It may be a new year but it brought no change to Albion’s fortunes as they were defeated once again in the first match of 2018. The defeat leaves them four points from safety as the Hammers move out of the drop zone thanks to the 94th minute winner.
The defeat was tough to take as Albion had played well, particularly in the first half, and deserved their lead. West Ham did apply a lot of pressure, particularly late on, and while I am loath to use such things in mitigation, the fact that the hosts had had five more days’ rest must have played a small part in the drop off in the Baggies’ performance in the second half.
Generally, I thought the Baggies battled well and played some really nice football at times, but it is results that count and the wait for a win goes on.
In the Great Escape season, Albion were in a worse position at this stage. Game 22 was a 0-0 home draw with Newcastle United that left the Baggies bottom of the table with 13 points, five points behind Crystal Palace in 17th. Like Pardew, Robson was still to record his first victory as Albion manager but would do so in the FA Cup match against Preston the following weekend. His first league win was still a few weeks away.
|Comparison of Equivalent Fixtures^|
|2016/2017 Results||West Ham United (A)||D||2-2|
|2002/2003||11/01/2003||Manchester United (H)||L||1-3||Koumas|
|2004/2005||03/01/2005||Newcastle United (H)||D||0-0|
|2005/2006||15/01/2006||Wigan Athletic (A)||W||1-0||Albrechtsen|
|2008/2009||17/01/2009||Middlesbrough (H)||W||3-0||McMahon (o.g.), Koren (2)|
|2010/2011||15/01/2011||Blackpool (H)||W||3-2||Odemwingie (2), Morrison|
|2011/2012||21/01/2012||Stoke City (A)||W||2-1||Morrison, Dorrans|
|2012/2013||12/01/2013||Reading (A)||L||2-3||Lukaku (2)|
|2016/2017||21/01/2017||Sunderland (H)||W||2-0||Fletcher, Brunt|
|2017/2018||02/01/2018||West Ham United (A)||L||1-2||McClean|
|2002/2003||18/01/2003||Leeds United (A)||D||0-0|
|2008/2009||27/01/2009||Manchester United (H)||L||0-5|
|2010/2011||23/01/2011||Blackburn Rovers (A)||L||0-2|
|2012/2013||19/01/2013||Aston Villa (H)||D||2-2||Brunt, Odemwingie|
|2013/2014||29/01/2014||Aston Villa (A)||L||3-4||Brunt, Delph (o.g.), Mulumbu|
|2014/2015||31/01/2015||Tottenham Hotspur (H)||L||0-3|
|2015/2016||23/01/2016||Aston Villa (H)||D||0-0|
|2017/2018||13/01/2018||Brighton & Hove Albion (H)|
* Positions are recorded as Albion’s position in the Premier League table after all fixtures for that day have been completed.
^ Fixtures against promoted clubs are compared against fixtures against the relegated clubs from last season with the club finishing 1st in the Championship compared against the club finishing 18th in the Premier League, 2nd compared with 19th and the play-off winners compared against the club who finished bottom.