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Micah Richards tells story of 'hiding' from Gareth Southgate after criticising England performance while on punditry duty

Micah Richards tells story of 'hiding' from Gareth Southgate after criticising England performance while on punditry duty

The former Manchester City recalled avoiding the England manager in Harrogate.

Micah Richards has recalled 'hiding' from Gareth Southgate at a local coffee shop after he criticised England while on punditry duty.

The former Manchester City defender, 35, is widely considered to be one of football's more entertaining pundits.

How many people can bring a smile to the face of fellow pundit Roy Keane, after all? "Roy is everything I didn’t expect him to be," Richards told The Athletic.

"It’s hard to explain without going over the top, but there’s this perception that he’s an angry, old… but he’s the nicest, most considerate guy."

Richards brings positive energy to every show he's on; whether that be CBS Sports, Sky Sports or the BBC, who he is currently working for at this summer's European Championship.

But the job also comes with having to dish out negatives. Case in point; a game involving England, and an awkward post-match encounter with Gareth Southgate.

Speaking on The Rest Is Football podcast alongside Gary Lineker, the former England defender opened up on the incident.

"So I live in Harrogate and so does Gareth Southgate," Richards began. "I was a little bit critical of one of the games in the past, and I went to a coffee shop.

"In my peripheral, I've seen him. And we sort of locked eyes, but I know I had been negative about the way England had played.

"I avoided him. Normally, I'd go up and say hello and all that, but you when someone gives you an eye, as if to say, 'ooooo' [I don't want to speak to you]."

Richards was critical of Southgate's decision to play Phil Foden on the left in their Euro 2024 opener against Serbia.

"Phillip Foden. Phillip f-ing Foden. I'm not going to swear because he doesn't deserve it. What can you do? I told you it doesn't work," he said.

"It works for Man City if he plays on the right or the left or the No10 because of the rotation.

"You know how Pep sets up his sides. There's going to be movement, rotation, De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Grealish, Doku, whatever it may be alongside Haaland up front. I just think with England there's not enough of that and he's left, at times, isolated.

"Me and Cesc [Fabregas] had a really good debate afterwards. He said I was protecting [Foden], I wasn’t protecting Foden but it’s frustrating. I did feel for him. With Foden, it’s so disheartening to see a player of that quality being played out of position."

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Richards added: "Cesc was right, on the ball, he was moving into the No10 role but he still had to press on the left and when he got the ball, it was almost like he was a little bit lethargic. We’re talking about a player of Phil Foden’s ability, he’s best at receiving the ball on the half-turn.

"So he has to play No10, put [Jude] Bellingham further back alongside [Declan] Rice and play Foden in the 10. I said against Iceland, he didn’t have the best of games in the 10 but other players have had other chances to play in their favoured positions and if we persist with it, he can have an impact with this squad."

Featured Image Credit: The Rest Is Football - Getty Images

Topics: England, Micah Richards, Gareth Southgate