Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Micah's crossroads

Mark Ogden writes in the Telegraph about how Micah Richards' recent relegation to the bench raises questions about the future of his career:

But Richards is not even on Capello’s radar. He has not been capped since Steve McClaren’s reign came to an abrupt end in November 2007.

At 21, Richards’s glorious future is now obscured in a fog of uncertainty and the picture is now even less clear with Mark Hughes appearing to chime with Capello in terms of his views on the young defender.

Ogden also affirms what I - and many other City fans - have been saying for some time: that Pablo Zabaleta is simply a much more capable right back than Richards:

Zabaleta is no mug. Argentina, even under the haphazard management of Diego Maradona, do not select no-hopers to play for the Albiceleste. He is not blessed with nature’s gifts like Richards, but while he lacks his rival’s physical attributes, Zabaleta's reading of the game and calm assurance have seen him leap ahead of Richards.

Richards is now struggling even to earn a start for his club. He is not approaching a crossroads, he is now standing at one.

Read it all here.


jackblue said...

Probably the same crossroads that SI stood at a year or so ago. If Micah talks to Stevie and learns from people like Kolo, then there is no reason why he can't come back stronger as a person and better as a player. Of course time could be against this old man of 21?

Gareth said...

Micah Richards is just 21 and captain of England U21. He is an excellent center half for his age and was immense during this summers U21 championships.
Playing at right back will give him a chance to learn the game from Toure and Lescott. I've no doubt in my mind that he will be back.

pjdemers said...

While the article raises some interesting points by comparing the two defenders differences and attributes (Richards' ability as a raw athlete vs Zaby's technical guile) I really felt Ogden was a little over the top on this one.

While Richards may indeed by off Capello's radar at the moment I highly doubt he's off Sparky's radar. It is my understanding he's nursing an injury and while Giggs did give him a torrid time in the derby, I do think it owed more to Giggs' guile getting the better of a 21 year old defender's over-eagerness. Prior to the game Richards certainly looked to be regaining the potential he had showed earlier, something that has been astutely pointed out by the Norfstander blog.

While Zaby does get my vote at the moment there are other games were Richards athleticism will give him the nod. But I just don't buy it that Richard's is at a crossroads ( I believe he is nursing an injury) and I certainly don't buy the implication that he will need to move to another club in order to try and force his way into Capello's favor. His best option would be to stay at City and win his place back on merit. That would be a big statement to Capello, who I think is looking for evidence of strength of character from Michah.

I can't put my finger on it but I just get the feeling that Ogden is cleverly trying to create a bigger story than one that actually exists at the moment.

The Electric Donkey said...

And possibly unsettling a player in the process..