Ravel Morrison: Sam Allardyce praises West Ham midfielder

Penny's dropped for Morrison - Allardyce

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce said Ravel Morrison has "sorted himself out", describing his goal in a 3-0 win at Tottenham as "a bit of genius".

Morrison, 20, joined West Ham last year after off-field problems hindered his progress at Manchester United.

Allardyce said: "Sir Alex Ferguson told me 'I hope you sort him out because you will have a top-class player'.

"I'm not sure I've sorted him out, he's sorted himself out. He's begun to enjoy his football which he loves so much."

The manager added: "He enjoys being with the lads and listens to what the experienced players say, and can do something that nobody else can do in our side and you saw that today."

Attacking midfielder Morrison was called into the England Under-21 squad for the first time earlier this week and he crowned his international selection with a fine solo goal, running from his own half to take on the Spurs defence and chip goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

It was his fourth goal in eight appearances this term, which Allardyce also thought was "goal of the season" so far, and it lifted his side out of the bottom three.

The victory came after Allardyce decided not to name any recognised strikers in his side, with Morrison the furthest forward.

Morrison joined Manchester United as a schoolboy but only made three first-team appearances before moving to the Hammers in January 2012, spending last season on loan at Birmingham.

In 2011, he was fined £600 by a court for throwing his girlfriend's mobile phone through a window during an argument and in 2008 was cautioned for common assault.

Ferguson said at the time of his move to the capital: "In the case of Ravel, it's been quite well documented. I think he's better out of Manchester.

"He's got a great talent, but it's how to deal with it that is important."

West Ham skipper Kevin Nolan revealed that even after Morrison arrived at West Ham, there were still problems with his conduct away from the pitch.

And after praising Allardyce's tactics, Nolan told BBC Sport that the loan spell at Birmingham had made Morrison mature.

Nolan, 31, said: "Ravel has been fantastic since he came back.

"Last year, we had a lot of problems with his lifestyle off the pitch as well as on it, but he went to Birmingham, worked really hard and got back in the team at the end of last season. It was like he was a new man. He is one now. He needs to stand up.

Noble added: "Me and Mark Noble speak to him and have had big long chats with him all last season.

"We try to protect him and take him under our wing. We will continue to do that. Obviously we are going to be excited by his talent - it's frightening - and if you ask anyone at Manchester United they will tell you the same.

"But it's about nurturing him and making sure he does the right things on and off the field."

Allardyce added: "He's learnt so much in a short period of time. That's the beauty. The penny has dropped."