Gary Rowell column - Tough to judge draw kings Sunderland

Adam Johnson in action for Sunderland against West Ham United. Picture by FRANK REID
Adam Johnson in action for Sunderland against West Ham United. Picture by FRANK REID
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AFTER yet another Premier League draw, this time against West Ham, Sunderland’s fans are finding it difficult to judge just how good their team is.

Sunderland neither disappointed or thrilled on Saturday and at the moment, it seems as if we’re just treading water, which isn’t making it the most exciting of seasons.

I’m convinced a lot of the draws in this current campaign would have been defeats last year so I suppose that’s some sort of progress, but just two wins all season from 16 attempts is well below-par.

Burnley and QPR, both newly-promoted from the Championship, have more victories to their name than Sunderland and the fact is a string of draws just doesn’t get you anywhere in the table.

Saturday’s draw with the Hammers, like most of the others this season, was a fair outcome over the 90 minutes and even though Sunderland had a stonewall penalty turned down in the second half, we can’t complain at the result.

At least the dangerous Andy Carroll didn’t get on the scoresheet and again we defended well and looked organised, but the problems in attack that have plagued us all season are still unresolved.

Jozy Altidore’s lack of confidence in front of goal was highlighted when he should have put Sunderland ahead on the stroke of half-time, while too often the final ball into the box lacks the clinical quality you need to turn draws into wins.