Micah Richards voices his disappointment at England axe on Twitter

By Jamie Dickenson

Manchester City full-back Micah Richards has taken to Twitter to voice his disappointment at being overlooked for England’s upcoming games against Spain and Sweden.

He joins Manchester United players Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney in being left out of the squad.

The trio, who hold a combined total of over 150 caps, have been ignored by coach Fabio Capello for the upcoming friendlies.

Whilst Rio Ferdinand has only recently returned from injury and Wayne Rooney is overlooked because of his impending suspension, the exclusion of Micah Richards is a startling one.

Taking to his twitter page on Sunday, Richards tweeted: “Well well well!!!! Disappointed is an understatement!!”

The next morning he returned to the social media site with a more reflective message, tweeting: “Oh well better luck next time! Roll the sleeves up and work harder! #cantstopwontstopdontstop.”

Despite being currently the first choice right back for the Premier League’s leading club, Capello has chosen to take Liverpool’s Glen Johnson, Tottenham’s Kyle Walker and Man United’s Phil Jones over the former Leeds United trainee.

Speaking in the aftermath of Man City’s 3-2 away win at QPR, captain for the day Richards said: “In seasons before, I’ve not been playing up to my best.”

“Now I’ve started off well this season and we’re top of the league.”

“When you are up against [David] Silva, [Sergio] Aguero, Yaya Toure, [Mario] Balotelli and the rest of them it is hard,” he continued.

“It kind of makes you better as a player facing them every day in training. You have got to concentrate all the time. It is just good to be playing with such quality players and playing with them is helping my game as well, for sure.”

Richards has certainly begun this season in fine form, contributing four assists from defence and injecting pace into City’s right flank.

The 23-year-old has started all but one of his team’s Premier League games so far this term, and looked destined to star for England over the upcoming international period.

However, Fabio Capello has chosen to leave the powerful defender out of his 25-man strong squad.

In the past, Richards has been accused of a lack of focus and effort, and during a summer holiday to party island Ayia Napa in 2009 he contracted swine flu, initial believing the illness to be alcohol poisoning.

But the Birmingham born right-back has benefited from the tutelage of City manager Roberto Mancini, with both his attitude and professionalism now reflecting his performances.

Richards signed off his post-match interview at Loftus Road by saying: “I know what I’ve got to do – keep working hard – and that’s what I’ll do.”

Rio Ferdinand was perhaps too busy celebrating his 33rd birthday yesterday to get upset about his exclusion from the England squad, whilst his recent performances since his return from injury do make the decision somewhat unsurprising.

Wayne Rooney, a recent regular in the national set up, missed the cut this time around after Fabio Capello declared that he needed to assess the merits of the other England strikers following his talisman’s impending three game suspension at Euro 2012.

Commentators have been split over the decision to take Rooney to the European Championships despite being likely to miss the entire group stage.

Considering England’s lack of genuine world class talent in the attacking areas, however, it seems probable that Capello will take a gamble and find a place within his 23-man squad for the Manchester United forward.

United midfielder Ashley Young also misses this England squad through injury, after starting the season in sparkling form after his summer move from Aston Villa.

Youngsters Daniel Sturridge and Jack Rodwell, of Chelsea and Everton respectively, both make their first senior England squad, having starred together for the U-21’s.

Captain John Terry has also been selected for international duty; despite the pending police and F.A. investigations into racial comments made towards Anton Ferdinand in last month’s clash between QPR and Chelsea yet to be decided.

There have also been recalls for pacey Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor and Man City defender Joleon Lescott, whilst Fulham forward Bobby Zamora keeps his place in the squad.

England face a talented Spain side on Saturday afternoon at Wembley, before hosting Sweden on Tuesday evening.

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