Kevin Nolan has revealed how he tried to convince Ravel Morrison to become a success at West Ham and realize his huge potential.
Morrison, who previously played for Manchester United, was seen as a player with a very bright future and he made a big impact for West Ham in the 2013 pre-season when he impressed against Oxford.
Nolan revealed that he and Mark Noble told Morrison he could play a key role for West Ham that season, but he didn’t listen and ultimately didn’t turn up for training the next day.
Morrison scored a memorable goal for West Ham against Tottenham early in the 2013/14 season, but Nolan stated he could have done so much more.
Speaking talkSPORTNolan said: ‘In pre-season that year, and this just sums it up, we were playing at Oxford United and it was me, him and Nobes [Mark Noble] in the middle, and he was incredible.
Kevin Nolan has revealed he tried to keep Ravel Morrison focused at West Ham
Mark Noble and Nolan believed Morrison could play alongside them in midfield for the Hammers
“It was only Oxford, don’t get me wrong, because we were Premier League and they were League One, that’s not for Oxford. But he was, I mean, head and shoulders above everyone.
“We got on the bus after the game and said, ‘Rav, that was incredible mate, I haven’t seen anything like it in a long time.’ Mate, you gotta keep your head down, this is going to be your year.”
‘He said, ‘Yes, yes, no problem. I loved it, it was great.’ [We said], ‘These could now be our three midfielders for this season, you do what you do, Nobes and I are around you.’ He just said, ‘Yes, yes, yes.’
‘We thought we had him, me and Nobes, all the time he was texting his mate: ‘Yeah, pick me up, we’re going back to Manchester.’ He didn’t report the next day.’
Morrison was loaned out to QPR and Cardiff before permanently leaving West Ham for Lazio in 2015.
He currently plays for DC United and previously played for Sheffield United, ADO Den Haag and Derby.
Asked whether Morrison would now regret fulfilling his potential, Nolan said: “I think he does now. I think if you asked the man to put his hand on his heart and he’s an honest guy, I think he would.
“I loved working with him, I thought all he did was just confused me because of the talent he had, and I think that’s ultimately what Sir Alex was talking about. [Ferguson] kind of lost him.
Morrison scored a spectacular goal against Tottenham, but a lack of discipline halted his progress
Morrison, now 30 years old, currently plays in the United States for DC United
‘I think Rio [Ferdinand] spoke very highly of him, all those players at that time, [Wayne] Rooney, everyone. But he just couldn’t put all the things he had on the field, he couldn’t manage it off the field.
“I think he was just an outsider, that’s probably the best word to describe him, he kind of played by his own rules and no one could tell him otherwise. At some point you’d think, ‘Yes, we cracked it, we got it.’