Surely as stand in captain, Micah Richards, at Manchester City, who are arguably the greatest team in the world at the moment deserves an England call up ahead of Glen Johnson. He is powerful, pacey, strong in the air and very passionate, for me he is the best right back in England and yet for some reason Capello hasn’t called him up. His replacements Kyle Walker, who is pacey and loves getting forward is a contender but Richards can be quick when he needs to be and is far superior to Walker in power, strength and the impression he has on a game, he is better when going forward and could even play as a defensive midfielder.
Admittedly Walker’s pace is an attractive attribute, especially with Walcott or Young in front of him. After making his name on loan at QPR, we all knew this kid was going to be future England right back. However, I still believe Richards is a better choice. He will hassle teams , is powerful and a real presence on the field. His attitude seems to be a stalling point at the moment, but then I don’t think England international players can exactly be held up for their honesty and integrity.
So far this season, looking at the statistics and watching them both in person, I still believe Richards is a better choice and was certainly worth a call up for the recent friendlies. Richards has won 62% of his ground 50/50 battles this season compared to Walker’s 56% and has won 70% of his 30 aerial duals compared to Walker’s 55% of 11. This shows me Richard’s has a far greater presence in a game and intimidates players with his size and power. He more often than not, comes away with the ball and enjoys looking to get forward to threaten opposing teams area’s.
Walker is praised for his ability to attack with pace and agility however, looking at this season’s statistics Walker has been more wasteful when in possession than Richards. Walker has completed 77.41% of his passes compared to Richards whose has completed 77.75% of his passes. A stand-out statistic for me is there crossing statistics. Walker is recognised for his ability to run the line, acting as a wing back but his crossing statistics have been poor so far this season. Out of his 15 crosses he has only completed 1 accurately compared to the 5 accurate crosses from Richards. Richard’s threat going forward has already earned him 4 assists this season 3 more than Walker. These attacking statistics show that the power and impression going forward and defending that Richard’s has on a game certainly earns him the right for an England call up especially, unlike Walker, when he can play almost anywhere on the pitch and still perform to a high level.
Don’t get me wrong I am a huge fan of Walker and I believe he will be the future first choice right-back for England. He played very well and earned Man of the Match against Sweden and certainly seems to be in possession of the shirt at the moment. Another contender, Glenn Johnson played well against Spain but it still confuses me as to why the right-back for arguably the best team in the world at the moment cannot get into his national side. I think these statistics have shown that he is more than worthy of a call up and I personally believe he should be first choice. There is still a long way to go this season and the shirt for me is heavily up for grabs. There are not too many places in the England team that are secure so all three players will have to keep performing to earn the starting 11 place.