Postecoglou explains the advice he gave Richarlison during the tough times last year

Ange Postecoglou says everyone at Tottenham Hotspur has tried to offer Richarlison all the help he needs through his episode of depression, with the Spurs boss insisting that the Brazilian’s case is not unique in the game.

Tottenham fans had been aware of Richarlison’s mental health struggles and his decision to seek professional help as the striker had spoken a little about that publicly a few months ago.

However, last week, the Spurs star opened up in detail about the struggles he was going through in an interview with ESPN Brasil, confessing that he suffered from depression following Brazil’s World Cup campaign in Qatar.

The forward admitted that he struggled to get himself to training on a regular basis and that he had even considered calling time on his career.

Richarlison revealed that seeking therapy had proven a transformative experience for him and called on others to seek professional help if they are in a rut.

When asked about the striker’s struggles, Postecoglou has now told Football.London: “I’m really reluctant to talk about details about that stuff. I think it’s better Richy tells his story. It would be unfair for me to add to that narrative because I could reveal or say something that he doesn’t want. The story is always better told by the person involved.

“From my perspective, as I’ve always said, what I try to do with all the players is provide an environment where they feel comfortable and safe enough to seek any help they do need. Whether that’s Richy or other players that have sought or needed help this year, what I’ve tried to do in my role is steer them towards that.

“Hopefully it should give them perspective around whatever the issue might be, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming where it takes over your whole life.

“From a football perspective anyway, my main bits of advice to him were more around get your body right because I knew he was struggling with his body at the time. When you’ve got things that become overwhelming, just chip away one at a time. It will help you rather than tackling it all at once.”

Postecoglou pointed out that these kinds of depressive episodes are quite commonplace in top-level sport, pointing out that fame and money do not inoculate people from mental health struggles.

Richarlison
Credit: Ollie Watkins (@watkinsstudio)

Depression is commonplace in top-level sport

When asked if he was surprised by Richarlison’s admission, the Australian responded: “No, and I’ll tell you why, because it’s not that uncommon. It’s not, not in my experience. They’re human beings. But for the most part, it’s always dealt with behind closed doors. That’s why it’s always really difficult for your guys (the media) to do your job because you never have all the information and you never will.

“There is so much that goes on at football clubs… if you could just expand that out to your life and just treat a football club like any other industry, you’ll realise that in every other industry, you’ve got people struggling with things. Football is no different but we’ve got to put a strong curtain up and it all gets hidden behind there.

“I guess [the interview is] striking because players or managers or people involved in football haven’t come out publicly before, but I can assure you, no greater but no lesser part of society, there are problems that players and people involved in our industry deal with. The amount of money you have in the bank balance or your fame doesn’t shield you from that.”

Spurs Web Opinion

This is one of the reasons why supporters should refrain from abusing players on social media. No one is more upset about bad individual performances than the players themselves. The pressure associated with being a public figure and performing in such a high-pressure environment is considerable.

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