Five Manchester City stars called up for England v Holland include Micah Richards Feb23 2012 - Manchester City FC

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Season 2011/12

Micah one of our five for England

  • 23 February 2012 11:20
  • Posted by Peter Ferguson

Micah Richards is one of five City stars to receive the England call for next week's Wembley friendly against Holland.

The Blues right-back, consistently overlooked by departed coach Fabio Capello, joins Gareth Barry, Joe HartAdam Johnson and James Milner in Stuart Pearce's squad.

It's a case of 'back to the future' for Micah - he made his Three Lions debut in a friendly against the Netherlands in 2006, becoming England's youngest-ever defender at 18.

Despite winning 12 caps, Richards has not figured for England since the 2-1 Wembley defeat by France in November, 2010.

His superb form this season failed to sway Capello, but caretaker boss Pearce is keen to bring his former England Under-21 skipper back into the senior picture.

Pearce told the Press conference: “I gave Micah his debut as a club player and I think he’s done extremely well this year.

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“To hold your place in the Manchester City team is no mean feat these days given the finances they’ve got there. I think he’s had a smashing season and it will be interesting for him with his mentality coming back into the squad.

“It’s important that we nurture these young talents and make sure they fulfil their potential. He's now got a great opportunity here to play and impress.”

The former City manager's other Etihad choices are predictable, with midfield mainstay Barry as well as goalkeeper Hart being touted as possible England captains.

Barry was credited with England's 2000th goal in the last game against Sweden in November, when Hart and Milner were the other Blues on the pitch

One notable absentee is Joleon Lescott, one of the senior players told by Pearce he would miss out to make room for a more experimental squad against the Dutch.

Lescott has been quoted as saying: "It is a chance for other players to prove what good players they are."   

England will be facing Nigel de Jong in Dutch orange, while Mario Balotelli is in Italy's squad to meet the USA and Sergio Aguero leads Argentina's attack against the Swiss in Berne.

Edin Dzeko's Bosnia tackle Brazil, Aleks Kolarov's Serbia are in Cyprus and Vincent Kompany's Belgium are up against Greece. 

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