Richarlison is right! The stats show Tottenham score more goals AND win more games when the Brazilian starts after he slammed Antonio Conte in an explosive interview (but he could do with adding a few more goals himself!)
- Richarlison was furious as Spurs exited the Champions League on Wednesday
- The Brazilian started from the bench and was brought on with 20 minutes to go
- The game finished 0-0 with Italian giants AC Milan progressing to the last-eight
Tottenham forward Richarlison hit out at manager Antonio Conte on Wednesday night over a lack of playing time in an extraordinary post-match interview following his side’s lackluster Champions League exit.
And it turns out the Brazilian, who cost Tottenham a whopping £60million last summer, has a point – despite scoring just two goals in 25 games in all competitions and falling well below the form he showed for Brazil at the Qatar World Cup.
Richarlison insisted it has been a ‘s*** season’ for the north London club, a sentiment clearly echoed by the fans who booed their side off at full-time, with the 0-0 draw against AC Milan – 0-1 on aggregate – ensuring yet another trophyless campaign.
It is now looking increasingly unlikely that Conte will extend his contract, which ends in June, with the Italian admitting last night that he could be sacked before the season comes to an end. Another transition period beckons.
But for Richarlison, there is an easy fix: play him more. The 25-year-old has only started 12 out of his 25 games in all competitions this campaign, including in recent victories over London rivals West Ham and Chelsea.
Richarlison has questioned Antonio Conte for starting him on the bench against AC Milan
The Brazilian was brought on as a substitute as Tottenham exited the Champions League
Indeed, Richarlison started in Spurs’ shocking FA Cup defeat by Sheffield United last week, but he was dropped by temporary boss Cristian Stellini for the defeat by Wolves, and overlooked again by Conte against Milan.
The stats, however, show that Richarlison is right to feel aggrieved by his recent omissions.
Tottenham, when Richarlison has started this season, have won eight of 12 games in all competitions, a win percentage of 66.7. When Richarlison hasn’t started, they have won only 11 of 26, a percentage of just 42.3.
The north London side have also been more potent in front of goal, averaging two goals a game when the Brazilian has started, compared to only 1.3 when he hasn’t.
Meanwhile, Tottenham have been equally defensively solid with and without Richarlison in the starting lineup, conceding an average of 1.2 goals in both scenarios.
Unsurprisingly, while Tottenham have won over 20 per cent more games with Richarlison starting, their loss percentage dramatically increases when he’s absent. Spurs have lost only three of 12 games he has started in (25 per cent), as opposed to 10 from 26 when he hasn’t (38.5 per cent).
Interestingly, it’s not Richarlison’s creative output which has such an impact on the team. Lucas Moura aside, he betters only Dejan Kulusevski in terms of minutes per goal. Both Kulusevski and Son Heung-min have created more chances per 90 minutes, and Richarlison has contributed only two assists all season.
Rather, it’s Richarlison’s drive, tenacity and work-rate which proves so crucial. He has been fouled more, made more interceptions, more ball recoveries and won more aerial duels than both Son and Kulusevski this season.
Richarlison has started in just 12 of the 25 games he has featured in for Tottenham this season
Clearly, Richarlison has a case. He was brought on with just 20 minutes remaining on Wednesday, despite Tottenham struggling in attack and heading out of the Champions League.
Speaking after the game, he said: ‘I didn’t understand – I was playing well, we won against Chelsea and West Ham and suddenly I was on the bench. I played five minutes against Wolves, asked the reason and no-one told me why.
‘They asked me to take a fitness test in the gym and told me I was going to start 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 but I’m not silly – I’m a professional that works hard every day and I want to play.’
Richarlison has implored Antonio Conte to put him in the starting XI in Spurs’ next game
The 25-year-old also insisted that Spurs were too defensive in their approach against Milan.
‘There is frustration of course – we’re out of the biggest club competition. 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,’ Richarlison added.
‘We have 12 games to play now and the focus is that. 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,’ he continued. ‘Fair to say my injuries didn’t help and I haven’t had enough minutes. But now I’ll go home, rest, train and see if he’ll (Conte) put me in the first XI next game.’
Tottenham next play Nottingham Forest at home on Saturday at 3pm.
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