Edinburgh Fringe

Posted: December 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

Well If Justin Edinburgh didn’t realise the sheer scale of the task ahead of him when he signed up to become the O’s fourteenth manager in three years then It’s probably sunk in now. An excruciating ninety minutes in the gloomy suburbs of Birmingham twinned with yet another desperate O’s defeat was a bit of en eye opener for him and at one stage our new boss was heard to comment;’It’s all too fucking easy to get to our goal’. Unfortunately,Solihull had worked that one out from the first minute of the match and they eventually cruised to a 1-0 win that could and should have been nearer the 3-0 that Torquay ran in last week.
Yesterday’s result left Orient hovering precariously above the relegation places in the national league with half our fixtures played and some tough looking encounters in the league looming. The former Southend and Tottenham defender has landed slap bang in the middle of a playing crisis that has evolved alarmingly over the past fourteen league games and Edinburgh has basically taken on a playing squad short on everything required at even the most basic playing level. A squad defensively inept, lacking bite and creativity the the middle of the park and offering very little in attack save for Macaulay Bonne is just the tip of a very large iceberg. Manifesting under the waterline is the very real problem of turning this freefall around in quick time. Throughout this abysmal run of form there has been a growing swell of opinion that most of these players are simply not up to job as it stands when it comes to performing as a collective unit. Fingers have been pointing at the men wearing the shirt of the club in regard to their apathetic attitudes and simply ‘not caring’. In return players such as McAnuff and Sendells White have become involved in angry exchanges with supporters after the matches at Ebbsfleet and Solihull, basically refuting that accusation. The bottom line is the playing side of the club’s operation is simply not up to the demands of this league and hasn’t been since the season kicked off in early August.

Of course there are mitigating circumstances when it comes to discussing the present team and club’s current woes. A playing squad cobbled together at short notice and a club needing to be re-built from it’s boot straps with 5 weeks before the season kicks off would be a test for any new set up at any level. And yet the flack is starting to fly, understandably. Recently departed head coach Steve Davis,quite frankly,was a surprise choice to become manager of this football club following a pretty prolonged and eventual demise to his tenure at Crewe Alexandra. There has also been a knock on effect to Davis’s sacking resulting in an increasing amount of people questioning Martin ling’s role as director of football citing Davis’s appointment and the quality of playing squad that the DOF assembled here last summer,too.

In my view this group was recruited with nowhere near what was required in regard to what we were about to come up against at this level. Any striker over 6ft 1′ simply cannot be defended against by the personnel that masquerade as our so called defence, yet we are coming up against this sort of player on a regular basis. Our midfield is nowhere near aggressive or combative in the opposition half to impose itself and create chances for the forwards. Up top we are simply too lightweight and wasteful. I think Mooney and McAnuff appear to have been signed on the basis that they were available and we were desperate to get some experience in when the club down to 9 teenagers during the summer,although their performances have demonstrated little to justify them being brought back here. Just as infuriating is the  glaring lack of quality delivery in regard to our own set plays. Nobody looks capable of taking a telling free kick or produce a long throw into the box. Simple basics that the team have shown little sign of producing during a game and yet vitally important at this level and It’s ironic that our own team constantly falls victim to them. Again, Ling can claim that he has been restricted as to who he could sign last summer, however, what we have ended up with is a squad that is made up of players who can rarely perform above a 6/10 on a regular basis. When you have six or seven players in your team performing at that level then it’s no surprise that we are in the bottom six of the league. On more than one occasion I have left Brisbane Road following another defeat wondering if anyone from the club had actually scouted this league and this level of opposition?

Getting the current players to perform the way Edinburgh needs them to may not be beyond the realms of possibility. I think the main problem within the set up is that Davis tried to remedy our slide with changing formations and personnel at an ever increasing rate when just trying to get them to their basic jobs properly would have been a better option. We have had(an still have) coaches with plenty of qualifications and badges but not one character big enough to drill into those wearing the shirt the importance of their individual jobs and how to do them effectively. The fact that Orient’s defenders continue to ship goals from crosses and set pieces is simply disgraceful, if we didn’t know better you would think that nobody has addressed this on the training ground going by the regularity of it. I’m not a fan of the personality of Neil Warnock, but if you look at the way he goes about his business there is a lesson there for us. He has an expectation and a simple philosophy regarding the basics of the game. Anybody who isn’t up to it or doesn’t buy into his demands usually doesn’t hang around and somebody who can do the job required is brought in. Thirty years in league management rather than the three months average of the last thirteen Orient bosses tells it’s own story in that respect.

Edinburgh has a half decent record overall in management and will need it here because getting it wrong will not only be a hammer blow to the clubs standing playing wise but would raise real questions as to how deep Nigel Travis and Kent Teague’s commitment actually runs to? The club’s major financial backer has been pretty adamant regarding building the O’s up as a ‘brand’ but being the biggest club in National league South isn’t going to put the club on the global stage and wasn’t on the original business plan. In the meantime we can only hope that Justin can turn around our fortunes in quick time. Two wins on the spin would give us a nine point cushion almost immediately and move the general atmosphere here from an utter shithouse to semi normal club virtually overnight. Please let it be soon.

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