29 November 2010

View from the sofa: Droylsden 1 Leyton Orient 1, 29/11/10

A televised game in which... Orient got to show the nation - well, all 36 people that weren't watching Barcelona v Real Madrid - what they're all about. And what they were all about was mis-hit passess, poor defending of set pieces, lack of quality in the final third (© Chris Waddle) and an inability to turn pressure into goals. Still, let's not be too harsh - these were pretty awful conditions to play football in and Droylsden were plucky opponents. At least we didn't lose.

TV moment to savour... Big Russ's comedy pre-match introduction of the Orient team. On Jimmy Smith: "He's our scout. After 10 o'clock." No, me neither.

'Hello mum' moment... It's hard to show any real quality when you're playing football on an ice rink, but Charlie Daniels did his best impression of a Poundland Gareth Bale with a couple of driving runs up the left in the first half.

Stage fright... Paul-Jose M'poku had his least effective game for Orient but nothing should eclipse the towering 6ft 5in of pure, uncut ineptitude that is Aaron Brown. So catastrophic is his distribution that if he were Santa Claus he'd inadvertently bulk deliver the entire contents of his sleigh to a windswept sand dune in the Sahara desert, muttering to himself, 'I'm sure there were kids here last year.'

In the commentary box... Poor Chris Waddle. Just think, if he hadn't pile-drived his penalty into row Z at Italia 90 he might not have had to suffer severe hypothermia while passing mildly informed comment on an FA Cup second round replay at a non-league ground. Still, at least he didn't lower himself to doing an embarrassing pizza advert. Oh, hang on...

In the pundits' chair... Ok, Clark Carlisle, you may have beaten one-time Orient midfielder Andy Harris to the title of Britain's Brainiest Footballer and been on Countdown and everything, but your claim that Droylsden should have been 'two or three up' at half-time was the sort of juvenile nonsense we'd expect from, oh, I don't know, Robbie Savage or someone. Speaking of which, who other than ESPN would let that girl-haired idiot anywhere near a TV studio since his last debacle on Match of the Day 2. ("Robbie, what do you know about Arsenal's Sebastien Squillaci?" "Erm, he's got a funny name?") Where's Steve Claridge when you need him?

Going to Wembley? Orient have again tried to scupper their own relegation battle by adding another FA Cup replay to their busy fixture list, but assuming they can overcome Droylsden at the second time of asking there's no reason whatsoever why they can't go on and beat Norwich in round three. Apart from the fact that Norwich are much, much better than them of course.
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