Decent into darkness

Posted: February 16, 2016 in Uncategorized

This article from Leyton Orientear December 2014 gets to grips with the impending relegation battles that he O’s eventually lost 6 months later.



Strange bangs all over the country on the evening of our match against Bradford city made the news a couple of weeks ago. I can only put it down to the sound of peoples jaws dropping against the floor after viewing Orient’s defending for the three goals we shelled at Valley Parade earlier in the afternoon.


Well I think it’s safe to say that we are now officially in a dogfight. Looking at the next 9 league games (which will define our season in my opinion) I would say that the home games against Crawley, Fleetwood and Scunthorpe are ‘must win’ and the games  lined up against Colchester and Yeovil being categorised as ’must not lose-minimum’. By the end of January if we haven’t got 30 points on the board I’d say that Orient have a serious problem in avoiding the drop.


I wouldn’t announce it was all doom and gloom on that front, though. Having lived through three relegation seasons and quite a few near misses over 35 years, I’d suggest that what we have witnessed so far has the look of a 2008/9 campaign. Awful in places  but ultimately we survived. The key area is that unlike 81/2 or 94/5 the O’s are not going through 10+ games without a win runs – as yet.  You have to say though that if we continue to defend as badly as we have done that Milanese is going to struggle to find those 10 precious successes to keep us in this division. Speaking of Milanese, I suppose now is as good time as any to evaluate as to how he’s doing as team boss/head coach. In some respects the situation resembles the going’s on at Spurs when they brought Pochettino in to replace Sherwood. They expected a new boss to turn a mediocre bunch of players into top 4 contenders. This was simply never going to happen.


I just think that there are too many problems within the make up of the squad available at the moment.
We have a lot of baggage here and our squad is nowhere near up to it in key positions.

Goalkeepers: Neither are good enough. One of the most important areas of the team and we are desperate for someone who can be semi-relied on to produce.

Defence: Where do you start? Clarke and Baudry were solid last season. Now they just look vulnerable to any sort of attack. My gut feeling would to play Lowry and Cuthbert at centre with Dossena and Osmuzi filling the full back slots. There are rumours of an ageing centre half on his way to the club from Bologna doing the rounds, but if this is the case (and I think we should wait and see before going overboard) doesn’t this go against what MM has been saying about the team lacking pace?

Midfield. The only player who would be first name on the team roster would be Vincelot. Pritchard just looks lightweight and doesn’t really bring anything to the side. Bartley and wright don’t look like the partner that Vincelot needs in the  centre of the park. Dean Cox is my biggest worry. He looks at times as if he’s head’s gone, especially when we are losing. When he shifts into midfield from the flank to play the Pirlo role (both his ability and lack of beard means that this is never going to come off) you know that his effectiveness is going to be limited to punting 40 yard balls to no one inparticular. I can’t see him being here after January and I think even Milanese alluded to things not being well with Deano during the met the manager night held by Loft and the supporters club at the end of October.


Forwards: I don’t think Plasmati and Henderson are that much different. Apart from the Italian striker being less inclined to get himself sent off and showing a bit of enthusiasm. I don’t think he’s the messiah some have made him out to be and If I’m honest any half decent centre defensive pairing should be able to deal with him no problem (If he came up against Crewe’s defence every week then he would indeed score plenty for us) . I think he relies on some decent service from the flanks (not much forthcoming this season) and the bloke alongside as to his effectiveness. Dagnall was great against Crewe but I would say against the better sides he struggles. Simpson was looking good before his injury and it’s typical of our luck that our only form striker picked up a knock when he’s threatening to score a few goals for us. I wonder if Mooney is the answer here, just playing in behind, but again, another player who seems a bit lost after last season.

As for McAnuff, his legs look to have gone to me which is a real disappointment because they weren’t many complaints when Slade had him signed in the summer. It’s also led to more problems within the make up of the side than you’d think. Basically, that was the Moses position so we’ve lost 15 goals, probably as many assists and someone who can get back and help the defence when we are under the counter attack. I think that we were spoiled with Mo and this is the one area that Milanese and Becchetti ( or whoever is doing the recruiting here now) might just need to look further away from  the Siera A panini book 2005 to get some idea as to who to sign to fill the massive gap that has been created in that spot.

I think that the team needs major surgery. Not one or two new faces but five or six. This is where the crux of the issue lies. Has Milanese got it in him to change this for the better? I think he has an idea where it is going wrong but has he the know how in him to turn it around?  And to top it off the injury and suspension issues are bordering on chronic.  It’s no secret that Mauro didn’t want the job and he’s doing as well as can be expected, but in the final analysis is this good enough? Kevin Nugent was  unceremoniously demoted after 7 games with a record slightly superior to Milanese against opposition arguably tougher in his interim spell as head coach. So can we afford to change managers again? It’s all very well saying we should get a new guy in but I would refer people to the conversation Alassnadro Angelieri had with supporters on the train on the way back from Sheffield when he said that you may as well put 50 names in a hat and pick one out. That to me says that they are a bit frightened of making serious decisions this early on in their stewardship of the club and I suppose that we as mere supporters should keep mindful that this is a new set up at the here. The only bloke out of Becchetti, Angelieri and Milanese with any experience of running an organisation such as the O’s is Milanese and he doesn’t want the job of coach/ manager.

However, at some point one of those three will have to work out some sort of action plan as to how we are going to stop our slide into league two (and they better make it quickly), because this is what it could easily turn into. Of course the biggest factor in all of this is the owner. Even if MM and AA felt that we had no other option than to throw the job of managing the first team open would Becchetti go for it? I have a feeling that he probably wouldn’t. I can’t see the harm in sending out for an experienced boss such as Chris Hughton if it came down to it, because he isn’t a nutter and has a decent record in the championship. He probably has more than a few decent contacts in the game which will help us in the short and medium term.


Our only problem is that even if the powers that be felt that after Christmas that a new manager was requires as a matter of urgency decent candidates could be put off by the way the Slade resignation came about (or being overseen by a director of football) and was ultimately handled. Yes, unfair to lump 100%  blame on Becchetti over that but  now that we’ve moved on from that  farce it’s time to come up with some clear vision as to where the owner is taking this club. At the moment Orient apparently possess a fractured set up here where Milanese and Angelieri seem loath to make any sort of decision without the nod of the chairman as to long term  or even medium term planning that doesn’t involve something like simple ticket givaways to kids and such.  We need a touch more substance in and around the club for the time being and possessing a ‘wait and see’ mentality isn’t doing anyone here any favours.




SWEET F.A ……………

Meanwhile back in the dizzy height of the premier league there has been an outbreak of comedy cheating involving West Ham’s James Tompkins and Everton’s Ross Barkley.  It’s the sort of stuff that get players, pundits and fans up in arms like nothing else, especially as the pathetic attempts at conning the ref didn’t even fool a buffoon like Mark Clattenberg.

As usual there has been lots of condemnation (much of it cod fake outrage from managers who’d condone it if their players had gotten away with it) but little firm action taken to stamp this crap out. What is the F.A’s take on this? Nothing, basically when it should have been looking to stamp the garbage out with a heavy stance. Barklay should have got a three game ban. The ref would have pulled a card for that dive if it had been a foul and would have reduced the opposition player’s effectiveness afterwards. Tompkins, should have got a 6 match penalty for his dying swan act after a push in the chest suddenly became a punch in the face. Three games for the acting that would have been deemed too below standard for ‘Eastenders’ and a further three for the red card he was hoping to get for Mirallas, which would have got him a three game ban for violent conduct.  Both players would not had have any sort of credible defence and even if their respective clubs had ‘lawyered up’ to fight the punishment these instances were so blatant even the F.A should have had some credibility restored with that sort of justice.

The downside is that we  have heard little from Greg Dyke and co. over this as they have been too busy digging up old ground over FIFA’s corrupt World cup bidding process of late. Let it go Greg, just in case people start digging a bit deeper as to what The F.A were offering  some federations to get votes during the same process.


Toodle pip




The cyberman




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