Albion haven’t topped a league table this early in a season since Ossie Ardiles was in charge at the Hawthorns in 1992 – they opened that season with six wins and a draw from their opening seven games. The impact that Ismaël has had on the club is every bit as profound as the one the Argentine had and the Hawthorns was rocking as the Baggies thumped one of the pre-season promotion favourites 4-0.
It is the best start to a 21st century promotion campaign, and the last time that the Baggies had more points from their opening three games was when they won the first three of the 1997/98 season under Ray Harford. The third game of that run was the Black Country Derby when Keith Curle endeared himself to the Hawthorns faithful when he scored an own goal to hand Albion the points.
No Baggies side has scored nine goals in their first three games of a season since Denis Smith’s side did so in 1998 (Sheffield United were beaten 4-1 in the second match of that sequence) while that total hasn’t beaten since the double-winning side of 1930/31 opened the season with 3-0, 4-0 and 6-3 victories. Given that Darren Moore’s side of three years ago scored seven in game four, Big Val’s boys will need to score four again on Saturday to keep up.
|* Positions are recorded as Albion’s position in the table after all fixtures for that day have been completed.|
|2001/2002||25/08/2001||Sheffield Wednesday (A)||D||1-1||Dichio|
|2007/2008||25/08/2007||Sheffield United (A)||L||0-1|
|2009/2010||18/08/2009||Peterborough United (A)||W||3-2||Moore (2), Brunt|
|2018/2019||11/08/2018||Norwich City (A)||W||4-3||Rodriguez (2, 1 pen), Barnes, Robson-Kanu|
|2019/2020||17/08/2019||Luton Town (A)||W||2-1||Diangana (2)|
|2021/2022||18/08/2021||Sheffield United (H)||W||4-0||J. Robinson (o.g.), O’Shea, Mowatt, Robinson|
|2000/2001||28/08/2000||Queen’s Park Rangers (H)||W||2-1||Van Blerk, Hughes|
|2003/2004||25/08/2003||Preston North End (H)||W||1-0||Hughes (pen)|
|2006/2007||19/08/2006||Colchester United (H)||W||2-1||Ellington (pen), Wallwork|
|2007/2008||01/09/2007||Barnsley (H)||W||2-0||Teixeira, Beattie|
|2009/2010||22/08/2009||Ipswich Town (H)||W||2-0||Mulumbu, Koren|
|2018/2019||18/08/2018||Queen’s Park Rangers (H)||W||7-1||Phillips (2), Gibbs, Rodriguez (2 pens), Gayle, Robson-Kanu|
|2019/2020||21/08/2019||Reading (H)||D||1-1||Zohore (pen)|
|2021/2022||21/08/2021||Blackburn Rovers (A)|
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