Former Manchester United youngster Ravel Morrison has revealed how his decision to ignore warnings from Sir Alex Ferguson and Rio Ferdinand cost him his career at Manchester United. The 22-year-old grew up with a massive reputation on his shoulders, both good and bad.
Morrison was widely hailed as one of the brightest prospects to have emerged from Old Trafford in recent years, with Ferguson saying in his recent book Leading that he “possessed as much natural talent as any youngster we ever signed.” However, the midfielder was constantly in and out of trouble throughout his teenage years – on and off the field. In 2011, he admitted two counts of witness intimidation and was also convicted of criminal damage after a row with his then-girlfriend. A year later, he was charged by the Football Association for posting homophobic comments on Twitter.
As an 18-year-old he moved from United to West Ham without making a start for the club. However, his time at Upton Park was no cause for celebration. He made just 17 Premier League starts for club before being shipped out on loan to Cardiff and Queens Park Rangers. Now at Italian side Lazio, the Englishman is looking to rebuild his career and perhaps show a glimmer of the potential he promised.
In an interview with The Sun, Morrison admitted that he wasted the chance to develop at United, despite receiving warnings over his behaviour from senior figures at the club.
“Manchester United and Alex Ferguson gave me too many chances. I can only blame myself and not look for excuses.” said Morrison.
“A lot of the things I did wrong at United was sily stuff. It wasn’t because I was involved in robberies. It was more messing about playing computer games and hanging out too much with my friends when I should have been more dedicated to training.”
“Back then I had time-keeping issues, too. I never thought: ‘Oh, s—, I’ve got to go outside now and get on the training pitch.”
“Even Rio Ferdinand took me to one side and said: ‘You need to get out there 15 minutes before the session starts and stay later as well. He was right, of course. But I had concentration and focus issues at the time.”
“Sir Alex told me that I needed to start focusing on football and concentrating and working a lot harder.”
“I also remember my coach Rene Meulensteen trying to advise me not to leave when West Ham came in for me. But I was young and wanted to play football.”
“I would have done things differently if I was in that situation now. But it’s done now and there’s no going back. All I can do is look forward.”
[Quotes via the Telegraph]