There are a lot of angry people after Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League loss to AC Milan at home tonight, and maybe none more so than Richarlison. The £60m summer signing from Everton started once again on the bench thanks to the decision of Antonio Conte and didn’t come on until late in the match.
Afterwards, Richy gave an interview with the Brazilian media... and let’s just say he didn’t hold back. Richarlison had some harsh words for his manager, and by the sound of things he has had enough.
Richarlison: "Esta temporada está a ser uma merd*"— GonçaloDias17 (@goncalo_diass17) March 8, 2023
E ainda criticou o Conte... pic.twitter.com/613AtBBf10
Now, obviously I don’t speak Portuguese, and the clips I (and probably you) have seen via the various Spurs aggregators are just small portions. Thankfully, the good people at /r/coys came through with the full translation. Here it is, courtesy of TinoAursnesEnzo:
Richarlison, I imagine you’re feeling frustrated
(Chuckles) of course, we’re out of the biggest club competition, but we can’t play like this needing a goal, we have to put people forward especially in the second half. Now there’s not much to discuss, we can’t assign blame, now we have to focus on the premier league, we train early tomorrow and the next match is Nottingham Forest.
I’m sure you would have liked to come in sooner or to have been a striker, you haven’t been starting much...
I also didn’t get that. I was playing well, I was in good form, I had two wins against Aston and Chelsea and all of a sudden [Conte] benched [me]. Against Wolves he played me for 5 minutes, I asked why and they didn’t tell me anything. Yesterday he asked me to do a test at the training ground, he said if I did well he’d play me, and when the match came he benched me. These things are not understandable.
He didn’t speak to you, didn’t explain why?
He didn’t explain anything. Let’s see what he says tomorrow. You don’t have an idiot here, I’m a professional, I work every day and I want to play. I need more minutes. If the season is being, sorry for the word, is being shit why do I not get minutes? I got a small injury, but when I’m on the pitch I give my life. I came from two good games, especially against chelsea where I played the 90 minutes and won a match. There’s not much to discuss, I should have played and now I don’t have to sit here crying.
And to finish, how do you focus for the end of the season, you said it’s been frustrating so far
There’s about 20 matches left, almost 20 matches, I don’t know 18 (interviewer: 13). Thirteen, yeah? Focus on those matches, scoring as many goals as I can, because the club paid a lot for me and so far I haven’t matched that on the pitch. Of course injuries have set me back a little, I needed to play more minutes too, but now I’m going home, to rest, tomorrow we have training early, and let’s see if they put me in the starting eleven for the next match.
Now look, I’m just a simple country Spurs blogger and I’m also inclined to be a little upset at Conte right now, but I’m pretty much fully on Team Richy in this particular instance. I get why he’s frustrated! He was a big summer signing and a big deal for Everton, got injured, recovered, had an excellent World Cup with Brazil, got injured again, and now when he finally is healthy he can’t seem to get anything other than spot minutes ahead of a guy in Son Heung-Min who I love to death but who has pretty much been garbage for months. And it sure sounds like his manager isn’t really explaining why Richarlison isn’t getting games.
I’ll admit that Richy hasn’t exactly set the world on fire in the limited minutes he’s had, but it’s also really tough to get into a good run of form when you can’t get a run of games. It’s just super frustrating and this match was hot crap and Spurs are now out of the Champions League. I’m willing to bet that the players already all know that Conte’s unlikely to be in charge next season, and the manager not rewarding you for all your hard work must be a tough pill to swallow.
I guess at some level it’s nice to know that the players are feeling as bad about this patch of bad form as the fans are, right?