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30th Oct 2023

Micah Richards on the Man United players that would make City’s squad

Patrick McCarry

Micah Richards

“I just want more from Man United.”

Micah Richards can recall going into plenty of Manchester derbies as the underdog, and he believes Manchester United are lacking a basic requirement for the role.

Manchester City rolled into Old Trafford on Sunday, took United’s best shots in the opening half hour then proceeded to pick their rivals apart. They won 3-0 and it could have been more, had it not been for some fine stops by André Onana. On the other hand, Ederson did well to deny Scott McTominay while Marcus Rashford shot wide with his team’s best chance of the second half.

“The least you should expect is for [underdogs] to put up some fight and [show] some spirit,” Richards stated, on The Rest Is Football. “This time, at this moment in time, just look miles and miles away.”

Co-host Gary Lineker was similarly taken aback by the poor United display and observed that not many of their current side would make the Manchester City squad, let alone first XI.

Lineker believes Pep Guardiola would be interested, given the chance, in taking over Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes and ‘maybe Luke Shaw if he was fit’. Richards commented:

“Yeah, Fernandes, Rashford, I’ll give you them.”

“Fernandes wouldn’t get anywhere near City’s team with his lack of work-rate, no?” asked Alan Shearer. “He wouldn’t press like City do.”

Micah RichardsMicah Richards says only two United players would make City’s squad. (Photo by Will Palmer/Sportsphoto/Allstar Via Getty Images)

Micah Richards on Bruno Fernandes

Micah Richards then spoke of how, in his view, Fernandes often leaves his given possession and goes looking for touches, or challenges, around the pitch, to show fans he is working for the team. “He’s trying to get the crowd onside, running out of position… when really, he’s just playing for himself,” the former City defender claimed.

Shearer and Richards then dug into the suitability of Fernandes to captain United, spurred on by Roy Keane’s Sky Sports comments on the matter. “There’s no doubting his quality,” said Richards, “but it’s not quite working out.”

Before the game, Shearer said he had stated Marcus Rashford was the only United player that could “perhaps” operate in Guardiola’s treble-winning City set-up. Rashford then went on to have another poor performance and was replaced by Anthony Martial in the second half.

“They look a broken squad, they look a broken team,” said Shearer.

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