The Monday Profile: Clinton Morrison

The careers of artists often follow a narrative arc of early promise, before a steady waining of powers until the reels of bad product outweigh the hits. As with Woody Allen, so too new Sheffield Wednesday recruit Clinton Morrison has failed to match the Oscar-winning heights of previous years.

As the most experienced of Sheffield Wednesday’s summer recruits, much will be expected of the ex-Crystal Palace striker. Sadly for Wednesdayites, his story has been an all too familiar tale of promise descending into mediocrity. After his debut in the blue and red stripes at 18, there followed a four-season spell of much promise and no less achievement, culminating in 24 goals during 2001-02. A call-up to the Ireland national squad and a £4.25m transfer to Birmingham City seemed to confirm him as a player to watch. However, the dispatch of Andy Johnson in the opposite direction proved to be the most successful element of the exchange, as Morrison’s sojourn in the second city reaped a meagre 19 goals in 87 games. A return to South Norwood as a replacement for the prolific Johnson saw an improved performance, as the striker arguably found a more suitable level at which to practise his art, even taking 5th place in the club’s goalscoring list. Nevertheless, the depletion of Simon Jordan’s funds and enthusiasm led to a move back to the West Midlands, this time to Coventry City. A team and striker in decline never seemed to be an ideal match, and despite scraping into double figures in each of his two seasons in Warwickshire, Sky Blues fans never truly warmed to the player. A brief period of collaboration with fellow Irish international Leon Best apart, Morrison did not show enough of the talent for which Palace supporters still hold him in high regard.

The appointment, in June 2010, of Aidy Boothroyd in the place of his former Selhurst Park teammate Chris Coleman as manager didn’t bode well for the prospects of a contract renewal, and Morrison’s departure was confirmed shortly thereafter. To the surprise of some, Morrison chose a further downward step, to League 1. But Wednesday still have a big stage to offer and memories of Morrison poaching goals at Hillsborough in seasons past will bring predictions of a return to form. At 31 years of age, though, he doesn’t have long left to prove the critics wrong.

As a kid, Stanley undertook an odyssey around the football grounds of London and North Kent before alighting at Millwall. Despite the efforts of Jason Dair and many others, as an adult he decided to move closer to the arena erroneously known as the New Den and is now a proud season-ticket holder.

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3 Comments on "The Monday Profile: Clinton Morrison"

  1. When your club spends the majority of its time in the same league, you get used to the same strikers cropping up all the time.

    Whether it's coincidence or whether there is any particular reason for it, some of them seem to do disproportionately well against your club (Stern John, grrr!), while others always seem useless and you wonder how they've remained at that level for so long.

    Clinton Morrison falls quite comfortably into the latter category to me. Should score goals in League One clearly but I've never considered him a real threat when lining up against my team.

    As you rightly say, some were still surprised when he went down a division so par for the course will be 20-odd goals I would have thought. Great expectations.

  2. Lloyd says:

    Have to agree with the above comment: Morrison has never been up to much when I've seen him, and he's usually spent more time bawling at the ref than anything.

    Seems a divisive character from afar, but he's still an improvement on Frannie Jeffers. I can't believe that Blackpool are even considering that waste of space.

  3. Clint had some great games for the Republic, and scored a wonder goal against Switzerland in 2001 (I think). His case is definitely one of an average player overachieving for a couple of seasons and then being found out, much as the article states. He could still do a job for Wednesday though.

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