Rowell Report: Sunderland made a point at The Hawthorns

Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
Ex-Sunderland footballer Gary Rowell
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SATURDAY’S game with West Brom wasn’t quite what we wanted, but we left with a point and that’s more than Sunderland usually get at the Hawthorns.

Over the 90 minutes, I felt neither team did quite enough to win, so a draw was a fair result.

Where Sunderland definitely got the better of Albion though was the quality of our goals.

Lee Cattermole and Seb Larsson scored goals that lit up the game, yet they were completely different types in their execution.

The first was a piece of inspiration from Cattermole; a brilliant 25-yard strike that a lot of people wouldn’t have thought he had in his locker.

The second was a great team move, involving Cattermole, Gomez and van Aanholt, which carved open the Baggies defence to provide Larsson with a chance he finished clinically.

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Everybody knows, you judge players over time and a number of games, but I watched the new signings closely on Saturday for my first impressions.

Patrick van Aanholt impressed me the most. He’s lightning quick and set up the equaliser, but he did switch off for Albion’s second and must learn from that mistake.

After years of having left-backs who are more comfortable in other areas or players loaned to us from other clubs, he could finally be the answer to a problem position.

Jack Rodwell showed some good touches, but looked off the pace and lacking in match fitness. He needs games and plenty of them to get up to speed.

Jordi Gomez and Will Buckley had short cameos from the bench and they will improve the squad and both play their parts this season.

But it’s clear more recruitment is needed, born out by the absence of a single defender on the bench.