Tottenham striker Richarlison has swung at manager Antonio Conte, admitting it’s been an “s season” after they were knocked out of the Champions League by AC Milan.
A goalless draw at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium sent the Italian champions through to the last eight after a 1–0 win on aggregate.
Brazilian striker Richarlison has not scored for Tottenham since September 7, coming on as a substitute against Milan in the 70th minute.
But the 25-year-old has questioned the decision by both Conte and assistant coach Cristian Stellini to use him as a substitute against Wolves and against Milan last week after being picked in the starting eleven for wins over West Ham and Chelsea.
‘I didn’t understand that either [being a substitute]. It went well, in a good order, two wins against West Ham and Chelsea,” Richarlison told TNT Sports Brazil.
‘Suddenly, he [Cristian Stellini] benched me, against Wolverhampton he benched me for five minutes. I asked why? They didn’t tell me anything.
“And yesterday they asked me to do a test in 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 cannot be understood.
‘Let’s see what [Conte] will say tomorrow, but there are no fools here either, I am a professional, I work every day and I want to play. There are minutes left, time left.
“This season, excuse the word, it was s—, because I don’t have minutes, I suffered a little bit from the injury. But when I enter the field, I give my life. I came out well in two games, I think that was it, I think I should have played and I don’t need to cry.
Richarlison has struggled for form since joining a £60 million deal from Everton, making just 12 starts this season.
The former Everton and Watford forward has yet to score in 17 Premier League games for Spurs this year, with his two goals against Marseille in the Champions League.
Spurs will suffer another season without a trophy after the defeat to Milan and their shock FA Cup defeat to Sheffield United last week saw them drop out of all cup competitions.
Conte’s future at Tottenham Hotspur remains up in the air as the Italian’s contract expires at the end of the season.
The club is still chasing a top-four finish, but the former Chelsea coach hinted Spurs may want to ‘fire’ him after leaving the Champions League.
“My contract expires in June,” Conte told Italian TV after Wednesday’s goalless draw. “We’ll see – maybe they’ll fire me before the end of the season, who knows, maybe they’ll be disappointed.
“I can’t say anything negative about the efforts of the players. They gave everything from the beginning to the end. We finished the game with 10 men. But if I have to see a positive situation, it is that we have taken a step forward.
“We played in the Europa Conference League last year and didn’t get out of the group stage. Now we have taken a step forward, but it is not enough and if we want to be competitive we have to fight.”