Thursday, 13 March 2014

QPR place faith in Morrison

QPR posted losses of £65 m since June 2013, it’s hardly surprising given the club’s relegation from the Premier League and the frankly shambolic transfer policy of spending big on distinctly average, or past their best players. That coupled with shaky form making an immediate return to England’s top tier all the less likely have led to some questioning whether or not Harry Redknapp will be at the helm next season.

Redknapp showed a brilliantly shrew move in the loan signing of Ravel Morrison from West Ham. Morrison, who was subject of a bid from Fulham, given several good performances when chances to start presented themselves due to injuries and suspensions at West Ham, is one of the brightest young talents in English football. That’s not the best part of the signing though, given that emergency loan signings only last for 93 days, Redknapp delayed Morrison’s signing, ensuring that the player would be available for the play-off final, should QPR reach it.

That says a lot about the faith that Redknapp has in Morrison, that he thinks he is good enough to play in such an important match, should it be required. But perhaps it says more about where QPR are at the moment.

Given their strength in depth QPR were hotly tipped to bounce back to the Premier League, however, since the turn of the year they’ve seen the hopes of automatic promotion fade quickly, in part due to an excellent run from Leicester, but not entirely without faults of their own.

Morrison has now made 4 appearances for the R’s and scored 2 goals, both of which came in Saturday’s win over Birmingham. His goals included a well-placed free kick from the edge of the area and a cool finish from just inside the area placed into the bottom corner, in his relatively short career Morrison has shown he has the ability to be a top class finisher, his goals against Spurs and in training for England showed just how good he is.

It’s hardly surprising that with 3.3 shots per game so far for QPR that Morrison has been in and around the goals, fans will be hoping he can convert a few more chances in the race for promotion.

He has an impressive pass accuracy of 91.5%, the highest in the squad, and has average 44 passes per game in his stint at QPR. Of those, 1.8 per game have been passes which have created chances. That’s an area where he needs to improve and at times be less selfish, which is further demonstrated by his lack of assists for his new club. 

Since he joined Morrison has played almost every minute for QPR, demonstrating just how vital Redknapp thinks he is to the team.

Morrison’s defensive contribution is particularly weak, with no interceptions, less than one (0.5) tackles per game and 1.3 fouls committed per game. More and more is becoming expected of forward thinking players defensively, so if Morrison wants to make it at the highest level it’s something he’ll have to look to add to his game. This is why he can’t be played in a deeper role, which will hamper his chances once he returns to West Ham, given that club captain Kevin Nolan occupies the role behind Andy Carroll, and their partnership is one that Allardyce will not want to disrupt.

There’s no doubt that Morrison has an immense amount of talent, but if he is to become one of the best in the world he needs to add a few things to his game (namely more defensive contribution), which may require an adjustment of his attitude. Hopefully, the extra responsibility and reliance Harry Redknapp and QPR are placing in the youngster will go some way to correcting this. This could well be the experience that determines the trajectory of Ravel Morrison’s career.

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