Another round, and another loss for Owen Coyle and his depressed band of White Men. It seems that as Bolton fans we aren't allowed to be happy more than one round in a row, and after last weekend's win, we were obviously due for another loss. While we still are not bottom going into the New Year, thanks to a Blackburn draw, things are really looking grimmer than ever.
Newcastle were dominant for most of the first half, but for once the Bolton defense looked at least passably competent, with the marked exception of Dedryck Boyata. The right back won't be sorely missed as he heads back to Manchester City after this match. In spite of having most of the attacking play, Newcastle only really troubled Jussi Jaaskelainen once, when they forced the Finn into a diving save off a free kick. Interestingly, Bolton's best chance was rather similar shot, again off a free kick. Martin Petrov sent a searing shot through the wall, but Tim Krul took care of it with a diving save. Neither side will have been especially pleased with their first half performances, and it left the second half open.
And open is how it started. There were no substitutes at half time, and all things equal Bolton looked a bit better after the break. Finally the Trotters were managing to put several passes together, and even if they weren't especially worrying Krul, they were at least giving the Newcastle defense something to worry about. However the match was changed in the 61st minute when Ben Arfa was subbed on for Leon Best. 8 minutes later, he made his presence definitely known when he scored on the half volley to make it 1-0 to Newcastle. Just over 2 minutes later Demba Ba doubled the Magpies' lead from inside the 6 yard box unchallenged. As has become a common sight for Wanderers recently, the Whites didn't look like putting much together after that.
The rest is a bit of a painful blur for me. I'm not sure where the team can possibly go from here. The motivation is lacking to say the least, the team is bereft of any real leaders, and while there is talent there, for some reason, the players are unable to display it. It's difficult to know what else to say about this Bolton team except for it doesn't look good.