Micah Richards (9 Games) 2/10
Dear reader, do you remember the date March 9th 2014? Man City were dumped out of the FA cup by Wigan and the (media) hype of a famous treble ended. It was also, in all likelihood, Micah Richards's last competitive game for Manchester City Football Club.
This was Micah Richards's 10th season with the first team and it was a season in which significantly more was expected of the player than he actually delivered. The pre-season expectation was that Richards could move past his injury prone 12/13 season and get back to being the powerful, rampaging, and sometimes loose attacking full-back that we had seen in the title winning season in 11/12.
Not only did Richards fail to recapture that 11/12 form in what was likely to be backup duty, he actually moved further away from becoming that player again. Richards played just 171 minutes in the Premier League along with 491 minutes in the Champions League and cup competitions. Recurring injury problems and, when given the rare chance to play in Zabaleta's absence, Richards's form was so bad it actually shocked me on occasion.
It is mighty tough for squad players, especially those with recent injury troubles, to step back into first team duty and hit peak form immediately. Some players need time, more minutes to find that rhythm and feel for the game. Micah is likely one of those players. Unfortunately for Micah, Man City, the title chasing, Champions League aspiring club they have become cannot afford to give a player 3 or 4 games to shake of the rust of inactivity. Peak performance must be immediate and consistent.
Richards's 13/14 season was extremely underwhelming: Injury, followed by lack of game time and poor performance when given a starting berth means that it is highly likely that Richards will choose to leave Man City this summer. Zabaleta is now the superior player in the right back position and Micah, for the sake of his career, should look to get his career back on track at a club who can offer regular football.
Richards is only 25 years of age, plenty of time to turn his career around. If Richards does leave it will be with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to a player we all thought would become so much more than he currently is.
Micah Richard's Premier League Career By Percentage Of Minutes Played