We all know Richarlison hits the ground a lot. In fact, I think the majority of us would agree that he hits the ground too much. It appears that Marco Silva might agree too. In a recent interview with everton TV, the manager was surprisingly forthright about his conversations with his star man about the rate at which he hits the turf:
We are working with him because the Premier League is really tough and the message and the feedback to him is to always don’t fall down. Even if it looks in many, many moments that it is not fair on him with the decisions, what I am saying to him and our staff as well is for him to keep standing as much as he can and in the right moments the referee will be fair with him, because we feel that it is a little bit not so fair.
Keep standing and be strong because the contact in the Premier League is really strong as well. And, for sure, look after the football and the decisions will be fair with you.
I am not at all surprised that Marco and Richarlison had this conversation. I’m very surprised indeed that this conversation has become public knowledge because while Silva spoke tactfully the situation still does not come off as at all flattering to the player who has been central to the majority of the manager’s Premier League career. Richarlison was fouled 2.5 times per 90 minutes last season, but he also lost possession 6.7 times per 90, and many of those moments involved him going to ground and not getting a call.
If I’m following the logic of Silva’s comments correctly I think he believes Richarlison will actually earn more fouls by staying on his feet more. I’m not sure whether that would really show itself in the statistics, but if by staying on his feet he earns a similar number of fouls and loses possession less along the way I think it would be a net positive for the team. Plus, if by staying on his feet more he gets the benefit of the doubt once or twice extra in the box, well, then Everton would really see some benefit.
Richarlison is still very young and immensely talented. He has a lot of growing to do as a player not just in this area but also as either a creator or with his movement should he find himself more permanently used as a #9. I appreciate that the manager isn’t afraid to address the weaknesses of a big name player and hopefully it will pay off both for the player and for the club for years to come.