The fact that Newcastle have 6 central midfielders missing today with Faye, Geremi, Butt, Barton, Emre and Smith all missing for different reasons, tells the story of the first half.
Bolton are winning the midfield battle and are seeing far too much possession, from a Magpies viewpoint.
David Rozehnal and and Charles N’Zogbia are not dominant in midfield, and Bolton ate getting the better of them. Also, Newcastle are giving the ball away when they do get possession, which hasn’t helped things.
Newcastle are not moving the ball quickly enough, and there have been no real chances for either team in the first half.
Keegan will probably want to change things around at half time, and perhaps Duff’s greater experience would see him employed better in central midfield. The Zog could then switch to the left wing. But Bolton Wanderers have to had far too much possession in the first half for Newcastle’s liking.
Bolton are working very hard, and playing well as they crowd Newcastle when the Magpies do get the ball. The back four for Newcastle are playing very solidly, with Enrique again catching the eye. Jose looks confident and strong on the ball. This boy looks a good future prospect.
Charles N’Zogbia is not having a very good game so far, but Newcastle can still win this game but need to shake things up in the second half.Â We also seem to have no penetration up front, and the fact we have scored just one goal in our last 4 league games, which we have lost, is also showing though in the first half. AÂ goal for the Magpies would lighten things up, and electrify the capacity crowd, who have been very patient in the first 45 minutes.
Gaining control of central midfield, somehow, in the second half will be the key to winning this game.