England: Fabio Capello Drops Micah Richards, Stats Show He's Lost the Plot

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England: Fabio Capello Drops Micah Richards, Stats Show He's Lost the Plot
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Manchester City's Micah Richards: "Disappointed is an Understatement!"

As the statistics show, England boss Fabio Capello has officially lost the plot after leaving out in-form Manchester City right-back Micah Richards from his squad to face Spain and Sweden at Wembley Stadium.

Liverpool's Glen Johnson and Tottenham Hotspur's Kyle Walker were the two right-backs selected, with Richards writing on Twitter: "Well well well!!!! Disappointed is an understatement!!"

The decision goes against Capello's mantra of selecting young, in-form players to wear the Three Lions jersey.

21-year-old Walker is young and in-form, but the same most certainly cannot be said for the 27-year-old Johnson.

It's no wonder Richards, 23, feels so aggrieved; he has been influential for table-topping City so far this season and has been in better form than both Walker and Johnson, as proven by the stats.

So far this term for Manchester City, Richards has made four assists in league play, which is just two less than David Silva and Samir Nasri, and the same amount as Yaya Toure.

Johnson hasn't made a single assist, while Walker has only one to his name.

Richards has also made eight key passes this season, with Walker making just four, and Johnson three.

Thus, if Capello was looking for a right-back with attacking verve, he's definitely got the wrong player.

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But he most likely wasn't. So in that case, he must be worse defensively than the other two, right? Wrong.

Micah Richards has won 23 tackles this season at a rate of 2.3 per match, with Glen Johnson making just 1.8 per game.

Kyle Walker has won the same number of tackles this term, but at a rate of 2.6 per game, having played a match less. However, as the action zones show, the Tottenham defender has had much more to do defensively than his Man City counterpart.

One area Walker and Johnson trump Richards is in the key interceptions, with the selected duo making 1 and 1.9 per game respectively, while Richards has made just 0.9 per match.

So it could be, especially with a passing team like Spain, that Capello sees these two as players who can cut out potential threat from the likes of David Silva and Juan Mata on the wings.

But in the other match, against Sweden, a completely different style of team from Spain, the threat of an attacking full-back will be of much more use. Considering Richards is statistically England's best attacking defender, the argument for Capello used above is negated.

One major problem England have had in the past is clearing their lines in defence.

It's clear why Kyle Walker was selected, as he's made 4.3 effective clearances per match, but to put Johnson in ahead of Richards is a farce.

Johnson is notoriously awful at clearing the danger and has made just 1.5 clearances per game this season. Richards on the other hand has made 4.2 per game.

So it's clear to see, selecting Glen Johnson ahead of Micah Richards, the Premier League's best performing right-back, a man who clearly has the desire to play for England (something which is lacking among the nation's best players nowadays), is a simply ludicrous decision.

Fabio Capello clearly has his own reasons for selecting the players he has, but unless his men beat Spain and Sweden and Johnson or Walker have stellar performances, it can be officially be said that the Italian tactician has the lost the plot in regards to being manager of England.

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