If there was a game which summed up West Brom’s Premier League season, the 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon was the perfect snapshot.
Sam Allardyce’s side were in desperate need of a victory to keep their slim survival hopes alive, but proceeded to shoot themselves in the foot by conceding a penalty and then limply try to cause Palace problems down the end – the visitors managed just one shots on target in the entire game.
One man who really let his manager down was Conor Gallagher.
The £9m-rated man on loan from Chelsea just couldn’t seem to get his foot on the ball and control things for the Baggies in the middle of the park, and he was far too sloppy with his passing – in fact, he lost possession 18 times over the course of the game, the third-most of any West Brom player on the day.
He was also overpowered by the likes of Luka Milivojevic and Jairo Riedewald in the engine room, losing eight out of his ten total duels, which was the worst of any Baggies player.
Given that Crystal Palace came into the game as the team boasting the fourth-lowest average possession figure of any Premier League side, it was the perfect opportunity for Gallagher to run the game.
Instead, he just looked off the pace, and it was no surprise that he came in for some criticism after the match for his performance.
In his post-match player ratings for the Birmingham Mail, Joseph Chapman wrote: “Tried his hardest, even when things weren’t coming off. Had a couple of openings that either found the stand or a blue and red shirt in their way. Willing as ever but the quality of his passing let him down on too many occasions.”
In a game where West Brom needed their players to step up, Gallagher – among others – just couldn’t rise to the occasion and he let his manager and fans down big time.