When will Richards get the call?


Does not starting in your club’s last five games of the season mean you can’t represent your country.

That’s the question Micah Richards will be asking himself as he watches England take on France, Ukraine and Sweden from his armchair at home this summer as, once again, the Manchester City right-back has been overlooked for an England call up, despite having arguably his best season to date.

Richards’ first half of the year saw him receive plaudits from both fellow colleagues and journalists across the country but this was not enough for Fabio Capello to include the 23-year-old in any of England’s Euro 2012 qualifiers or the two important friendlies against Sweden and Spain.

Many felt that new England manager Roy Hodgson would begin to leave out the ‘Golden Generation’ of England players and instead bring in the fresh young talent that mesmerises fans week after week in the Premiership. 

Micah though, does not seem to fit in with the new managers plans.

Starting 23 games this season Richards has been more then a bit player in the City’s Championship winning squad. Pablo Zabaleta has been Mancini’s preferred option at right-back in the closing games of the season so maybe Roy hasn’t seen enough of Micah since taking the England job, but with Kyle Walker out of the summers action through injury, it seemed that everyone was expecting the City star to step straight into the vacant position.

Richards, like Walker, is a dual threat right-back, bringing defensive security to the back four, while also providing an attacking threat going forward. 

This has lead to him racking up five assists this season in the Premier League, leaving him behind only Samir Nasri, Sergio Aguero and David Silva in City’s assist chart.  

Hodgson may have looked elsewhere for defenders because Mancini didn’t seem to trust Richards in Europe with the Birmingham born defender making just one appearance in the Champions League before appearing three times in City’s four Europa League fixtures.

This however, doesn’t mean that Richards will flop on the big stage and a right-back that plays with as much confidence and talent in the Premier league should be able to transfer those skills across to the international game.

The opportunity must be given to him at some point or England may end up wasting one of their hostest young prospects.

Glen Johnson may go to Eastern Europe this season and hold his own against the likes of Ribery, Ibrahimovic and the rest of Europe’s elite, but there is someone far more deserving of the chance to shine this summer after having a stand out season in the Premier League.

For more Football Blogs and opinion from football fans around the world