We can all remember those players who had promising careers as youngsters, but for whatever reason, it never quite worked out.
The Premier League is a results driven business. So top clubs are not always the best places to bring through and nurture young talent… if you don’t believe me just ask Jack Rodwell! Micah Richards had exactly this problem.
After winning the league with City in 2012 he lost his place to Pablo Zabaleta. Manuel Pellegrini was not overly impressed with the club’s former captain who seemed to lose form after a knee injury.
Here are three reasons why Pellegrini was wrong, or more precisely why Tim Sherwood has made one of the shrewdest signings this summer.
A physical colossus
A man mountain with pace to burn. Now fully recovered from a nasty knee injury that catapulted his demise at city, we will once again be watching a defender to be feared. Put him alongside Vlaar at centre back and you have pace, power, and the ability to read the game. The days of Richard’s hoarding up and down the touchline like a Viking should be over. At 26 he needs to settle as a centre back and use his physical presence to his advantage as he moves into his early 30’s.
He’s an England international (well sort of)
His new manager has not forgotten Richard’s was a regular in the England set up.”Micah has played international football for England in the past”, said Sherwood, “and if he performs as well as I know he can for Aston Villa then there is no reason why he can’t get back to that level again,”
One great advantage that Richard’s has is that the centre back level in English football is quite low at the moment. With a gaping hole in the centre back position, which many feel Josh Stones is not ready to fill, coud Richard’s force his way into the England mix? Like Sherwood, I think he can.
He knows how to win
He was in the City side that won the league for the first time. He also got a medal for their 2014 campaign, but after only starting twice didn’t deserve it. Add an FA Cup into the mix and the message is clear, he knows how to win… and he is leadership material.
Would the FA Cup Final result have been different if Richards was in the side? Probably not. But will he make a difference to the sides winning mentality? Even the most pessimistic Villa fans should be able to see that he will be able to.