Ravel Morrison has dominated headlines this past week with news that he is set to depart Old Trafford.
With Sir Alex confirming he had reject an offer from the club it leaves us in limbo, will he lower his ‘unrealistic’ wage demands or will United bend to accomodate ‘the most talent youth player to come through the club’s ranks since Paul Scholes’?
United are unlikely to meet his demands thus it leaves us in a position where we could lose both Ravel and Paul Pogba, a massive blow given the talent both possess.
Ravel has again denied he has turned down any offer from the club tweeting,
“I have never 1s [once] turned down a contract off Manchester United”
But in regards to both why are we even at this position?
Reserve and academy football has become big business in recent years. Everybody wants to lay claim to spotting a star in their infancy and games like Football Manager sees tons of armchair scouts offering up the names of players that are going to be world beaters.
This sometimes even takes place without having seen the player in question play.
This morning Sam Wallace wrote about Morrison in The Independent and interestingly made this point:
“In years gone by, the first time a young player would have had any public profile would have been his senior debut. Now, in-house television channels like MUTV, Chelsea TV and LFC TV broadcast academy matches or highlights.”
The spotlight that is now fixed on academy and reserve players is almost as bright as the one on first teamers.
Ravel and Pogba have been talked up for a while but last season’s FAYC win will undoubtedly have raised their profile. Both performed exceptionally in the run of games that culminated in Tom Thorpe lifting the trophy in front of an estimated Old Trafford crowd of 25,000, with millions more watching at home on MUTV and live streams provided by the FA.
With United’s midfield problem’s Paul Pogba may have prematurely been declared our saviour, despite being just 18. Ravel Morrison too has had his fair share of praise and in 2009 Henry Winter wrote of him:
“Better than Kieran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere, certainly up there with Jack Rodwell.”
At the time Wilshere already had league and Champions League experience and whilst it is debatable, it was a huge claim to make about a player who was still working at academy/reserve level.
With such praise thrust upon them, whilst it is a damning indictment of young players of the day, it is of little surprise that they have slightly inflated senses of self worth.
2 years ago Winter may have been slightly premature in his remarks of Morrison greatness, but last week he hit the nail on the head.
Some have looked at Paul Scholes’ return and stated that it will only serve to drive Morrison and Pogba out of the door faster. He is simply another obstacle blocking their path to the first team. But any player with intelligence, especially a United player should look at Scholes and see an example to look up to (bar his tackling of course!) as Winter stated here.
In Scholes they have man that played his position at the club, he was patient and when his chance came he took it. The playing time that Pogba seeks and the riches that Morrison seeks followed. Scholes isn’t only a United legend but a footballing one and in an age where Barcelona rule the roost, it is of little coincidence that following their victory against us at Wembley in May, Barcelona players flocked to get Scholes’ shirt, with Iniesta being the lucky recipient.
Patience is key to both player’s situations.
Although a marvellous player, it is impossible for Scholes to carry on playing forever and if Pogba continues to develop into the player that we think he can be there is no doubting he will get his chance. He himself must see the progression he has made in the short time he has been at the club, and now he stands on the precipice of the first team.
In Morrison’s case you simply have to look at Sir Matt Busby’s words echoed by Sir Alex weeks ago:
“You don’t need to chase money at a club like Manchester United, it will eventually find you. If you’re good enough, you will earn money and become rich playing for us.”
This saga is likely to carry on for a while and despite the papers insistance that both are on their way out of the club there is no guarantee that both won’t remain with United.
In both cases the ball is firmly in the players’ court, you just hope they are wise enough to see what is potentially infront of them if they decide to make the right decision.