What a week it has been for Tottenham striker Richarlison. A player rarely out of the headlines regardless of performances and now he is being widely praised for not only his public stance and openness on getting help for his mental health but also, finally, for his goalscoring.
Richarlison, ever since his days at Watford and Everton as the rogue attacker and the maverick bully, has divided opinions.His antics on the pitch, hilarious celebrations and ability to wind up opponents and rival supporters has been a feature of his game. The price tag attached to him last summer hasn't helped either with raised expectations for a player moving to a club in turmoil and chaos.
Enter Ange Postecoglou and things have changed. The atmosphere at Spurs is different, Richarlison is no longer just the back-up to Harry Kane and he isn't as villainised due to improved results for the team.
His season, which had started frustratingly as he vented when taken off against Manchester United before getting just a fourth goal for the club against Fulham in the Carabao Cup, has now been flipped on its head. He was seen crying on the bench during the international break following a shocking miss but his side were still able to win — as they so often do with him around.
It was then revealed that he was looking to seek psychological help in England, a matter which has seen him held up by his peers and many of those watching on due to the bravery taken to admit such a matter in the hostile world of professional football. His manager's typically measured responses to the subject enhanced the positivity around him some more.
And then came the goal. Just a second league goal for the club, but with it the unshakeable feeling of change. A heroic leap for aRead on football.london