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22/11/2016

turned 37 on Wednesday. ... The Angels had a moment of s

Its 10 years since Micah Richards starred on his international debut against the Netherlands. Deion Sanders Braves Jersey . We look at what happened next for the highly-rated England youngster - and how he has ended up fourth-choice at Sky Bet Championship side Aston Villa... On November 15, 2006 in Amsterdam, Micah Richards became Englands youngest-ever defender and earned rave reviews for a brilliant performance against the Netherlands, in which the 18-year-old neutralised the threat of then-Chelsea winger Arjen Robben.Much has changed in the decade since for Richards, who, after suffering relegation to the Championship with Aston Villa, now finds himself down the pecking order at the Midlands club, behind the likes of Tommy Elphick, James Chester and Nathan Baker. With only three appearances to his name this season - the last of which came against Wolves on October 15 and resulted in a knee injury - it is likely Richards will only be given an opportunity should injuries or suspensions occur.A player once heralded as the natural successor to Gary Neville cant even get a game in Englands second tier.Bursting onto the scene, a teenage Richards made his senior club debut against Arsenal in October 2005. He made quite the impression both on and off the field when, after scoring a last-minute equaliser in the FA Cup fifth-round clash with Aston Villa in February 2006, he swore on live television. But, despite his F-bomb blunder, it was refreshing to see a youngster show genuine passion and his youthful exuberance only endeared him further to the City faithful. Six months half price Upgrade to Sky Sports to watch Man Utd v Arsenal on Saturday and get the first six months half price At the time, Nevilles position in Englands defence had seldom been challenged. Glen Johnson and Charltons Luke Young were at the time vying for the spot and Richards rise to national prominence perhaps came too late, as he failed to book himself a ticket for the World Cup in Germany.However, the Birmingham-born star would not have to wait long to figure for his country and was picked by Steve McClaren to play against the Netherlands. He is an exciting player, the new breed of player, said McClaren ahead of the game.He is big, strong, athletic, very quick and has got a fantastic leap on him. He has come into this environment and is not fazed.During McClarens ill-fated tenure, Richards featured 11 times and even netted in a European qualifier against Israel at Wembley in September 2007. The future looked bright. Richards won praise for his defensive performance against Man Utds Carlos Tevez That same season, Richards had cemented himself as a first-choice member of Sven-Goran Erikssons Manchester City side. In the absence of injured Richard Dunne, Richards became the youngest player to captain the club and, during a 1-0 win over Manchester United, he showcased his strength and raw potential in one of his best games. Shackling Carlos Tevez and making a number of important tackles and interceptions, he took home the man-of-the-match award. He was fantastic, said Eriksson. Im not surprised hes been linked with Chelsea, but I really hope we can keep him here because if we get him to sign a new contract that would be our best signing ever.Richards main strength is very much his physical strength. At 511 and 82kg, Richards is built like a light-heavyweight boxer - or to use a common parlance, he is a bit of a unit. Hes by no means a slouch, either. However, by his own admission his pace and natural athleticism have been his safety net in tight situations while he developed the tactical side of his game.People forget I was 18 when I made my England debut, he said. Two years before that I was playing academy football. You cant be tactically brilliant at 18. Stuart Pearce, who handed Richards his City debut, explained the nature of his rapid progression: Micah is one of those who came on the scene and had a meteoric rise. His career stopped a little and then went up again. He is a great talent. I really hope we can keep him here. If we get him to sign a new contract that would be our best signing ever. Sven-Goran Eriksson However, a turning point was to come.The August 2008 takeover of Manchester City by the Abu Dhabi United Group saw an influx of high-profile players, but it was to be the low-key arrival of Argentinas Pablo Zabaleta - who signed a day before the change of ownership - that would have the biggest impact on the long-term future of Richards.Four years on from his England debut, Richards had made just one international appearance under Fabio Capellos reign, coming on as a substitute against France in 2010, despite shining for his club.However, Citys historic title-winning 2011/12 season would mark the beginning of the end for Richards in a sky blue shirt.City fell 3-1 behind to Sunderland at the Etihad in March 2012. With their title aspirations under threat, they battled back to draw 3-3. After the game, despite a collective collapse in defence, it was Richards who was singled out by manager Roberto Mancini for failing to prevent Nicklas Bendtner from scoring.He suffered the ignominy of being taken off at half-time. From then on, he was replaced by Zabaleta as City went on to win the league.Injuries also played a significant part in the demise of Richards, who was referred to as Swarovski by Mancini, suggesting he was fragile like the famous crystals.There was an accumulation of niggles which began at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where he was injured in a clash with South Korea and meant he was not fit until October. Then, upon his return, he went down against Swansea clutching his knee and was subsequently ruled out for six months. He would play just nine times in the Premier League over the next three seasons. Richards found his opportunities limited at Fiorentina Failure to reaffirm himself in the starting XI meant Richards was now third-choice right-back thanks to the consistency of Zabaleta and the arrival of Bacary Sagna from Arsenal. Two league games all season saw him miss out on a Premier League winners medal and he was released by the club in June 2015.The desire for first-team football took Richards to Fiorentina on a season-long loan, but shortly after he had arrived in Florence, manager Vincenzo Montella changed to a 3-5-2 formation. Richards struggled to find a role and, after just 17 games in all competitions, he signed with Aston Villa on a free transfer, agreeing a four-year contract.Life in the West Midlands began with some promise. Richards was named captain of the club and led them to a 1-0 win away to Bournemouth in their first game of the 2015/16 season. But that was as good as it got for Villa, who failed to register another victory in the league until January 2016. Richards endured an unhappy retun to Manchester City last season with Aston Villa Eventually, with just 17 points to their name, Aston Villa exited the top-flight as the third worst team in Premier League history behind only Derby County (11 points in 2007/08) and Sunderland (15 points in 2005/06) and for Richards, who played 24 times in the league - his highest total since 2011 - it was hardly the return to English football that he would have hoped for.Still only 28, Richards has plenty of playing time left. While it is unlikely he will ever be the powerhouse he once was, when he was touted for stardom, there will be plenty of sides come January who could make use of a man who never truly fulfilled his immense potential. Upgrade to Sky Sports now to watch Man Utd v Arsenal this Saturday and get the first six months half price! Also See: Englands best uncapped XI The Southgate debate Gordon Beckham Jersey . Coach Mike Munchak says Fokou stretched ligaments in his left knee Oct. 13 against Seattle, which could keep out up to five weeks even though the linebacker didnt need surgery. Atlanta Braves Jersey . After a replay, the winner will meet Sunderland in the quarterfinals. Sagbo did well to control Sone Alukos right cross and fire past Brighton goalkeeper Peter Brezovan. Aluko was making his first start in four months after recovering from an Achilles injury. http://www.baseballbravesshop.com/dale-murphy-braves-jersey/ . -- Catcher Brett Hayes has agreed to a $630,000, one-year contract with the Kansas City Royals, avoiding salary arbitration. ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jered Weaver quickly shook off the rust, striking out the first two batters he faced to start his first game in nearly eight weeks. The right-hander pitched six strong innings and Mark Trumbo hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth inning, giving the Los Angeles Angels a 4-3 win over the Dodgers on Wednesday night in the Freeway Series. Weaver (1-1) allowed one run and five hits, struck out seven and walked none in his first home start of the season and 100th of his career at Angel Stadium. "That was comforting in itself," he said. "I was just worried about getting the first out. That was the most nerve-racking. When you havent been out there in a while, you ask yourself, Can I still do this?" The Angels tied a season high with their fifth straight victory at home while snapping a two-game skid. "We didnt kill the ball, but we got enough done," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "When your lead dog is out there, theres definitely a different presence." Weaver came off the disabled list, where hed been since April 9 with a broken left elbow that occurred when he was trying to get out of the way of a line drive at Texas. "Its been a long road and a lot of frustrating times," he said. "I got to give it up to the training staff for dealing with me for six weeks. Everything felt great, location was good." Weaver was perfect through four innings before Andre Ethier doubled to deep centre field leading off the fifth for the Dodgers first hit. After Matt Kemp and Scott Van Slyke struck out, Skip Schumaker singled with two outs -- the first of three in a row off Weaver that loaded the bases -- and Ethier scored to tie the game 1-1. Carl Crawford grounded out to first to end the inning. "His velocity was good," Scioscia said, noting Weaver reached 91 mph. "His fastball had that late life were used to seeing. He knows what he can do out on the mound and he showed it." Weaver downplayed the speed of his pitches, saying, "I dont buy into the velocity anymore. As long as you can locate and change speeds, it makes it all worthwhile. Six weeks off, your arm strrength isnt going to be there. John Smoltz Jersey. " Ernesto Frieri pitched the ninth to earn his 11th save in 12 chances, becoming the first Angels pitcher ever to earn a one-inning save despite giving up two homers -- a leadoff shot to Adrian Gonzalez on a 3-2 pitch and a two-out shot to Van Slyke that cut the Angels lead to 4-3. Chris Capuano (1-4) gave up three runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings, struck out two and walked four. "I definitely was leaving it all out there," he said. "Its frustrating when we battle back to score that one and then let them get the lead right back." Trumbos team-leading 12th homer scored Albert Pujols, who walked with two outs. Trumbo drove in his third run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh, extending the Angels lead to 4-1. They led 1-0 on Erick Aybars RBI double with two outs in the second. Angels slugger Josh Hamilton went 0 for 3 with a walk after being scratched Tuesday because of back spasms. Kemp was hitless in three at-bats with two strikeouts. He left the game in the seventh with a mild right hamstring strain, hurting himself when Mike Trout doubled in the centre field gap. "When you feel it grabbing, youve got to take it easy and make sure youre careful with it because it can get worse," he said. "Ill get an MRI tomorrow and well go from there. I dont how much time Ill miss." The Dodgers won the first two games of the Freeway Series in Los Angeles. The finale is Thursday in Anaheim. NOTES: Trumbos homer was his fifth against a left-hander this season, tying for most in the AL. ... Schumaker became the first Dodger to play second base and centre field in the same game since Jolbert Cabrera in 2003. ... Van Slykes homer was his first in interleague play. ... The Dodgers have started all five road trips this season with a loss. ... RHP Hyun-Jin Ryus two-hit shutout on Tuesday was the first by a Dodgers rookie since Hiroki Kurodas one-hitter on July 7, 2008, against Atlanta. ... Dodgers INF-OF Jerry Hairston Jr. turned 37 on Wednesday. ... The Angels had a moment of silence for Lewis Yocum. The teams orthopedist of 36 years died of liver cancer last weekend. Cheap NFL Jerseys ' ' '