'He's right' - Under-fire Tottenham boss Antonio Conte BRUTALLY responds to Richarlison's 'sh*t season' comments
- Conte under fire in recent weeks
- Richarlison hit out at Spurs' 'sh*t season'
- Italian agrees with forward's subpar campaign
WHAT HAPPENED? The Italian endured one of his hardest weeks as Spurs manager, as his side were eliminated from the FA Cup and Champions League knockouts in the space of a week, with a dire 1-0 Premier League defeat to lowly Wolves wedged in between. Among a host of harsh critics, one of the worst was from his own player.
After Wednesday's European exit at the hands of Milan, Richarlison hit out at Spurs' 'sh*t season' and at Conte specifically for benching him for all but 20 minutes in the game. However, the Italian tactician has since highlighted that, in the interview, the Brazilian was in fact referring to his own underwhelming campaign - and Conte agrees with him.
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WHAT THEY SAID: “I watched Richarlison’s interview. He didn’t criticise me, he said ‘my season is sh*t’ and he’s right, his season is not good," the Spurs manager said in a press conference. "He had a lot of injuries, he went to the World Cup, he had another injury, then back and one month out, then other injuries. He scored zero goals with us, only two in Champions League. But our season hasn’t finished. He has the time to recover and if he deserves to play I’ll give him the opportunity.
“The rest of the interview… the guy understood well he made a mistake. When you speak with; ‘I, I, I’, and not with; ‘Us’, you’re thinking only for yourself and you are selfish. I repeat to my players, if you want to do something important and fight and be competitive to win a trophy, you have to speak with; ‘We’. Not with; ‘I’. He understood his mistake he apologised and that’s good because I had an opportunity to clarify (to him) the importance of the spirit of the team.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Beyond a set of dire recent results - which sees their wait for a major trophy stretch even further - criticisms have been vehement over Tottenham's recent performances. The uninspiring pragmatic displays a far cry from the exciting brand of football encouraged by Mauricio Pochettino just a few years ago, and have disillusioned a large section of the fan base. While he comes under fire over his position at the helm, Conte once again pointed to the limitations of his squad.
“We can't do miracles," the Italian added. "If I am to take the people as a target. We'll see what happens in the future. I'm not stupid to kill myself. Until the end though I am ready to die for this club but then we'll see, I'm not too stupid to keep killing myself”.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT FOR CONTE? Despite a dreadful run of form, Spurs have somehow managed to hold on to fourth spot, placing three points clear of Liverpool having played a game more. The Italian will be hoping his side can extend that gap when they host Nottingham Forest on Saturday, although another defeat would surely spell danger for Conte's tenure at the club.