Albion’s promotion challenge is looking anything but looking at the league table as yet another draw sees them languishing in 12th place after seven games. The game at Wigan, however, was not like earlier matches when the Baggies have dominated and created numerous chances. Instead, Albion looked tired and lethargic, perhaps like a team that has played a game every four days for several weeks with not much of a squad to spread the workload around.
On a night when promotion rivals Watford and Norwich City scored stoppage time winners, Steve Bruce’s side never looked like matching that feat and you wonder whether those teams will still be considering Albion as rivals at all.
It remains the Baggies’ worst start to a second tier season since 1994, and in only four of their thirteen Premier League seasons have they had fewer than eight points after seven games.
It is only the third time that an Albion side has drawn five of their opening seven games. In 1920/21, Albion started their title defence with a record the same as this season winning at home and losing away to Bolton Wanderers and drawing five in their first seven matches while in 1964/65, Jimmy Hagan’s side were unbeaten in their first seven but won just two, beating Sunderland and Stoke City at the Hawthorns 4-1 and 5-3. Most recently, Brian Little’s 1999/2000 side were also unbeaten with five draws and two wins, with both victories coming on the road. Worryingly, the highest finishing position in those three seasons was 14th.
|* Positions are recorded as Albion’s position in the table after all fixtures for that day have been completed.|
|2000/2001||12/09/2000||Crewe Alexandra (A)||W||1-0||Hughes|
|2001/2002||18/09/2001||Preston North End (H)||W||2-0||Dobie (2)|
|2003/2004||16/09/2003||Wigan Athletic (A)||L||0-1|
|2006/2007||12/09/2006||Preston North End (A)||L||0-1|
|2007/2008||22/09/2007||Scunthorpe United (A)||W||3-2||Barnett, Brunt, Teixeira|
|2009/2010||15/09/2009||Doncaster Rovers (H)||W||3-1||Olsson (2), Wood|
|2018/2019||14/09/2018||Birmingham City (A)||D||1-1||Phillips|
|2021/2022||14/09/2021||Derby County (H)||D||0-0|
|2022/2023||30/08/2022||Wigan Athletic (A)||D||1-1||Grant|
|2000/2001||17/09/2000||Birmingham City (H)||D||1-1||Taylor|
|2003/2004||20/09/2003||Crystal Palace (A)||D||2-2||Hulse, Koumas|
|2006/2007||16/09/2006||Southend United (H)||D||1-1||Ellington|
|2007/2008||30/09/2007||Queen’s Park Rangers (H)||W||5-1||Phillips (2), Miller, Koren, Greening|
|2009/2010||19/09/2009||Middlesbrough (A)||W||5-0||Brunt (2), Mulumbu, Bednár, Thomas|
|2018/2019||18/09/2018||Bristol City (H)||W||4-2||Rodriguez (2, 1 pen), Gayle, Barnes|
|2019/2020||22/09/2019||Huddersfield Town (H)||W||4-2||Phillips (2), Furlong, Ajayi|
|2021/2022||18/09/2021||Preston North End (A)||D||1-1||Phillips|
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