Ravel Morrison - What were Manchester United supposed to do?

Now that the saga has finally ended and Ravel Morrison is a West Ham player there seems to be a feeling of regret amongst many Manchester United supporters and surprise amongst those looking from the outside.

A bemused reaction. If the player is really that talented then how could United let him go, surely it's something they'll be made to regret?

It's no secret that more talented players get away with greater indiscretions than those who have less potential. If a player not rated highly gives a club reason to doubt his future then they're far more likely to let him go, of course there's the duty of care which clubs like Manchester United have towards their youngsters - but the purpose of a youth development system is to create professional footballers. Those with the highest probability of making it will get a certain degree of favouritism.

If this weren't true then Ravel Morrison wouldn't have lasted so long at Manchester United. Widely reported issues with the police, the most serious being a conviction for witness intimidation, would have been enough for the club to dismiss his chances of making it. In football these days the mental strength and make-up of an individual often carries as much importance as any natural talent. Tom Cleverley is an example of this, never rated as one of the very best in the youth academy he knuckled down, improved, and his determination carried him through to the first team.

Ravel was treated as a special case and given every opportunity to prove he was as good as many, and himself, believed him to be. Yet still after all the help he couldn't dedicate himself to fulfilling his potential, regularly disciplined for being late to Carrington - or simply not turning up - he just didn't seem that bothered. Trying too hard seemed to be uncool, similar to kids in education who seem fairly bright but wouldn't want to be considered as a swat. 

Damage to the whole youth development system at Manchester United had to be contained, lessons and examples had to be set. A line had to be drawn which couldn't be crossed and bending over to every one of Ravel's requests whilst forgiving his faults was going to cause long term damage. They couldn't justify it.

He wanted to be playing first team football, but missed reserve games because he hadn't trained. 

He demanded high professional wages, yet still wasn't showing a willingness to be professional.

He wanted his ability to be respected, but didn't feel he had to respect the club or those tasked with training him. 

I wish Ravel Morrison all the best with his new club, it may be the best thing for him. Regardless of how successful he goes on to be, Manchester United did the right thing for the club, and probably for football in general.

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I don't think it is a bad thing he left you guys, he has a bad attitude and needed to get some first team football.  Maybe a loan would have sufficed? The biggest surprise for me is the decision to not include a buy-back clause.  Man Utd obviously felt he was too disruptive and not in it for the love of the club.

His contract ended in the summer so a loan wouldn't have worked. Some have said there is a buy-back clause - not confirmed either way. 

Oh yeah, forgot about his contract being up.  Did Man Utd get a fee for him?

£650,000 rising to £2m. 

On his new contract his wages will reportedly rise to £65k a week with promotion to the Premier League.

I thought him wanting £30k per week was bad enough, especially for a player that has not played in the first team, but £65k...?  That is crazy!

As I said above, Man Utd must think he is not worth the hassle.

Good article and it sums up my thoughts precisely.

I read that his wages could increase to 65k eventually with a number of milestones to hit first. I think he actually needs to be playing regularly in the PL for his wages to increase to 65k. He starts off on around 12k.  Funnily enough, if he was playing regularly for Utd in the PL then his wages would probably have been increased to around 65k anyway. Utd always rewards its performing players with new contracts.

I'd like to know if there is a buy-back clause. If not, then it would seem that the club lost patience and felt it was best to just get rid permanently. Either way, I agree that it is best for the club - and for football - that Ravel's behaviour was not rewarded by Utd.

One thing is certain though, they'll be an awful lot of interest in West Ham matches when he's playing. 

True - I even enjoyed watching Everton more because Gibson was playing!

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