A good thing, according to a letter written 1787 by deceased president of the United states of America, Thomas Jefferson. Whether it turns out that way here at Leyton Orient remains to be seen.
I suppose the the argument whether we back Becchetti come what may due to the finance that he has pumped into the club is now going to put to the test now that it is being reported that ‘el presidente’ is looking to sell up and that there is no more money to bring in players to bolster our pitiful squad in the looming dogfight at the bottom of the league. Those blaming this on LOFT for organising a demo against the owner -which has apparently brought about this crisis- are also pointing fingers at the players and various managers that have come and gone here over the past 30 months and, to be fair, those parties have more than played their part our demise both individually and collectively.
But let’s get it right here, LOFT were coming out against the way things were being done here first and foremost. I should think many of the supporters who were waving red cards during the Blackpool match just wanted Becchetti not to be as reckless when it came to hiring and firing coaches and to, basically, wind his neck in and change the culture that has seen the O’s labelled as ‘Britain’s craziest club’ in some sections of the media. And yet when these concerns were raised at the fans forum meeting with Miceli and Gagliardi they were pretty much dismissed out of hand. In fact, they insisted that the O’s remained a well run outfit and that the players were at the heart of the problem. Considering that Gagliardi replaced Dean Cox (for whatever reason) with N’nomo, Janse and Benedicic you at the very least have to question that assumption. The club has developed a clear reputation for freezing players out as soon as a perceived problem arises and in effect make a bad situation worse for all concerned. In the worst case interfering with a substitution being made by the head coach while the game is in progress, although I’d blame Hessenthaler for being too gutless to stop that particular nonsense in its tracks by just telling those responsible where to get off at the time. I suppose it’s a little like actors playing villains on screen and stage. The key thing to bear in mind is that no matter how deranged the character is and acts, in his eyes, he isn’t doing anything wrong.
The last twelve months have been a train wreck here at first team level which is saying something following on from the previous eighteen. Becchetti has made four changes of head coach in that time where Cavasin and Nolan were old fashioned ‘punts'(although Nolan might have worked as just a straight forward manager role and not player) and Hessenthaler took the job for a pay rise knowing that he would get fired despite covering for his boss more times that was healthy for his own reputation. Now Andy Edwards has been handed the poison chalice and despite a decent performance at the recent meet the manager evening (as well as getting two home league wins under his belt) he is discovering that changing the O’s on field fortunes with this squad is going to be just as tough has Cavasin found out during his brief tenure.
In the programme notes for the Crawley game CEO Angelieri (if he actually wrote them) enthused about the number of youngsters being signed up to full professional status as proof of the ongoing commitment of the president to the Orient cause which is a tad surprising as he’d stayed away from the club for a month citing the crowds’ growing negative reaction to his presence at games. However, the inclusion of Judd and Dalby did perk the squad up and even managed to get the O’s support more on side with the team. I got the impression that Massey’s form improved with Judd alongside him and it was typical Orient luck that Dalby got crocked after a debut goal v Cambridge six days later. Josh Koroma has been blooded and had a decent first 45 minutes against Barnet but the bottom line is that how matter how good these kids are this isn’t really the time to saddle them with the job of keeping us out of trouble at the foot of the table. Individual mistakes have constantly dogged us this season and it appears that whoever is placed in charge simply cannot eradicate them. Cisak and Parkes’ gift to Barnet’s centre half for the opener in our last home game was pathetic, even going by this season but it would be unfair to single them out when collectively and individually the team looks hell bent on shooting itself in the foot game in and game out.
So where does all this leave us? At the time of writing nothing is being said officially about the club being up for sale but Edwards interview after the Barnet defeat didn’t do much to raise hopes in relation to bringing in new faces while the injury list lengthens and the fixtures come thick and fast. We could even find that Sammy Moore ends up back in favour here and starting (if Collins departs) after a loan spell at Dover that looked certain end in a permanent move. Although it appears that there is no money to spend (unless we sell Simpson – who isn’t going to play another game for us by the looks of it) there is part of me that feels that the £12 million quid that Becchetti has lent the club during his time here has got us precisely nowhere and in fact has been more of a millstone to the people involved in running the football set up at the club. Being a coach constantly scrutinised by an owner and associates with little in the way of footballing credentials and the constant threat of being replaced after three bad results has played a massive part in the situation the club finds itself today. It’s a scenario that Becchetti has gone on record as saying that he prefers work by (although he’s not too keen on being scrutinised himself when it comes to it) but it is that very thing that has done the worst damage here.
As for Andy Edwards the only bright spot following our latest defeat that might help him is with Becchetti looking to sell he might get a chance to turn things around without too much interference from upstairs for the time being. Unfortunately, that’s as good as it’s going to get for now and you get the feeling that we are all going to be in for a rough ride until the end of the season. Meanwhile it’s ironic that ex manager, John Sitton, is promoting his book in the supporters club later this month where his disastrous meltdown season of 1994/5 will feature heavily I should think. Maybe Andy should pop along and buy a copy to get a taste of what could be coming his way in the near future, although I have a feeling that he’s witnessed more than enough here over the past three years to write one of his own.