‘This season has been s**t!’: Tottenham player hits out at Conte after Champions League exit

Jason Soutar
Richarlison looks dejected after a defeat

Tottenham striker Richarlison has admitted he is struggling to “understand” Antonio Conte’s decision to start him on the bench against AC Milan on Wednesday.

The Premier League club crashed out of the Champions League on Wednesday after an abject display at home to the Italian champions.

Milan went through 1-0 on aggregate after securing a win at the San Siro last month.

It was a low-intensity, passive performance from Conte’s men at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and there are quite rightly a lot of questions being asked.

Tottenham are now set to finish another season without a trophy and there are huge doubts over Conte and Harry Kane’s long-term future at the club.

Summer signing Richarlison has endured a difficult debut campaign in north London.

The Brazilian striker joined from Everton for around £52million but is yet to find the back of the net in a domestic match for his new club.

It will be extremely frustrating for Brazilian after such a stellar goalscoring campaign with Everton in 2021-22.

Starts have been hard to come by for Richarlison, which he probably expected when he joined, and the lack of continuity and consistent minutes have obviously affected his game.

And the 25-year-old has voiced his frustrations, particularly with Conte.

The Tottenham forward says he finds it ‘impossible to understand’ why he started on the bench on Saturday at Wolves and against AC Milan on Wednesday and also criticised Conte for his lack of transparency.

“It was going well, in a good sequence, two wins against West Ham and Chelsea,” Richarlison told TNT Sports Brazil (as relayed by Sky Sports).

“Suddenly, he put me on the bench, against Wolverhampton he put me on for five minutes. I asked why, but 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 will say tomorrow, but there are no fools here either, I’m a professional, I work every day and I want to play.”

Across 25 appearances for Spurs this term, Richarlison averages less than 45 minutes on the pitch per game.

He admits this season has been “s***” but insists he won’t “cry about it”.

“This season, excuse the word, it’s been s*** because I don’t have minutes, I suffered a little with the injury,” the Brazil striker added.

“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.”

Despite the fact they are currently fourth in the Premier League, there is a lot of pessimism about Spurs’ bid to finish inside the Champions League places.

Liverpool are playing well and breathing down their neck, while Newcastle United and Brighton cannot be ignored.

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