Writer: Lorna Silva
Date:Tuesday October 16 2012
Lorna Silva praises the return to full power of Miach Richards. His ongoing exclusion from the England side is certainly City's gain...
Micah Richards is back for the first time in five months... and don't we know it!
Back on the pitch against Sunderland and Ker-POW his presence was made known as he stood in at centre-back. Well rested and up for the challenge.
Unbelievably, a couple of critics even suggested he attacked a little too much? Surely you can't base performance analysis on just one game!
Richards has pace, power and is always on the end of chances whenever he can. A defender of high calibre, fast and solid, he has an outstanding ability to leap high. He's fantastic in the air, a formidable opponent known as 'The Salmon' when he broke through from the academy seven years ago.
Richards, the same as Yaya Toure, strikes fear into the opposition especially when he charges down the right side, especially when you look back at his performance last season and his return to the Blues was very welcome indeed!
In the last campaign when the likes of Silva, Toure and Aguero, all of whom have their own style of play, could not quite manage to wriggle an opening, Richards was there to take control and smash the other side into submission, especially our Champ16ns win when Patrice Evra was simply outclassed with the surges and charges he was faced with.
Richards has built quite a good standing as a defender who relies upon sheer strength and pace to get himself out of difficult situations he may find himself in. It may be this resort is due to a lack of concentration at times on his part but regardless, he soon turns himself back on and rescue's himself (something Jack Rodwell will hopefully learn to do).
Richards had to stand aside following the ankle injury sustained on Great Britain Olympic duty. (Mancini has been known to liken Richards injury wise to 'Swarovski' - being like crystal).
The injury allowed Pablo Zabaleta in again. Diehard Zaba is a firm favourite with City fans. The fact that we can sometimes have them both play in the same side is a fabulous bonus.
Richards is happy to play an attacking right back role and this is where he flourishes, but as we saw in the Sunderland clean sheet, it has been noted that he is quite content to perform in the centre. This might suit Mancio with his persistent tinkering of the three at the back scenario. When placed in the right back role position last season Micah became, what could best be classed as a nuisance to the other side!
Taking all of the above into consideration it seems as though the City boss's choices for his first XI are going to be tested. The position of right-back for Micah may be an option, given that Zabaleta is currently tied up with Argentina duties.
Following on from my earlier article 'What's Been Going On At The Back,' Richards will certainly boost that back line, whether it is at centre-back or right-back. He's sure to prove to be prodigious in keeping The Blues at the top, where they belong!
During this international break, alongside Carlos Tevez and Gareth Barry at Carrington, he is looking very sharp.
Welcome 'back' Micah.
Micah Richards City Factfile:
Age: 24, MCFC Academy Graduate
Debut:Sa 22Oct 2005 Arsenal 1 - 0 Man City (substitute)
League and Cup Appearances including sub: 227
all times East Manchester
Sa 20 Oct 15h00 West Brom, The Hawthorns, PL
We 24 Oct 19h45 Ajax, Amsterdam Arena, CL
Sa 27 Oct 17h30 Swansea City, The Etihad, PL
Sa 03Nov 17h30 West Ham, Upton Park, PL
Tu 06 Nov 19h45 Ajax, The Etihad, CL
Su 11 Nov 13h30 Spurs, The Etihad, PL
Sa 17 Nov 15h00 Aston Villa, The Etihad, PL
We 21 Nov 19h45 Real Madrid, The Etihad, CL
Su 25 Nov 16h00 Chelsea, Stamford Bridge, PL
We 28 Nov 20h00 Wigan, DW Stadium, PL
Date:Tuesday October 16 2012
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