- Tottenham crashed out of Europe
- Unable to see off Milan in last-16
- Brazilian unhappy with his role
WHAT HAPPENED? Spurs entered the 2022-23 campaign with high hopes after seeing highly-rated Italian tactician Conte guide them to a top-four finish in the Premier League. Inconsistency has, however, proved to be an issue once again, with a 1-0 aggregate defeat to Serie A title holders Milan enough to dump them out of European competition. Richarlison was given just 20 minutes off the bench in the second leg of a crunch encounter with the Rossoneri – as Conte returned to the bench following his recovery from gallbladder surgery – and the Brazilian wants answers as to why he has been dropped from a team crying out for inspiration from somewhere.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Richarlison told TNT Sports: “That's what I didn't understand, too (being a substitute). It was going well, in a good sequence, two wins against West Ham and Chelsea. Suddenly, he (Cristian Stellini) put me on the bench, against Wolverhampton he put me on for five minutes. I asked why? They didn't tell me anything. And, yesterday, they asked me to take a test at the gym, that if I was good I would go to the game and, at the time of the game, they left me on the bench. These are things that it is not possible to understand.
“Let's see what he (Conte) will say tomorrow, but there are no fools here either, I'm a professional, I work every day and I want to play. There are minutes left, time left. This season, excuse the word, it's been sh*t, because I don't have minutes, I suffered a little with the injury. But, when I enter the field, I give my life. I came from two games well, I think that's it, I think I should have played and I don't have to cry about it.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Richarlison has, like many of those around, found the going tough at times this season, with just two Champions League goals recorded – with a Premier League duck yet to be broken through 17 appearances – and he has started only 12 of his 25 outings in all competitions.
IN TWO PHOTOS:Getty
WHAT NEXT? Richarlison was snapped up from Everton for £60 million ($71m) last summer and will hope that he can still find a spark from somewhere before his debut campaign in north London comes to a close – with Conte’s side set to be back in action on Saturday when playing host to Nottingham Forest.