West Brom’s bid to stay in the Premier League was dealt another crushing blow on Thursday evening after they were well beaten by Midlands rivals Leicester City.
Baggies manager Sam Allardyce will be less than pleased with what he saw from his side as they failed to follow up back-to-back victories with any sort of fighting display – ultimately, the 66-year-old was badly let down by several key members of his squad.
None more so than Matty Phillips, who continues to be trusted by his manager despite the likes of Grady Diangana and Karlan Grant waiting in the wings for an opportunity.
Of course, his selection can be justified. It would take a lot for a manager to drop someone who’s just scored in their previous outing before this one, but that game may well have been an anomaly as we witnessed a shocker from the 30-year-old winger.
He was partially at fault for former Albion star Jonny Evans scoring the Foxes’ second in what was a rampant 13-minute period in the first half during which they bagged all three of their goals.
In attack, he struggled to have much of a say whatsoever and was wholly ineffective. In the 90 minutes he was on the pitch, the £25,000-per-week ace saw the ball only 30 times – once every three minutes. This was fewer touches than goalkeeper Sam Johnstone (45) and central defenders Dara O’Shea (43) and Kyle Bartley (37), as per SofaScore.
When he did get involved – albeit briefly – he was rather dismal in possession, making a measly seven passes at an accuracy rate of 58%. That’s just one pass every 12.8 minutes in a Premier League game. No starting West Brom player managed fewer and even substitute Semi Ajayi managed the same number in half the time.
Furthermore, Phillips was weak in his battles, not only losing possession 12 times to the Foxes’ press but also losing 12 of his 14 duels (85%). He also committed two fouls, via SofaScore, as he struggled to combat Leicester’s options down that right flank.
It was a night to forget for the veteran winger and one on which he’ll need to vastly improve with some big games coming up which could hand the Baggies their fate.
A player of his vast experience (337 appearances across the top two divisions) should be having a far greater impact in a match, so Phillips was certainly one of many to badly betray Allardyce on the night.
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