Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood has challenged Paulinho to do better in training if he wants to win back his first-team place.
The midfielder vented his frustration at his backup role under the Englishman on Sunday, telling the press: "I always want to play. I understand the team rotation because that's how it works here but I am not feeling well or comfortable. I want to be present, I want to play."
The 25-year-old's World Cup place with Brazil could be on the line but Sherwood has no sympathy for his international concerns and insists that he will pick his sides on form rather than reputation.
"I pick players on what they are doing in training, not on reputations and price tags," he declared to reporters. "I can't be worrying if the Brazil national manager wants him to play every week. I am going to do what is best for Tottenham, not any national manager.
"He knows if he trains well and plays well, he stays in the side."
Paulinho, who has scored four goals in 24 Premier League appearances since his summer move from Corinthians, admits that he has struggled to master English and Sherwood agrees that the adaptation has been difficult for the Brazilian star.
"He's come here from another country and the language has been a problem for him," he said. "Also settling into the Premier League, it's a different game from what he has been used to. It's very fast with no respite and we play a completely different way to the Brazil team and the team he has come from.
"He won't find any Premier League team similar to what he has been used to but he trains well and wants to be a success."
- Sports & Recreation