Our recent star performer and rising star Ravel Morrison made the headlines in the last week, for the right reasons this time, with a sterling performance against Tottenham. As a result of his brilliant start to the season he earned himself an England U21 call up, and by the sound of it impressed for some parts of the game.
By now you must be wondering about why I have a problem with him, well it’s not a big one, if anything it’s a picky one. My problem, is simply, that he has not come through our own academy. I know this will sound strange but does this not highlight how our academy may not be the renowned ‘Academy of Football’ anymore.
Young Ravel came through the ranks at Manchester United, another great academy of the game, before he was sold to us for a fee of around 600k, great business. He was labelled by Sir Alex Ferguson as the ‘best player to come through the academy since Paul Scholes’ if I remember likely.
Recent stars to emerge from our academy are Rob Hall, Dan Potts and Jordan Spence to name a few. None of the above have made as much of an impact as Morrison has at first team level, as of yet. Rob Hall was recently sold to Bolton, a move that angered many West Ham fans, but one that could possibly have been the right one. I say this because in Big Sam’s tenure as manager of West Ham he released two so-called academy stars in Zavon Hines and Junior Stanislas. They were both released to two Championship clubs and haven’t really established themselves there. Hines is now playing for Dagenham and Redbridge in League Two, just goes to show the manager was right. How do we know Hall will not turn out to become another Hines?
I know that many people have argued that Sam Allardyce does not play our younger players, but has anyone taken the time to think that maybe they are not just up to Premier League level? Surely the case of Zavon Hines highlighted this? People will also say that he should at least give them a chance to see if they hold their own or ship them off to a Championship club on loan, but this cannot always be the case. Especially at a time when West Ham are not doing as well as they would’ve liked.
Now I don’t know if you have the same problem as me in Morrison not being a home produced star, but at the end of the day he will be a great player for us hopefully for years to come. It just really frustrates me as it does not feel as if he is our player, West Ham through and through. Certainly I would’ve felt much better about it if he was a West Ham academy player.