Micah Richards

Micah Richards
Image from: micahrichardsfan.net

Micah Richards

Current Club: Aston Villa.

Previous Club: Manchester City.

Loan Club: Fiorentina.

International: England.

Richards burst out of the Man City youth ranks as an all-action youngster, who could play as a centre back or a rampaging right back with equal ease. Decent on the ball, fast, powerful and strong, Richards was an old fashioned English type of player. He was all about physical prowess, with technical ability a distant second in his skillset. A lot has changed since then, when he was seen as one of the hottest prospects in English football and a regular in the England team.

Years of a poor attitude, being last onto the training pitch and first off it to quote a former manager of his, Roberto Mancini, have taken their toll on his technique. Richards was never the most technical of players, it was always more about pace and power as he made charging runs forward, bulldozing his way past players who could not match him physically. Now though, his technique and timing is poor, meaning those runs are impossible as he is unable to keep close control of the ball.

Added to that, his power and pace is no longer as outstanding as it was, no longer is he a physical specimen that can overawe opponents with his strength. The lack of effort in training has left him being the one that can be overpowered, left his legs short of pace and the lungbursting runs burst his lungs after the first few steps. Which probably goes a long way to explain the laziness in his play, as Richards is constantly caught out of position as his mind is as slow to react as his legs. On the occasions he does get forward, it takes him an age to get back.

Richards is a player who is being paid for what he was, rather than what he is, as he lives entirely off past 'glories'. His lack of effort, on and off the pitch, is reflected in his massive deterioration from an England regular to a player who is not good enough to get into a midtable Championship side. With two seasons left on his contract and little interest in his signature from elsewhere, Villa have to find some use for him. Other than as an example of how not to live your life for the academy, it is difficult to see what they can do with Richards, as it is clear that, at the age of 28, his career as a professional footballer is all but done.