Gary Rowell column – Difficult to judge Sunderland’s start

GOAL MACHINE ... Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher.
GOAL MACHINE ... Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher.
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SUNDERLAND’S three Premier League draws in succession have got fans arguing among themselves over whether this is a good start to the season or a bad one.

It’s an argument without any real answers.

This is the sort of topic that football regularly throws up and the only real decider on the rights and wrongs of the debate is the passage of time and the evidence of more results.

Still, it can fill an idle hour in the pub because there’s so many ways of looking at what is, quite honestly, an unusual start to Sunderland’s campaign – the last time Sunderland drew their first three opening fixtures was as long ago as the 1976/77 season when I was just breaking through into the game!

Some will say the three draws represent a solid start to the season for Martin O’Neill and his men – we’re still unbeaten at least.

Others will point out that we haven’t won now in 11 games.

Some will argue that away points against Arsenal and Swansea have to be seen as good ones, while Liverpool are no slouches.

Others will respond by saying that in their last two games Sunderland have taken the lead but been unable to hold on to it.

Some will claim that Steven Fletcher’s form has been fantastic so far; others that Stephane Sessegnon’s has not.

It all depends I suppose on whether you see the glass as half-full or half-empty; optimist or pessimist.

Personally, I can see all sides of the argument but with no firm evidence either way, I’ll choose to be my normal positive self.

Sunderland are unbeaten after some tricky fixtures, Fletcher’s hit the ground running, Adam Johnson is yet to come and personally I can’t see Stephane Sessegnon getting any worse, while I can see Sunderland getting better.

That’s me off the fence!

READ the full Gary Rowell column in Tuesday’s Echo