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Last Updated: Friday, 1 February 2008, 13:33 GMT
Micah Richards column
Micah Richards
By Micah Richards
Manchester City and England defender

I was a little bit surprised, and disappointed, that David Beckham wasn't included in Fabio Capello's first England squad but I can understand why - he is not match fit.

I don't agree with just giving players England caps. I think they should be earned on merit.

But, if he was fit, I think David would be in the squad - I don't see it that he has been dropped. He can still win that 100th cap and I am sure, once he is back playing regularly, he will.

Manchester City striker Daniel Sturridge
You might not know much about Daniel Sturridge but I have seen him play a lot and he is pure class

It is a bit harsh to say that just because he plays in America he shouldn't get picked but it has definitely counted against him on this occasion - he has not played enough matches.

You can see that he has still got the quality though and let's just hope he gets fit because he is still an important player for our team.

I heard about my call-up a few hours before the squad was announced on Thursday.

I got a text from the Football Association saying I am involved in the 30-man squad, but it has still got to be knocked down to 23 at the weekend.

I didn't know that Capello was coming to the Manchester City-Arsenal game on Saturday but it will be nice to show him what I can do - I don't think he has seen me play in person yet.

I have missed City's last two games with a knee injury but at the moment everything is looking good for me to be fit.

It has been frustrating to watch while I have been out - especially our FA Cup defeat by Sheffield United.

The one thing people will remember from that match is when the ball hit a balloon and led to their first goal.

I have seen balloons at plenty of matches but I have never known for one to affect a game before - it must have been a million-to-one chance.

It is always devastating to go out of the FA Cup - it is a competition I love - and, just like when we were knocked out of the Carling Cup by Tottenham before Christmas, it left us on a bit of a downer for a while.

But we have to push on with our aims in the Premier League and one of the positives to come out of that game, and the draw with Derby, is how Daniel Sturridge has taken his chance in the team.

He is a good friend of mine and I am absolutely buzzing for him. Dan has been biding his time - he has had a bad injury that has kept him out for six or seven months - but he has come back on the scene and scored two in two games.

606: DEBATE

You might not know much about him but I have seen him play a lot and he is pure class. I don't want to big him up too much but I have got belief in his potential and if he has someone to play alongside him then he can be City's number one striker.

But part of the reason Dan got his chance was the departure of Rolando Bianchi for Lazio on loan last week, and I was sorry to see him go.

When a player leaves your club it is often a bit of a surprise and that was how it went with Rolando - the deal was done so fast that we didn't get a chance to give him a proper send off and it is a bit gutting.

I have spoken to him this week though and I am sure we will meet up again soon.

He was really popular in the dressing room and, even if he didn't fully adjust to England and English football, he certainly made the effort - that is the type of guy he is.

  • Micah Richards was talking to Chris Bevan

  • SEE ALSO
    Top managers give Beckham backing
    01 Feb 08 |  Internationals
    Beckham left out of England squad
    31 Jan 08 |  Internationals
    Beckham cast out again by England
    31 Jan 08 |  Internationals
    Beckham's England career in photos
    29 Jan 08 |  Football
    Bianchi completes switch to Lazio
    23 Jan 08 |  Man City
    Micah Richards column
    25 Jan 08 |  Football
    Richards close to Man City deal
    28 Sep 07 |  Man City
    Micah Richards column
    12 Dec 07 |  Football


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