Rowell Report: Happy to make a point

Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist
Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist
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SOMETIMES in football you gain a point that is worth far more than just a single point and Sunderland’s draw at Arsenal is a perfect illustration of that in my view.

While the end result of Saturday’s game was that Sunderland gained a point which immediately gets their campaign up and running, they also gained so much more.

That’s because their battling result at the Emirates also changed the mood and atmosphere around everyone connected with Sunderland – the fans, the players, the manager and the media.

Going into the game, pretty much everyone was writing Sunderland off, including many of the fans and I don’t think you can blame them for that.

When you look at the statistics in terms of this fixture there wasn’t much comfort to be had for the travelling fans.

And when you factor in Sunderland’s disappointing pre-season and lack of transfer activity, the pessimism was only too easy to understand.

But when you get a good result like Sunderland did at the weekend, which goes against so much expectation, everyone gets a high from it – particularly the players, who will have found it that much sweeter and more satisfying.

It has been a pretty gloomy close season for Sunderland watchers and not the ideal situation for the club, going into the new season.

But all of a sudden we’ve got a great away point and are now looking forward to the Reading game this Saturday in a completely different frame of mind.

All of a sudden we feel we could be looking at four points from the first six and an excellent start to the season.

That anxiety, which we all felt going into last weekend has gone, in the wake of a dogged, defiant performance and fans will be looking forward to this weekend’s game in a much more optimistic frame of mind.

The one good result at Arsenal has, at a stroke, changed the mood in and around the Sunderland camp and ensured a really positive and passionate atmosphere this weekend for the visit of Reading.

It was a good point to gain, but it was also so much more.