Micah Richards: The Curious Case of the Forgotten English International

Blake HickmanContributor IIIDecember 11, 2011

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19:  Micah Richards of Manchester City celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at the City of Manchester Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

What more does Micah Richards need to do to prove that he deserves a chance in the starting 11 for the English national team?

Richards has made nearly 200 appearances for Manchester City. That's currently the top club in England's Premier League and Richards has performed well in those appearances. His marauding runs down the right side, high work rate, raw athleticism and solid defensive abilities make him a regular Manchester City starter.

Why can he not get a look in with the English national team?

Kyle Walker, Glen Johnson, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have all shared time at right back for England in 2011. Micah Richards has been left out in the cold.

Glen Johnson, while a great attacking right back, is constantly exposed defensively and is often a liability to the English national team. Kyle Walker, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are promising defensive talents for England, but have only 161 appearances with a Premier League team between the three of them.

Richards already has 197 appearances with a Premier League team.

So, while Kyle Walker, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling all have a great future with the English national team, they are still too inexperienced to be counted on in a major international tournament. Jones’ best position looks to be as a midfielder and Smalling is naturally a center back, rather than a right back.

How do three players whose combined appearances don’t even equal Richards’, consistently play ahead of him for England?

Fabio Capello needs to reevaluate Richards selection for the English national team. This is a player who is in great form, playing for a top team. He is improving daily and is a great talent. Richards could potentially hold down the right back slot for the next 10 years if given the chance. 

Is Richards the answer to the right back conundrum England is currently having? Has he done enough to deserve a chance?

And if given that chance, will he take it?