Could Micah Richards benefit from the resignation of Fabio Capello as England manager, as well as the Italian's successor?
One of the most consistent and effective players in the Premier League season, Micah Richards, has inexplicably escaped the attentions of Fabio Capello in recent matches. Richards earned his first England cap in November 2006 at the tender age of 17 and instantly excelled in the role of right-back, but a dip in form at club level saw him frozen out of the international scene.
This season, Richards has reached his early-career heights once more, to become one of the most highly-rated English players in the league, but Capello has defied this widespread opinion with surprise inclusions at full-back. It cannot be denied that Tottenham Hotspur youngster Kyle Walker has exploded onto the scene with some fine performances, and Glen Johnson's ability saw him step into the England team as a regular.
However, question marks remain of the defensive capabilities of Walker and Johnson despite their attacking prowess. The versatility of Manchester United central defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling has also been tested, with the duo having put in performances at full-back. But neither Jones or Smalling have the dynamic attacking ability of their cross-city rival Richards.
But, having taken to the right-back position like a duck to water, Richards has 5 assists to his name this season, which is more than Rafael van der Vaart, Luka Modric and Mikel Arteta, which underlines his importance to the league leaders as an attacking threat. Defensively, Richards cannot be questioned having started his career as a holding midfielder, before moving into the back four, at first in central defence.
Sven-Goran Eriksson showed faith in Richards at the start of his season-long reign, pairing him in a central defensive partnership with Richard Dunne which conceded only once in the opening four games of the 2007/08 season. At 23, it is hard to believe that Richards is Manchester City's longest-serving player, but he is still young and could be at the forefront of an England revolution under the regime of a new manager.
With Harry Redknapp in pole position for the Three Lions hot-seat, it could be that the Spurs manager decides to stick with his club full-back Walker, but it seems that the most deserving and most consistent choice would be Micah Richards.