Sam Allardyce has revealed Ravel Morrison would forget what he needed to do during his West Ham days, with the ex-Hammers boss of the opinion that the talented playmaker needs ‘psychological help’.
Morrison was dubbed for greatness by Manchester United great Sir Alex Ferguson, signing his first professional contract at the age of 17, but failed to realise his potential at Old Trafford and left the club in January 2012.
It was then he linked up with the Hammers, and after a productive loan spell at Birmingham City it was Allardyce he gave the midfielder the opportunity to utilise his undoubted potential in the Premier League.
To his credit, he initially grabbed that chance afforded to him with both hands, and at one stage was the most talked about young player in the country during the early stages of the 2013/14 campaign.
But things soon turned sour and Morrison was shipped out on loan to Queens Park Rangers for the second half of that campaign. He eventually left the east London outfit in February 2015 after his contract was terminated.
Discussing the challenges of working with Morrison during that period, Allardyce told talkSPORT: “It was a real struggle and a real challenge to be honest.
“I think the long and short of it was, as hard as we tried to control him he needed deeper and more psychological help than we could ever possibly give him if he was to able to control his focus and concentration.
“Ravel was unfortunately left with a disorder which would mean he would forget almost immediately after he left the training ground what he was supposed to do the next day.
“So to try and overcome that we rang him in the morning to wake him up, we’d have somebody to pick him up and bring him into the training ground. These are the measures we took as his talent was so good.
“We tried to get him the help he needed, but unfortunately he didn’t want the help and that was the big problem.”
In a senior career spanning almost a decade, Morrison has remarkably never played more than 30 games for a single club.
Now, aged 27, he is representing Middlesbrough on loan from parent club Sheffield United, and has managed just two appearances.
And the former England boss says Morrison has ‘many psychological problems’ that he must address if he is to ever fulfil his incredible talent.
He continued: “There was a spell of about three months or so where he really towed the line.
Ravel Morrison ‘upset’ by Wayne Rooney comments and reveals regret over not fulfilling potential at Manchester United
“I don’t know if you’ll remember this [speaking to Alan Brazil], but he scored this unbelievable goal away at Tottenham where he ran from his own half and chipped the goalkeeper. That really put Ravel on the map.
“But we got to Christmas Day and we were all sat on the coach ready to travel to the hotel for our Boxing Day game and Ravel had posted a picture of him and his family in Manchester enjoying Christmas dinner on social media.
“That was probably the end of it at that point. He just couldn’t understand that he had to keep playing through Christmas, so he wanted to go home and have Christmas dinner with his family.
“I don’t think it’s his fault really, because deep down there are so many psychological problems that need to be sorted and that talent will never come to fruition if those things aren’t properly addressed.”
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In a frank interview with talkSPORT earlier this month, Morrison admitted his regrets over not fulfilling his incredible potential as a young Manchester United player.
“I knew I had ability, but I didn’t realise and understand these players’ thoughts at the time,” he said.
“If I could sit down and go back through my life they’d be a lot of things I would change.
“It was an every day thing for me when I was young, growing up at United, it was a nice environment to go into everyday with world-class players, it was enjoyable…
“And I know it’s poor, but because I was there from the under-9s I would skip training some days. I would wake up and I would just skip it, I don’t know why.
“It’s hard to get me off the training field now, so if I took my life back to those days I think it would have been a lot better.
“I did lack in a few things and I’ve made mistakes.
“There were some things in my life when I was young that I now definitely would not do, I’d have gone down a different path.”