Monday, 27 July 2009

Micah looks forward

Confident sounding interview on the official site:

“We have made some unbelievably good signings and I am sure expectation levels will be higher but I am looking forward to it, feeling good and raring to go. The first challenge is getting into the side,” beamed the fully recovered defender. “No one is sure of a place if they are not playing well.

“There are a lot of household names here now but the youngsters like me, Nedum, Stephen Ireland – who was brilliant last season – and Michael Johnson are determined to push them hard.

“These are exciting times and the young lads who have come through the system will not let it faze them. Expectations will be raised in the dressing room as well as outside it.”

One of the many big unknowns of the summer is whether Micah Richards or Pablo Zabaleta will be first choice right-back this season. I honestly don't know - Richards' illness has obviously made him unavailable for selection so far in the pre-season.

I'm a quite immoderate Zabaleta fan. He's a much better defender than Richards, and is actually better going forward too. Yes, Richards' galloping runs are great but when in attacking positions his delivery is nowhere near Zabaleta's, and unlike Pablo he can barely use his left foot.

Of course, there's always the possibility that Zabaleta is used as a utility man - he can fill in not only in holding midfield but left back too - while Richards is first choice right back. We'll just have to wait and see.


trinder said...

Despite what is said out loud, Hughes is under pressure this season so we won't see him taking risks. Zabaleta is the safer option and will likely play much more often than Richards. That said, the competition in the squad should be just the thing to get Micah back playing at the level he attained a couple of years ago.

Daniel said...

A player with a high level of composure is really valuable to his team. Whether he's defending or playing the ball, it's an essential quality to have in the modern game. Micah hasn't really developed that ability yet, while Pablo has. I like Micah a lot, but at this stage in his development he is still a liability in defense. Remember that penalty he conceded against Hamburg? Zaba would be my choice at right-back.