Big Sam: Morrison has grown up

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce says Ravel Morrison will return to Old Trafford on Saturday having "grown up".

Last Updated: 21/12/13 at 07:31 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson signs new contract

Post comment

Callum Wilson has ended speculation over his future after signing a new four-year contract with Bournemouth.

Stoke defender Andy Wilkinson signs short-term deal

Post comment

Stoke defender Andy Wilkinson has signed a new short-term deal to enable him to recover from a serious head injury.

All Articles

Ravel Morrison: Has impressed at West Ha

Ravel Morrison: Has impressed at West Ha

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce believes he signed a boy in former Manchester United teenager Ravel Morrison but that the midfielder will return to Old Trafford on Saturday as a man.

The 20-year-old was one of the stars of United's fabled youth system but was limited to just three first-team outings for the Red Devils as his life off of the field began to overshadow his undoubted talent on it.

A thirst for first-team involvement saw Morrison move to Upton Park and, after a season on loan at Birmingham last year, the precocious talent has started to shine through in the Barclays Premier League.

Morrison is West Ham's top goalscorer this season with five and Allardyce feels the player has developed so much over a short period of time that he will be completely different when he lines up against United for the first time on Saturday.

"Sir Alex [Ferguson] let Ravel go for his own benefit," he said. "He [Ferguson] said that if he comes down to you hopefully he will find a new life and a new way of living.

"His ability will then start to come through because all he asks and all he wants in his life is to play first-team football, that was all he said he wanted to do and why he wanted to leave.

"In actual fact he struggled to look like he was capable of playing football in the first team with us. That's why we sent him on loan to Birmingham and I thought since that year he's grown up.

"Somewhere along the line the lad has woken up and I think he's changed himself and delivered."

Allardyce admitted it was Ferguson's expectation of the player Morrison could become that was the simple deciding factor on his striking a deal to take the player to east London.

"Fergie told me about his talent and that was it," he said.

"That's enough for me.

"[Ferguson said] 'if you can sort this lad out, Sam, you'll have one of the best players you've ever had'. I don't need anything more than that do I?"

Morrison has been a shining light in an underwhelming season so far for West Ham, who will be hoping Wednesday's 2-1 Capital One Cup quarter-final success at Tottenham can kick-start their league campaign.

But even Morrison has off days and Allardyce is keen to keep him focused and unlock the match-winning potential as often as possible, with a warning that he should not try and steal the show against his former club.

"The expectation becomes "will it come every single week" and that can't really happen at such a young age," Allardyce added.

"It's nice if it does. We've got to manage the situation and just try and keep encouraging him.

"I think from our point of view, if he gets selected for Old Trafford on Saturday, that the real message from me to him would be to try and get a result as a team and play one of your top performances in a team situation when you would help to get us that result buy using your abilities in a team performance.

"When you've got his ability there is going to be the temptation to go out and go 'look at me' I think and I have to try and guard and avoid that situation."

Morrison is likely to feature after starting on the bench against Spurs and, with captain Kevin Nolan still suspended - and a host of other first-team players sidelined or working back to full fitness - Allardyce is limited in terms of options.


New Sky Bet customers: Free £30 matched bet


Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Mourinho scuppered Reds' Costa move

A new biography has revealed how Jose Mourinho scuppered Liverpool's bid to sign Diego Costa - a year before he arrived in west London.

Ramos 'extends' Real Madrid contract

Manchester United's pursuit of Sergio Ramos is over after the centre-back agreed a new contract extension at Real Madrid.

Louis van Gaal to decide between Jones and Smalling

Louis van Gaal has revealed that he will choose between Phil Jones and Chris Smalling for the final place in his back four.

Mail Box

Getting Tired Of De Gea's Disrespect

One Manchester United fan is growing weary of David de Gea's disrespect. Plus thoughts on Southampton's summer, Balotelli loan, and Depay in the centre. Why?

Mails: This Is My Perfect Moment

Lots of Mailboxers channel their inner Martine McCutcheon to bring you their perfect footballing moments. Plus thoughts on Blatter, names, and Chelsea worries...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company