Funny things, draws. Especially when you are looking for a form line.

Take Albion. One defeat in the last eight and off to their best ever start in the Premier League.

Or, equally, a slightly disconcerting no victory in six (seven in all comps).

That is their longest winless league sequence since a nine-game period which started about this time last year after a 2-1 success at Aston Villa.

The wider perception is that Albion are off to a great start.

That is still how it is being talked about in the national media.

That is the line Steven Gerrard took this week.

And it IS great. Two defeats, 17 points, seventh place.

If you are younger than 40, you have never seen anything like this.

If you are older than 40, you might have seen it but been bored by some of it at the time.

There appears a feeling among fans who follow Albion closely that this season WAS a great start.

It remains good. Of course it does. The best since 1981 going into early 1982.

But the five recent league draws represent more points dropped than gained.

With others closing in, Albion could see their lofty placing change quickly.

Which leads to the question of what even constitutes a good season, relative success.

One is tempted to talk about expectation.

I was asked during a recent appearance on the Premier League’s own TV channel about what the expectation is for Albion.

Graham Potter recently said Albion are in no position to expect anything.

But I got rather confused looks from presenter Manish Bhasin and Darren Bent when I tried to put that across in rather garbled fashion.

On reflection, they wanted simplicity. I should have played safe and just said “mid-table”.

But Potter is right – though only to a degree.

Albion cannot expect too much, they must go out and earn it.

However, looking in from the outside, we should expect them to stay up.

The bottom end of the Premier League is getting stronger.

It is getting harder to pinpoint three teams you think will go down.

(Unpopular opinion alert: Brentford face a real battle to stay up).

But Albion should expect to stay in the division with the squad and coaching set-up they have.

But with how much to spare – and where in the table?

We might know more about that after a time of the year which has always caught them out, to varying degrees, since promotion in 2017.

The international calendar has been completed and this is when the league intensity steps up.

By yesterday, Albion had played 11 league games in 97 days since the initial win at Burnley.

From today, they have ten to play in 44 days.

They go into that with most players free of injury.

And in form? Well, not winning form. But not losing form either.

Playing quite well in the main.

They could conceivably have won at Anfield and gone 2-0 up at home to Newcastle.

They are THAT close to being THAT good.

But how has this time of year caught up with them in the past?

2017-18: Thank heavens for Watford

Albion spent the final international break 11th in the table after a win at Swansea.

On their return to action, they took just three points from seven games before scrambling a much-needed 1-0 home win over depleted Watford on December 23.

That was their only win in 14 league outings after the November break.

2018-19: Palace and not much more

The November interlude gave time to get over a shattering 2-1 defeat at Cardiff in which Dale Stephens was sent off.

They initially did well on their return with seven points from three games.

That included an important win at Huddersfield and the “we’ve only got ten men” success over Crystal Palace.

But three defeats going into Christmas made it seven points from six matches in that period.

Not terrible – but not fantastic either.

2019-20: Remember Arsenal (forget the rest)

December 2019 will be remembered for a 2-1 win over Arsenal at the Emirates.

But it was generally a testing time for the Seagulls with five points from seven games between the international break and Boxing Day.

2020-21: Good start, then…..

Bringing us to last season and a quirk of the fixture list which, like this year, saw them return from the November pause by going to Aston Villa.

And, as referred to above, a 2-1 win was followed by a long wait for more success – at Leeds, in mid-January.

2021-22: Here we go….

So can Albion do a better job this year of sending their fans into the Christmas period with a spring in their step?

They may as well because they won’t get the chance next season (due to the World Cup, no other reason).

Pick up decent points and they will reach Christmas in a position to rival anything ever seen by fans of any age.

Success, by the way? For me, anything which tops their best-ever 13th place is a very good season.

Tenth or better would be fantastic.

The stuff of dreams used to be a late winner against Carlisle. Now it is European qualification.

If Albion get their pre-Christmas run right this year, it will leave them in a league position to rival their best ever.

We know it will not be easy.