Ravel Morrison scored a wonderful goal for West Ham against Tottenham and, suddenly, people in the game were asking if the young footballer so often cast as a red devil at Manchester United, is now a reformed character.
During his long reign as manager of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson dealt with lots of players who gave him sleepless nights.
Name such as Lee Sharp, Paul McGrath and, more recently, Ryan Tunnicliffe have given managers of Man Utd severe headaches. Talented, but flawed. Ferguson took over a Manchester United squad full of serious drinkers. So Fergie had many years of practice sorting out troublemakers.
By the time he came towards the end of his management career at Old Trafford he knew what to do with talented footballers who went off the straight and narrow. Send them out to another club and hope regular football brought out the best in the player.
Mike Phelan, former assistant manager at Old Trafford, recalls the problems Ravel Morrison caused the coaches working at the Manchester United academy.
Phelan reflected: “It was difficult to help someone who was not there. Ravel had a tendency to disappear for a day or two. We had to go find him and work with him.
“He’s a nice guy when he’s around football. Butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth.
“It was a day to day project with him. One day he was there, the next day he wasn’t. He needed to get out of Manchester. There were too many distractions for him there and that played a part in his downfall.
“Now he has gone on and sensed that there is an opportunity for him to deliver the potential everyone sees in him – and that’s great. The lad is starting to realise what ability he has and where that can take him.”
And it has taken him to East London and to Upton Park.
The Hammers boss said: “Alex said to me: ‘I hope you can sort him out, because if you can he’ll be a genius’. He told me Ravel was a brilliant footballer but needed to get away from Manchester and start a new life.
“He (Ferguson) let Ravel go for Ravel’s benefit, because he couldn’t see it happening at Man Utd. He told me we’d have a great player on our hands. There’s a lot of praise going to come his way” predicted Allardyce.”
One final cautionary sentence from Mike Phelan: “There is still a risk with Ravel. But what he has proved is that he has got his head in the right situation. His performances are decent and getting better.”
Time will tell if the former red devil can be tamed and become a Premier League star of the future.