Ravel Morrison: when is enough… enough?

AUTHOR: – Mr Mujac
Some years ago there was outrage, and rightly so when Roy Keane led a posse of Manchester United players towards referee Andy D’Urso and then proceeded to surround him for a perceived poor decision. The club and the players in question were rightly rebuked by both the press and the Football Association. Alex Ferguson publicly agreed that the players had gone too far, that they had a responsibility to themselves and the fans – that Manchester United are better than that.

I am pleased to say that it has been very rare to see any United players surround referees in the same way since.

A few years later and one particular junior player got himself into a spot of bother at the United Christmas party when some of the senior players invited ‘ladies’ to the event. Alex Ferguson stepped in again and banned all Christmas parties of this type.

It must however be hard for a man who is in his 70th year to keep track on the personal lives of young twenty-something footballers. Especially when they decide to live continually in the media spotlight with their ‘inappropriate’ behaviour. I mean, they are adults aren’t they?

In the past Ferguson has been quick to move on Ince, Stam, Beckham, Van Nistelrooy and even Keane when they criticised the club or he has deemed their behaviour to be ‘not in the best interests for the club’. Alex Ferguson always seems to have the art of man-management or performance management down to an art form. And if you step out of line then you know where the door is!

So this leads me to Ravel Morrison, one of Manchester United’s talented new generation of Academy products. I don’t think anyone would disagree that Ravel is a wonderfully gifted player. He has represented England through every youth level, made his first team debut in the Carling Cup this term and has been the ‘talisman’ for the youth team throughout this year’s FA Youth Cup run.

Born in Wythenshawe in Manchester on the 2nd February 1992, it is fair to say that Ravel’s upbringing has been anything but stable. He attended St. Ann’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Stretford and later St. Anthony’s Catholic College in Urmston. However, he had disciplinary problems throughout his schooling, resulting in suspensions and expulsions. His home life was equally disruptive. Ravel joined Fletcher Moss Rangers in Burnage from the age of seven, following in the footsteps of Wes and Reece Brown and although he had trials at Manchester City he joined United when he was eight years old.

Since that time there has been a catalogue of alleged issues with his behaviour from threatening other players, threatening opponents, getting involved in fights, alleged gang activity, to his more recent trouble of being arrested by police for being in a car carrying weapons and subsequently witness intimidation. In addition, he has also had on the field problems leading to a number of red cards.

So when I read today that Ravel appeared in Salford Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with assaulting his girlfriend and causing criminal damage, I wasn’t really surprised. Why should I be? After all, past behaviour is the best indicator of future behaviour.

The 18-year-old-midfielder who signed professional terms on his 17th birthday, is already under a court referral order for witness intimidation which was given out by Trafford Youth Court back in January. The media reported today that he was given conditional bail on the assault charge and the hearing is adjourned until the 25th of May.

However, clearly the youngster has severe behavioural problems. You don’t have to be a trained youth worker to understand that let alone be a behavioural psychologist. When I speak to other fans they are totally bemused by the situation:

“I don’t understand him at all…he has a fantastic future in front of him…”

“Doesn’t he realise that he has an opportunity to get away from all his troubles?”

“The lad is so talented but has no brain whatsoever…”

Personally, I have no idea about Ravel’s mental state. That’s not my job. I do wonder however about the impact his behaviour has on other youth players in the Academy and the image this portrays to the wider world. I am not happy with players representing my club dragging our name through the courts. If it was a first team player I would be vitriolic! It’s embarrassing!

So what have Manchester United Football Club done?

After the latest two court cases the Club have made no comment. In some respects I understand this. In a bid to protect the player they may be playing down the situation. But in today’s media frenzied environment, where Facebook, Twitter and the internet pass information around the globe in seconds people understand that something is amiss. We aren’t stupid! So a ‘no comment’ statement just leads to more speculation.

The club have banned him, suspended him and even put him in digs with a Reserve player in a bid to manage the situation. But is this enough?

I would have thought that the club, who employs this player, would have sought out professional help for him and would have put the player in a more stable environment. Maybe they have done, but where is the statement about the positive action they are taking to resolve the situation? I would like to see the club actively doing something.

However, in reality, I would have thought that someone at the club would have decided that no matter how talented a player is, there is a limit to how much of this behaviour is acceptable and called time.

It is not OK to threaten people, it is not OK to intimidate people and it is not OK to assault someone.

When is someone going to say “Ravel, enough is enough”?

AUTHOR: – Mr Mujac

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14 Comments on Ravel Morrison: when is enough… enough?

  1. Fergie has always said if he had got hold of Gazza things would have been different maybe here’s his chance to prove that theory.

  2. leave the kid alone, this moralising is ridicilous, if he’s very good at football then we need to be behind him, the biggest mistake manchester united can do is to publicly start to educate or moralising or something – is ridiculous. the guy came from hard backround – every kid from that backround has same problems – and on the otherhand i don’t have any trust in police or corrupt court system whatsoever, what do you know – maybe his “victims” deserved that, i don’t know the details but who knows? give kid a chance, it go away with age, if he’s so good then fastrak to first team then he get some responsibility, and all that street shit will be uninmportant for him

  3. @minimal – I sort of agree but we’re talking about criminal activities and not for the first time. We’ve (fans) backed him on countless occasions and I daresay we’ll potentially back whatever decision the club take on him but it doesn’t mean we should turn a blind eye to it all. The kid is messed up. Lots of kids have problems but not every kid is a criminal.

    I actually believed that he should be fast-tracked to the first team before this latest incident but we’ll have to see if the courts give him that chance, if found guilty a 12 month sentence is likely. Big call for the club, so far they’ve stuck by him as he’s an incredible talent but there comes a time when you have to wonder if it’s worth it all and whether he’s had his final chance.

    Reports suggested he’d turned a new leaf in January and then this happens… he lets people down every time he has a chance.

    I think we all hope he gets the help he clearly needs and in an ideal world would be fixed to go on to play for the club. However we have to question whether he’s having a negative effect on his team-mates as well as giving the club a bad name?!

  4. firstly i must say mr mujak has got this spot on about ravel morrison,there is a moral duty to do something about the escalating problem of his behaviour,heis representing manchester united and we get enough negative press as it is from the media so sir alex and united do need to release some kind of press release to accompany this story.minimal,s reply is not exactly helping matters as his background,upbringing cannot be made as an excuse for intimidation of witnesses,gang culture and threatening people just because of his attitude to life and the callous way he conducts himself as a player of united and more importantly as a member of the general public is in question.ravel knows what he is doing and probably has this air of invincibilty about him with his so called friends feeding of off his position at united.minimals response in saying this and that about the police,court systems is a little short sighted and is to be expected by someone who moves in certain circle,s,if you know him[ravel] then try to guide him in his career because he does have a great talent.why do some people deserve to be treated like you say they do in your reply,NO ONE DESERVES TO BE TREATED WITH COMTEMPT,NO ONE WHATSOEVER AND I KNOW A BIT ABOUT PLACKY GANGSTERS FROM MY AREA,SO ENCOURAGE HIS ABILITY AND STOP BLAMING EVERYONE ELSE APART FROM RAVEL HIMSELF

  5. @minimal Moralising is out of place in football up to a point. You can argue what goes on off the field is irrelevant as long as it doesn’t affect what’s going on on it. But assaulting a woman, if proven, is a pretty bad thing to be doing and it isn’t in isolation. Not only that his behaviour with his teammates and on the pitch has been poor. He may have had a terrible childhood but he must realise now that he has such a huge opportunity in front of him and he could be about to squander it. The club should try to help him out as much as possible and who knows what they are doing but he must be on his last warning.

  6. lets hope judge will be soft for him and he’ll not be put in prison, because in the interest of manchester united will suffer if he’ll be in jail. @petra yes i agree what nobody deserves violence or be intimidated, in ideal world, but its not unfortunately, but all i want to say is we(fans) dont need to worry about his personal issues – there is certainly people within the club who try to steer him from trouble – for sure, there is little we can do, the main importance for club is that he’ll became good player for the team. and that think other people or from media or whatever, it shouldn’t bother us – they all hate manchester united

  7. minimal: “the guy came from hard backround – every kid from that backround has same problems”

    That’s simply NOT true – some kids from “that background” are exemplary citizens; some aren’t and it sure looks like Ravel fits into the latter category.

    Indeed, there are lots of kids like Ravel whose supreme athletic gifts are compromised by their bad attitude. Some are so gifted – like Allen Iverson – that professional sports teams are willing to cut them extra slack.

    I don’t know much about Ravel Morrison apart from what has been written in the press but I do know that it would be ahame for him to squander his gifts by not mastering his disciplinary issues. And this is not just a matter of concern for Manchester United FC but also Ravel Morrison, himself.

    I am hoping for the best BUT fearing the worst.

  8. I think I’ll hold judgement until all the facts are clear but at the moment I don’t hold much hope for Ravel which is such a shame.

  9. It’s not a case of moralising, it’s a case of do the club want to keep giving a guy who might be a time-bomb waiting to go off and do something horrendous their money.

    At a big club these days if you’re going to be a scumbag you’d better be damned sure you’re able to produce the goods on the field. If he’s found guilty he’ll probably get sacked. If he’s not then United should go zero-tolerance on him.

  10. i see your point and the club should be sticking a boot up his arse and as a fan i just dont how any player would do anything to risk such a position.
    but his still young but he needs to learn fast or it wont be down to the club as he could end up in jail or worse if he doesnt buckle down.

    i dont know about the assault and its never ok to hit a girl but the criminal damage is throwing her phone which isnt that crazy.

    but first team players at other clubs have done worse (much worse in some extreme cases) and still move for £35m to a
    certain club, hell on the field you could committed an awful act, then bite someone and still move to a certain club for £20 odd mill.

    now i know we are better than that club but i think he still has a chance, but they might run out sooner than he thinks.

  11. “lets hope judge will be soft for him and he’ll not be put in prison, because in the interest of manchester united will suffer if he’ll be in jail.”

    I’d argue that justice takes precedence over Utd’s reserve team state.

    I’m all for giving people chances, and in my view the article is correct in questioning the club’s silence. I’d like to see the club take a very pro-active approach to rehabilitating Morrison, and if the process fails then consider letting the lad go.

    As it stands I hope he realises what an idiot he’s been and focuses on the incredible opportunity he’s got to represent the greatest club on the planet. There’s a long Que of kids who will take his place should he fall by the wayside.

    Finger’s crossed.

  12. Jack: “i dont know about the assault and its never ok to hit a girl but the criminal damage is throwing her phone which isnt that crazy.”

    Did he throw it at her ? Did the phone hit her and cause injury ? or did he just throw it aside ?

  13. Very interesting to see comments relating to ‘moralising’….I suppose it’s hard not to. If I saw an 18 year old threaten someone at work…threaten and intimidate a trial witness (to which they were found guilty) and then get charged for assaulting a woman…then I will always take a stand and say that I think that the behaviour is totally unacceptable. People have morals because our parents raised us with a value system that allowed us to determine what is right and what is wrong. The fact that the person in question is a fantastically talented young footballer is completely irrelevant. The fact that he is a ‘professional’ (sic) at our club is not a good enough reason to ignore the unacceptable behaviour. It’s like saying “I wouldn’t accept it from the kid next door…and if someone intimidated my wife not to give trial I would be straight to the police…but hang on he plays for MUFC so let’s not say anything and let’s not allow anyone an opinion.”

    Sorry…there is a difference between right and wrong and that has nothing to do with morals…

    …and as for fast tracking? Bloody hell…if that is how it works then what message does that send to all the other kids?

    Take the personality, talent, and potential out of the equation and deal with the behaviour…that way we can at least be consistent.

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