Date: 24th August 2008 at 12:03pm
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Over the years, the mannerisms of certain players have remained long in the memories of Bolton fans. The Reebok faithful used to dread the Emerson Thome Smile. When the Brazillian flashed his gnashers at the ref, you knew he`d given away a penalty. Then there was that funny semi-circular dance that El Hadji Diouf used to do when a decision went against him.

The latest unwanted gesture is the Kevin Nolan Head Hold. When the captain clutches his forehead, with elbows pointed to the sky, it means he`s missed a chance. He did a lot of clutching in the defeat at Newcastle United, most notably after missing a penalty. Nolan couldn`t have signalled where he intended to put the ball more clearly, if he`d sent Shay Given a text message.

However, blaming Nolan for the reverse is a little unfair when former Newcastle defender Andy O`Brien gave Michael Owen the freedom of Tynecastle to head home the winner. Allowing Owen space once was bad enough, but it was even more inexcusable as the Geordie garden gnome had got himself into exactly the same position a few moments earlier.

Up to missing the penalty, the Wanderers had more than held their own in St James` Park and were on top for the opening part of the second half. There was though, as always, a lack of quality in front of goal, which wasn`t helped by the early exit of Johan Elmander. After Nolan had squandered the chance to put his side ahead, the game changed. Newcastle had fresh impetus and as they increased the pace of the game, Bolton fell apart, the defensive shape was lost and it was only a matter of time before the goal came.

Manager Gary Megson, now has a week to improve the quality of his front line. After a summer, in which Bolton have once again failed in the transfer market, you wouldn`t bet on him coming up with the goods. It looks like Captain Not-So-Fantastic Nolan won`t be alone as he grips his face in despair.


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