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Damp squib or warmup

OK, so after all the hype Keegan’s first game in charge ended in a 0-0 stalemate with Premiership giants, erm… Bolton. Sure, I was hoping for a four-goal towelling of the Wanderers, and a lot of the match predictions I saw were following suit. But there are a few points worth bearing in mind:

1) Our squad is about half-size at the moment due to suspensions, injuries and the Africa Cup of Nations. We only had one first-choice central midfielder to choose from.

2) The guy’s only just taken charge and the players have to get used to new tactics and methods of play. Which leads me on to…

3) Who watched the match and saw us play any long balls forward? Midfield play was almost completely ball-to-feet short- and mid-range passing. Much better to watch and verging on exciting on the few occasions when we didn’t gift possession to a white shirt (incidentally, don’t Bolton’s tops look like relabelled spares from the old England back-catalogue?). The issue is that our squad isn’t used to playing this style so they need training and matches to get into it.

So, yes, the match was disappointing but it definitely showed positive signs of things to come. With £20-30 million to squander before the end of the month, hopefully Keegan will get in some more talented (and likely attack-minded) players!

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