Saturday, 29 November 2008

Is there a 'Micah Richards problem'?

Is there? If there is, this is what it is (and if there isn't, this is what it would be):

He's not as good a centre back as Vincent Kompany, and he's not as good a right back as Pablo Zabaleta.

I guess it depends on where Kompany is going to play. He was exceptional in defence on Thursday (as he was for the last 40 minutes against West Ham in August, when Richards went off), and could easily play at centre back for years to come. If we get Diarra, a Diarra/Ireland/Johnson midfield is quite likely in 2009/10.

Even if Kompany stays in midfield, the rumours about our signing Kolo Toure (or, less plausibly, John Terry) suggest that Hughes wants a new centre back. Overall this season, Richards and Dunne have been as bad as each other. But Dunne's had a good last month whereas Richards has not. Could he be slowly squeezed out in 2009?

I honestly don't know: what do you think?


Anonymous said...

Yeah, I reckon you just might have a point there... He's looking more cumbersome recently, which probably doesn't help him as he's strong enough anyway, and more bulk on top is bad for centre of gravity... His main problem though is his lack of positional awareness, which is what sets the best Centre backs apart. This is more important than strength and pace, but if you have all three then you really are World Class! Micah, I'm afraid, currently is not! I can see him being used as a reserve for both positions with Nedum probably moving on as he's well down the pecking order. Whether Micah will wear this for long is open to question though, but he's just signed a new contract so unless someone comes in with a big offer, he's staying put for a little while at least.

Interesting times indeed but at least Micah has a month or so to stake his claim so we'll all have a better idea by January...

Tick... Tock...



tommytheblue said...

richard buffoon dunne is the weak link for me..

he was caught out at the start of the schalke game, richards had to cover him.

he slow of the mark, doesnt lead at all very well. awful distribution...he loses the ball more often than not..

Anonymous said...

I'm with Tommy - time to ship out Dunnie unfortunately. He's been a great servant and he'll do a job for a team like Sunderland but he's just not gifted enough in terms of his pace, balance and distribution to have a long term future in the team, especially given the way we are trying to play these days. Tired of seeing him lump it up hopelessly when others are trying to play an intelligent passing game. Have to agree that Kompany is light years ahead of both Dunne and Richards at CB. Also agree that Richards is looking like an escapee from The Cage at Muscle Beach these days! Go easy on those weights Micah!