Micah Richards on the Man United pair that made him break City’s unwritten dressing room rule

Micah Richards insists he would break Manchester City’s unwritten rule again this season if asked to name his pick for the PFA Player of the Year.

As the business end of the season approaches, talk has turned to who deserves the nod this year in terms of the PFA Player of the Year voting but Micah Richards is in little doubt.

Richards has explained that players are unlikely to register votes for players from rival clubs, revealing that during his time at Man City, players from Chelsea or Liverpool would take preference over Man United stars.

On two occasions in the past, however, Richards felt it necessary to break that rule.

“There was an unwritten rule in Manchester City’s dressing room during my career when it came to picking the PFA Player of the Year,” Richards told the Daily Mail.

“If someone from Manchester United was in the running but Liverpool or Chelsea had candidates who had performed to a similarly high level, your vote would go to Stamford Bridge or Anfield. Politics such as this goes on in every dressing room across the land: you don’t vote for a rival.

“Of course, there were exceptions when you had to acknowledge brilliance. I remember that I did vote for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007 and Wayne Rooney in 2010 — to do anything else after such outstanding campaigns would have been ridiculous.”

With much debate about who should take the gong at the end of the current campaign, Richards insisted that he would again plump for a United player this season if given the opportunity to vote.

Richards has backed Red Devils talisman Bruno Fernandes to take the honour at the end of the season for his stellar performances since last year’s move to Old Trafford.

Richards continued: “Had I been in that same dressing room now, I would have found myself going against the unwritten rule again. There are many fine candidates this year, not least Ruben Dias and Ilkay Gundogan, but the outstanding footballer of 2020/21 is Bruno Fernandes.

“His numbers at this stage of the campaign are frightening for a midfielder: 15 goals, 10 assists. Involved in a goal, either scoring or setting up, every 84 minutes. Fernandes has created 71 chances and I don’t believe United would be in the top four without him.

“The real mark of an outstanding player is what he does to others in the team and Fernandes has dragged improvement out of those around him. He also has a reputation now. If I’m not watching United and I hear they have scored, I have one thought: it’s Bruno.”

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