TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0 vs WEST HAM UNITED 3
REFORMED character Ravel Morrison is finally fulfilling the “genius” tag first coined by ex-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, according to West Ham boss Sam Allardyce.
Morrison scored a spectacular solo goal to put the gloss on the Hammers’ first win at White Hart Lane since 1999 and their biggest since 1994.
The 20-year-old’s £650,000 move away from United in January 2012 followed a string of off-field misdemeanours that repeatedly landed him in court and led to Ferguson selling him “for his own good”.
But Allardyce believes Morrison has finely turned a corner in his life, allowing him to blossom on the pitch.
“I hope you can sort him out because if you can he’ll be a genius,” Allardyce said he was told by Ferguson.
“It looks like that’s paying off for us. He’s [Ferguson] let Ravel go for Ravel’s benefit because he couldn’t see it happening at Manchester United.
“The penny has dropped in his lifestyle, his attitude towards everybody, his time-keeping and so on.”
Tottenham’s defeat was only their second at home in 2013 and manager Andre Villas-Boas was keen to put into context a result that has followed an encouraging start to the season.
“It’s a defeat. Had we won we would have been at the top of the league,” he said. “We lost at home to West Ham, it’s something that we don’t like, but we have to put it into perspective of what we have done before.
“It is a wake up call, but I trust the team to bounce back.”
Pre-match talk was dominated by the Metropolitan Police’s warning that chanting of the word “yid” by supporters could be met with arrest, but only one person was arrested inside the ground for a public order offence as the attention quickly turned to West Ham’s inventive striker-less system.
Without an away goal since 27 April it looked as though the visitors were set-up to draw. But when defender Winston Reid turned in Mark Noble’s corner from close range at the second attempt, after his initial header was blocked by team-mate Kevin Nolan, that mentality changed.
And moments later a low shot from Ricardo Vaz Te was parried by onrushing goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, but rebounded in off the winger.
Morrison then stole the show when he burst forwards from inside his own half, beat defender Michael Dawson and dinked the ball over Lloris.