Richarlison hits out at Antonio Conte and ‘sh*t’ Tottenham season in explosive interview
Richarlison has described his first season at Tottenham as "sh*t" and taken a pop at head coach Antonio Conte, saying he was told he would start last night's Champions League game against AC Milan and that he "cannot understand" his treatment by the Italian.
Richarlison was a 70th-minute substitute as Spurs crashed out of a second cup competition in the space of a week after being held to a 0-0 draw by Milan in north London, the Serie A champions progressing to the quarter-finals with a 1-0 win on aggregate.
The Brazilian, a £60million summer signing from Everton, started Spurs' League wins over Chelsea and West Ham, and the abject FA Cup defeat at Sheffield United, before returning to the bench for Saturday's defeat at Wolves.
He says he was given no explanation for his lack of minutes at Molineux and told by coaching staff he would start against Milan, only to find himself behind out-of-form Heung-min Son and Dejan Kulusevski again.
"I didn't understand...I was playing well, we won against Chelsea and West Ham and suddenly I was on the bench," Richarlison told TNT Sports Brazil. "I played five minutes against Wolves, asked the reason and no-one told me why.
"Tuesday they asked me to take a fitness test in the gym and told me I was going to start Wednesday if I passed it. And I was on the bench. There are things I can't understand. There was no explanation again, let's see what he [Conte] will tell us Thursday but I'm not silly, I'm a professional that works hard every day and I want to play.
"There hasn't been enough minutes given to me, this season - and forgive my language - has been shit. I don't have enough minutes, was injured for a bit, but when I'm on the pitch I give my life. I played well in two games, especially against Chelsea, so I think I should have played last night, but I can't go on crying about it now."
Richarlison also appeared to have a pop at Conte's approach, saying Spurs needed to be more attacking as they looked for a goal to level the tie last night.
"There is frustration, of course, we're out of the biggest club competition," he said. "We can't play like that needing to score...the team had to play more offensively especially in the second half. There's not a lot to say now, we can't go chasing someone to take the blame. Now there's only the Premier League to play, a training session tomorrow and a match against Forest in the next round."
Richarlison is yet to score in the league for Spurs and his only goals for the club were two fine headers in the win over Marseille in the Champions League group stage.
The Brazil international has been hampered by injuries, missing seven games before the World Cup with a calf strain and returning from the tournament with a hamstring problem which kept him out until mid-January.
"We have around 15 games to play now and the focus is that," he continued. "I'll try to score as many goals as I can because the club has paid a lot of money for me and I haven't given enough back on the pitch yet. Fair to say my injuries didn't help and I haven't had enough minutes. But now I'll go home, rest, train tomorrow and see if he'll put me in the first XI next game."
Conte last night reiterated that he will decide his future with the club when his contract expires at the end of the season but the result leaves his position increasingly uncertain. He admitted that he could be sacked before his deal is up, with an initially promising season now reduced to another scrap for fourth place.