20 November 2010

Leyton Orient 2 Bournemouth 2, 20/11/10

A game in which... Orient were committed, strong, pressurising, hard-working and vibrant. Unfortunately, however, this was only for the final 10 minutes of the game. The rest of the match painted a pretty accurate picture of Orient's standing in League One, as Bournemouth showed better passing, better movement, better pressing, better creativity, better ball retention, better shooting, better haircuts... You get the idea. Still, it was a rousing finish and a great point gained against a classy Bournemouth side.

Moment to savour... Jonathan Tehoue's second goal in added time, of course, in which he showed great strength and then composure to allow Orient to grasp a draw from the jaws of defeat.

Head in hands moment... Quite a few actually, mostly around loanee Premier League goalkeeper Jason Brown's repeated decisions to roll the ball out to defenders with opposition players in close proximity rather than lump it up the middle and hope for the best like you're supposed to in League One.

King for a day... Only one candidate here: Jonathan Tehoue. Some idiot who shall remain nameless complained after Tuesday's FA Cup replay that of late the Frenchman's cameos had been - like Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder - pretty unimpressive. Not so today - he stormed onto the pitch with a 'Get out of jail free' card in his pocket and was determined to use it. If Tehoue could play like that for 90 minutes in a row, Orient would probably win the league. Or at least not get relegated.

Boo boy... No one had a stinker, but there was a bit of a bad smell around pocket-sized antagonist Dean Cox who, by his own high standards, had a pretty ineffective game. Matthew Spring, however, showed that he could pass with 100 per cent accuracy - as long as it was backwards.

In the dug out... Big Russ seemed pretty upset with the South Stand after Orient equalised, probably due to the vocal griping about the 4-5-1 system the manager began the game with, which saw a striker who'd scored seven in the last six games playing right midfield. Still, Russ knows what he's doing and switched to 4-4-2 just in time for Bournemouth to go two up.

What would Martin Ling have done? Played 4-4-2, as he has done in every single game of entire management career. "People say I'm tactically inflexible," he'd say defiantly, "but I've used many different systems and formations. It's just that all of them involve four defenders, four midfielders and two strikers."

Going down? The spirit Orient showed in salvaging a point shows that there'll be grit in the team when they're in the midst of the late-season relegation battle. The way the Os were outclassed by Bournemouth, however, suggests they'll probably go down anyway.
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