Ten games gone - 36 to go. Albion sit comfortably at the top of the Championship.
Ten games gone - 36 to go. Albion sit comfortably at the top of the Championship, two points above big-spending Middlesbrough.
It’s looking good isn’t it? If you had said to any Albionite in the aftermath of last season’s damp squib that we would be in this lofty position, at this stage of the campaign, they would have bitten your hand off.
Chris Hughton wasted no time in diving head first into the transfer window, making some astute acquisitions - and a heart-string-tugging one in club goalscoring legend Bobby Zamora.
So, how have the new boys performed so far? Gaëtan Bong has slotted effortlessly into a left-back berth previously occupied by loan signings since the Withdean days. The Cameroon international was linking up well with LuaLua until the winger’s suspension and has impressed with his consistent displays.
Uwe Hünemeier - with a really long torso, like Beram Kayal - has slotted his German frame seamlessly into a defence superbly marshalled by Greer - and Dunk, when called upon.
Tomer Hemed has netted five league goals since his Fulham debut and has impressed the Albion faithful with his wholehearted displays. The Israel international - who scored for his country in a Euro-qualifier in September - has forged a good understanding with Sam Baldock, holding the ball up well, creating chances as well burying them.
We have not seen much of Niki Mäenpää, nor Jack Harper, Vahid Hambo, Connor Goldson, and Elvis Manu, who has recently made his first bow. Bobby Zamora is a much different proposition to his free-scoring Withdean days. Still capable of finding the net, the 34-year-old holds the ball up much more now, bringing his team-mates into play. He hasn’t scored yet, but it’s only a matter of time.
On to the players who featured last term and Kazenga LuaLua - before the suspension - was beginning to find the consistency those in the stands were hoping for, scoring four times, tracking back, and lasting 90 minutes. Almost like having a new player.
Sam Baldock has caught the eye so far this season with his pace and work rate. It has been rewarded only with one strike to date but, if he continues at the same level, the goals will flow.
Could this be the season Solly March becomes a first-team regular? During the recent Cardiff game, he was disappointing in the first half, giving the ball away regularly. But in the second period the Eastbourne-born winger was simply outstanding, ghosting past his marker as if he wasn’t there.
Let’s keep it up.