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West Ham’s Ravel has a lot to learn despite all the plaudits

Queens Park Rangers Ravel Morrison during the Sky Bet Championship match at St Andrews, Birmingham. Queens Park Rangers Ravel Morrison during the Sky Bet Championship match at St Andrews, Birmingham.

Monday, March 10, 2014
3:36 PM

After Harry Redknapp and Lee Clark waxed lyrical about the midfielder after Saturday’s double strike, Hammers assistant Neil McDonald brings everyone back to reality

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West Ham United's Ravel MorrisonWest Ham United's Ravel Morrison

After a superb display by West Ham’s loan midfielder Ravel Morrison for Queens Park Rangers at Birmingham City on Saturday, the superlatives were dished out in their droves once again.

But Hammers assistant boss Neil McDonald insisted that the player still has to find the consistency in his game to make him a star in the Premier League.

Morrison, 21, was shipped out on loan to QPR last month and it seems that he is really making his mark after his delightful double helped Rangers to a 2-0 win over the club he was on loan at last season in Birmingham.

QPR boss Harry Redknapp led the clarion call about the former Manchester United Academy boy.

QPR manager Harry Redknapp. Picture: Nigel French/PA WireQPR manager Harry Redknapp. Picture: Nigel French/PA Wire

“What a player he is,” said Redknapp. “I’ve followed his career from when he was a 12-year-old and from what Sir Alex told me. For whatever reason he’s been let go, but we’re glad we’ve got him.”

That ‘whatever reason’ is his more of an attitude and lifestyle problem off the pitch than his talent on it, but it did not stop Birmingham boss Lee Clark extolling his virtues.

“He is the best footballer since Paul Gascoigne,” exclaimed the manager. I played with Paul, I grew up with Paul and the only thing is that Ravel doesn’t know who Paul Gascoigne is.”

That statement seemed completely over the top and at the same time deeply patronising to a player making his way in the game, but Clark continued.

“He has the pace of a wide-man. He has the balance, but plays in the middle of the pitch because he can manoeuvre the ball. He can score goals as we have seen, but it is what is between the ears with him and he knows about this problem.”

That may have hit the nail on the head, but McDonald, having coached him and watched him develop in his time at Upton Park, has perhaps a better perspective on the precocious talent.

“There are lots of young players like Ravel, who have the talent but at the same time they have to have consistency,” explained McDonald.

“When you are young you very, very rarely have that consistency and you have to work really hard on your game.

“He will have his time when he gets that and plays 10, 14, 20 odd games where he is consistent and everyone will think, he is a complete player.

“He is very, very good on the ball, but he has to learn the other side because there are two parts to learn about the game.

“There is off the field as well, but we can’t control that. We can control as much as we can on the training field and on the pitch and like a lot of young players he will learn as he gets older.

“That is our challenge.”

He is right and one good game for Rangers in the Championship doesn’t make him Gazza, it doesn’t even get him a place in the West Ham squad at the moment.

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