Richard Dunne deserves high recognition
Table-topping Manchester City visit Arsenal this afternoon in what promises to be a fascinating match-up. And while all the talk - deservedly so too - has been of Micah Richards continued rise and rise in the Premier League, I want to mention recognition for his centre-back partner in the Manchester City defence, Richard Dunne.
In my reckoning he is the most underrated centre-back in the Premier League and has done well to rescue his career which at one stage looked to be going downhill harp due to unprofessionalism off the pitch. From what I remember then Man City manager, Kevin Keegan, told Dunne to mend his ways or there would be no future for him at Man City.
He did and how. When he first started in the Premier League he looked to be carrying a few extra pounds and did not look the most focused of individuals - which was in line with the talk that he was not looking after himself correctly. But now when you look at him he is physically fit, has good athleticism and speed across the ground for a big man, and wears the captain's armband with authority. He rarely misses a game through injury and when I see Man City he always has a strong game.
It is clear from Man City's obstruction of Man Utd last week that Richard Dunne was relishing the challenge of defending his team's one goal lead - a sign of a true defender with defensive mentality. It is also clear that Micah Richards is relishing playing alongside the Irish centre-back - towards the end of that match he did a big high five with Dunne after both combined to thwart another Man Utd attack. This is a partnership that has clear high potential and Eriksson must be very satisifed that he can build his team around this solid defensive duo.
Their match-up this afternoon with the likes of van Persie, Adebayor and Eduardo promises to be fascinating and although I won't make a prediction on the outcome I'm sure Dunne will have another 7-8 out of 10 performance as befitting someone who I consider to be a top centre-back.