By West Brom News speaking to Kevin Phillips

3rd Sep, 2021 | 10:58am

Kevin Phillips defends Dara O'Shea antics as West Brom ace riles up Cristiano Ronaldo

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 defended Dara O’Shea for trying to rile up Cristiano Ronaldo when the West Brom defender took on Portugal while playing for Ireland this week.

In the first half, Ronaldo was about to take a penalty when O’Shea kicked the ball away, prompting the new Manchester United star to take a bit of a swipe at the centre-back.

Ronaldo went on to miss the penalty before John Egan put Ireland ahead.

However, two late goals by the Portuguese superstar won the match for them and also cemented his spot in history as men’s international football’s highest ever goalscorer.

In reaction to the first-half incident with O’Shea, Phillips admits that he likes to see a bit of gamesmanship as long as it’s harmless.

Speaking to West Brom News, Super Kev said: “There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just trying to put him off.

You’ll do anything to try and put Ronaldo off but it will take more than that to put him off.

There might have been some frustration there but I haven’t got an issue with that. It’s harmless.

It’s just trying to put someone off and get in their head. You see it with goalkeepers when they come off their line and walk up to their player.

It’s just a bit of handbags and I like to see players trying to put other players off as long as it doesn’t get violent.

It shows Dara has some character and he cares. He’s had a good month.”

O’Shea unfortunately suffered a nasty-looking ankle injury that ended his World Cup qualifying fixture against Portugal.

He’s been in outstanding club form at West Brom and it remains to be seen whether he has to spend a spell on the sidelines.

In other West Brom news, talkSPORT reporters have blasted the club for a “disgrace” they noticed against Arsenal.

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