The Daily Mail says nobody on the City staff believes that Richards is the perfect defender. Manager Roberto Mancini feels concentration lapses remain, but that they are increasingly uncommon.
The stories of too much time on the weight machines are untrue. No City player is allowed in the training ground gym without a member of the sports science team anyway.
His ability to learn, meanwhile, is not in question. One source described him as a willing worker and first-team coach David Platt has been instructed to spend time with Richards encouraging him to be more attacking.