Cristian Stellini started Richarlison over Son who has struggled for form this season. Son had only scored four Premier League goals prior to the London derby against West Ham. In fact, 75% of his league goals came in the match against Leicester City in September (his only other benching this season).
“Me, Antonio [Conte], and Ryan Mason [first-team coach], we made this decision because we have a big squad,” said Stellini before kick-off”.
“We have to take decisions, and today we want to use energy. We played with Sonny for many games; maybe this game, there could be time to have Sonny during the match. The reason we have a big squad is [to rotate]”.
“Every time that our players come off the bench, [we hope they] change the game and give us what we need.”
“Every time when you pick the team, you have to leave someone on the bench, and normally, it is not important the player you have to maybe leave on the bench; it is about the team that has to play. It is also important that some important players stay on the bench, and their efforts [are saved for] when they come in. This is very important”.
“We have experience with Sonny, we have experience with Richarlison, we have experience with Deki Kulusevski from the bench; they change the game”.
“This is normal, and it is normal for everyone. Just because you have an important player, doesn’t mean that he has to play and it is compulsory. If he needs to play sometimes, he also needs to rest because we have a tough fixture [list]. We have a tough moment, and we play many times”.
“Sometimes you have to change the player and also to perform better.”
Son Heung-Min came off the bench to score Tottenham Hotspur’s second goal last night as they earned a crucial victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.