We’re delighted to welcome former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…
Kevin Phillips has slammed Conor Gallagher for his attempt to win a penalty as West Brom lost 2-1 to West Ham at the London Stadium on Tuesday night.
In the late stages of the game as Albion searched for an equaliser, Gallagher, 20, went down in the box in a bid to win a spot-kick from Andriy Yarmolenko but referee Graham Scott wasn’t fooled and booked the on-loan Chelsea ace without hesitation.
Phillips can understand why Gallagher was so eager to go down and try to win a penalty for Albion, who scored twice from the spot at Wolves on Saturday.
However, the ex-West Brom striker cannot condone the midfielder’s simulation.
“It’s a dive, unfortunately. I understand, I get it because you’re desperate for points and desperate for a penalty but ultimately, you let yourself down when you do things like that,” Phillips told West Brom News.
“It was a complete and clear dive and I thought the ref refereed the game well. He was spot on and you could see straight away, there were no remonstrations from Gallagher because he knew he dived.
“We’re trying to stamp this out of the game so hopefully the young kid will learn from that.
“I kind of get it, as I said, because of where they are and there’s desperation at the end of the game but you don’t want to see that moving forwards and hopefully they’ll nip it in the bud.”
Gallagher has only just returned for a one-match ban after accumulating his fifth yellow card of the Premier League season versus Arsenal.
He plays a role that sees him get booked a lot so picking up pointless ones for diving is frustrating.
Stats by Wyscout show that only five players in the whole of the top-flight have been involved in more defensive duels per 90 minutes than Gallagher [10.48] this season.
Also, no one has been booked more often than him after his sixth yellow versus the Hammers.
Not only was it a stupid, avoidable yellow card, it’s also something we hate to see in the game. Plus, with VAR, there’s simply no point because you’ll get found out.