07 May 2011

The top ten Leyton Orient players of 2010/11

At the conclusion of most seasons at Leyton Orient it's difficult to think of one player who's excelled over the campaign. Not this time, which is why I've selected - in reverse order - the top ten players of 2010/11...

10. Andrew Whing
When it comes to decent right-backs, Leyton Orient's heritage is about as distinguished as Jodie Marsh's wardrobe. Enter Andrew Whing, dead ringer for EastEnders' Max Branning and owner of a chin so big it's got it's own postcode. Yes, rival right-back Elliot Omozusi may be slightly more comfortable on the ball - not least when he's plucking it out of the net after his customary once-a-game howler - but Whing provided the grit this season, regularly clattering into unsuspecting left-wingers and driving forward like a steroid-pumped gingerbread man.
More on Andrew Whing >

9. Paul-Jose M'Poku
Every now and again at Brisbane Road a player comes along with such dazzling skills that resident managers are left with no choice but to inexplicably leave them on the bench every game. Such was the plight of under-19 Belgian international and Spurs loanee Paul-Jose M'Poku. Hartlepool United's defenders are still in therapy trying to come to terms with the outright humiliation they were subjected to on the young winger's home debut, and M'Poku continued to provide flashes of inspiration in the 15 minutes he was allowed on the pitch each match. Essentially, stuff happened when M'Poku played. Just think what may have been if he'd been in the starting line-up...
More on Paul-Jose M'Poku >

8. Stephen Dawson
Every team needs an engine and this season Orient's was Stephen Dawson. The diminutive Irishman was the master of tirelessly motoring around the pitch, stopping only to pick up needless yellow cards and to throw himself to the ground in the penalty area as if scythed down by a poltergeist. Dawson excelled in the home leg against Arsenal, where the Premier League side subjected him to a particularly cruel 90 minutes of piggy-in-the-middle - though they rarely broke through his expertly-marshalled ranks.
More on Stephen Dawson >

7. Ben Chorley
Every lower league club needs a Ben Chorley, an uncompromising central defender who pulls his shorts up to somewhere beneath his chest and who's not afraid to stick his face into the path of a flying boot. But our Ben Chorley is so much more than a jumped-up hard man, with his positional sense and reading of the game ensuring Orient are rarely caught out at the back. Once per match he embarks on a lung-busting run upfield, where he is invariably dispossessed just outside the opposition box and has to run all the way back again. This season Chorley also turned out to be Orient's most reliable penalty taker since Matt Lockwood.
More on Ben Chorley >

6. Scott McGleish
You might think that after 20 years of chasing hopeful punts upfield for the likes of Barnet, Northampton and Cambridge United, Scott McGleish's legs might have had a quiet word in his ear and suggested that perhaps he might like to open a pub or something. Not so, for this season the veteran striker continued to cause nuisance to opposition defences like a late thirtysomething who keeps turning up at student parties and insisting on playing REM on the stereo. A true pro, McGleish's 17 goals were just reward for a fine season's work.
More on Scott McGleish >

5. Alex Revell
Alex Revell is the mythical big striker Martin Ling used to have wild, salivating dreams about. With a chiselled jaw and ice-white teeth he could land a bit part in a daytime American soap if the football thing doesn't work out, although there's no chance of that in the near future because Revell was a revelation this season. Sixteen goals isn't to be sneered at, but over and above that his unsettling presence, commitment and unselfish attitude was a major factor in Orient's success.
More on Alex Revell >
4. Jimmy Smith

What happened to Jimmy Smith this season? Once a player so bland you could have covered him in Tabasco sauce and he'd still have had absolutely no bite, he somehow transformed himself into a midfield goal-machine and one of the driving forces behind Orient's push up the table. Post-Christmas, whenever Orient created a chance it seemed to fall to Smith, and the former Chelsea man rarely missed them.
More on Jimmy Smith >

3. Charlie Daniels
When Charlie Daniels first arrived at Orient on loan in the 2007/08 season he showed a fair degree of promise, and if it wasn't for the fact he could neither defend or attack he could have been quite some player. Well, now Daniels is that player: reliable in defence and a real threat thundering down the left wing, with 15 assists over the season to prove it. This campaign Daniels added the ability to cut inside to his repertoire, a tactic that would have been highly damaging to oppositions if it wasn't for the fact his right foot is about as useful as an inflatable dartboard.
More on Charlie Daniels >

2. Jamie Jones
It's been a real pleasure this season to have a goalkeeper who is actually able to kick the ball properly, who doesn't flap at crosses, who isn't susceptible to low shots to his right, who commands his area and who doesn't throw the ball out directly to opposition strikers in key games... Oh, ok, strike the last point, but Jones' skill between the sticks has been one of the major reasons behind Orient's success this campaign, routinely digging the defence out of six-foot deep holes with his lightening reactions and breathtaking agility.
More on Jamie Jones >

1. Dean Cox
My player of the season for 2010/11, one who boasts the ability to square up to any hulking lower league hard man and fearlessly look him straight in the knee. Yep, Tiny packs a whole lot of attitude into the body of a medium-sized schoolgirl and adds a touch of genuine class to the Orient team as well as being the creative inspiration for much of their attacking play. Indeed, his delivery is so good the scouts watching him this season were from Royal Mail, DHL and the maternity unit at Homerton Hospital. You can't argue with 12 goals and 22 assists over the course of a season - although Cox himself would probably try, straight after he'd started a fight in an empty room.
More on Dean Cox >
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