30 Sep Can Ravel Morrison finally get back on track at Derby County?
It’s difficult to get your head around the story of Ravel Morrison. Once a promising youngster at Manchester United, Morrison didn’t quite make the grade, with his attitude and off-field behaviour failing to impress Sir Alex Ferguson. The winger’s talent has never been in doubt, but nonetheless Morrison has failed to carve out for himself the kind of career that talent deserved.
Including loan spells, Morrison has represented 12 different clubs in his career so far. He is 28 years old, but instead of heading into his peak years it seems as though he is trying to salvage pieces from the wreckage of his footballing journey to this point. Manchester United, West Ham United, Birmingham City (loan), Queens Park Rangers (loan), Cardiff City (loan), Lazio, Queens Park Rangers (loan), Atlas (loan), Östersund, Sheffield United, Middlesbrough (loan), ADO Den Haag — that is the story of Ravel Morrison before this summer.
Now, he finds himself at Derby County, reunited with Wayne Rooney who he would have trained and played with at Manchester United. With every move Morrison makes, there are those who claim that it will be the making of him, that he will finally shake off the setbacks and realise his full potential. There’s no doubt that he possesses outstanding ability, but whether it’s through lack of effort, injury setbacks, or just sheer bad luck, it is yet to happen for Morrison at any club. Could Derby be the one where it finally clicks?
On the surface of it, it looks unlikely. Derby are a club in turmoil at the moment, heavily backed in the Championship relegation odds 2021/22. Poor management within the club’s hierarchy has meant they are under severe financial strain, and Rooney has been forced to make do with free agents this summer, whilst also dealing with a number of players departing through the club’s gates at the same time. Indeed, the signing of Morrison is the product of the club’s inability to pursue more expensive options.
But the Jamaica international has the opportunity to prove that he still has the ability to operate at Championship level. With a figure as experienced as Rooney in charge, who understands what it’s like to have expectations on one’s shoulders at a young age, Morrison might blossom. The Derby coach has proven that he is capable of inspiring his players, even if the Championship betting tips don’t exactly favour the Rams this season.
Derby are in a position where they need players to step up and be counted. The pressure of having to fight for their lives to avoid relegation could be the making of Morrison. He will be well aware that the longer he goes without contributing at clubs, the less likely he will be to get contracts in the future. At some point he will need to knuckle down and really focus on what he can do to become more consistent.
Staying injury free will be hugely important, and all it might take is one stellar performance to get the ball rolling for Morrison. He’s made four appearances so far and registered an assist, but you just feel like he’s waiting for one moment of inspiration to truly kick-start his career.