The S J Chandos Column

It has been reported that the club have parted company with French midfielder Morgan Amalfitano by mutual consent. This development has occurred after Amalfitano had a well publicised spat with Slaven Bilic over some internal disciplinary issue(s), the midfielder being relegated to train with the U-21 squad in the interests of ‘squad unity.’ There had been some hope that a resolution of the situation was possible, when Bilic subsequently named Amalfitano in his 25 player squad for the 2015-16 season.

However, that obviously was not the case and it appears that the club have now reached a financial settlement with the player to leave. These events are something of a surprise when one considers the positive role that Amalfitano played last season, in Sam Allardyce’s squad, and the club’s subsequent offer of a new two year contract. Nevertheless, this settlement sees Amalfitano leave as a free agent and there will presumably be no shortage of Bosman offers forthcoming as a result. And it does demonstrate that Slaven Bilic has an aspect of iron to his management and appears not to be a coach to be crossed.

Elsewhere, it has been widely reported that former midfielder, Ravel Morrison, has stated his regrets at leaving Man Utd to join West Ham Utd in the 2011 January transfer window. Perhaps, but it ignores the fact that Morrison was effectively off-loaded by Man Utd, a club that had run out of patience with the player’s alleged indiscipline. In that sense, the move to West Ham was a new chapter and an opportunity to make a fresh start. An opportunity that Morrison briefly looked like grasping, but ultimately let slip through the advent of a number of widely reported further disciplinary issues.

As a result, Morrison wasted the opportunity offered by West Ham, ended up on a secession of pointless loan moves and ultimately got off-loaded yet again. It does beg the question whether Slaven Bilic could have had more success than Sam Allardyce in getting the best out of Morrison? Perhaps, but the Amalfitano incident shows that Bilic does not mess around on the disciplinary front! Maybe the truth is that Big Sam was probably more patient with the player than Bilic would have been? I guess we will never know now?

Regardless, Morrison is well advised to stop ‘racking over the coals’ of lost opportunities and concentrate on being a success at Lazio. He has yet another great opportunity and he should ensure that he does not waste this one. Or there will inevitably be a conclusion drawn that there is something of a recurring pattern of indiscipline and wasted talent undermining his promising career.

SJ. Chandos.