at Spurs saw Morrison show his quality


A fine solo goal away at Spurs saw Morrison show his qualityCredit: AFP
But Nolan was unable to help guide him on the right path


But Nolan was unable to help guide him on the right pathCredit: Getty

“In pre-season that year, and this just sums him up, we played at Oxford United and it was me, him and Nobes [Mark Noble] in the middle, and he was unbelievable.

“It was only Oxford, don’t get me wrong, because we were Premier League and they were League One, that’s no thing to Oxford. But he was just, I mean, head and shoulders above everyone.

“We got on the bus after the game and we were like, ‘Rav, that was incredible mate, never seen anything like it for a long, long time. Mate, you’ve got to get your head down, this is going to be your year.’

“He was like, ‘Yeah yeah yeah, no problem, blahdy blah, yeah. I loved it, it’s been great.’ [We said], ‘This could be our midfield three now for this season, you doing what you do, Nobes and me being around you.’ He was just, ‘Yeah yeah yeah.’

“We thought we had him, me and Nobes, all the time he was texting his mate, ‘Yeah pick me up we’re going back to Manchester.’ He didn’t turn in the next day.”

Morrison now features in the MLS for D.C. United


Morrison now features in the MLS for D.C. UnitedCredit: Getty

Goldstein then asked if Morrison would regret failing to live up to his potential, and Nolan replied: “I think he does now. I think if you asked the man he’d put his hand on his heart and he is a truthful lad, I think he would.

“I loved working with him, I thought all he done was just sort of wind me up because of the talent he had, and I think that’s what in the end, where Sir Alex [Ferguson] sort of got rid of him.

“I think Rio [Ferdinand] spoke really highly of him, all those players at that time, [Wayne] Rooney, everyone. But he just couldn’t put all the things that he had on the field, he couldn’t sort it out off the field.

“I think he was just a maverick, that’s probably the best word to describe him, sort of went by his own rules and no one could tell him otherwise. You’d think at some point, ‘Yeah we’ve cracked it, we’ve got him.'”

Morrison made just 24 appearances for West Ham before leaving on a permanent deal to Lazio in 2015.

QPR, Sheffield United, Middlesbrough and Derby are some of the other English clubs he played for before moving stateside to D.C. United, for whom he has played 14 matches.

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