15 July 2011

Five things we've learnt so far this summer

Summer at Brisbane Road is usually a time when both staff and fans can relax, sit back and watch other clubs sign up all the decent players.

This year it was different because, incredibly, some of those decent players were actually on Orient's books. The fact that we've managed to hang on to the core members of an almost-successful squad - not to mention the manager - and added some extra quality bodes very, very well for next season. In which case it is thus almost inevitable that Orient will be relegated.

Here, then, are five things we've learnt so far this summer...

1. Russell's got balls
It would have been easy for Russell Slade to give Scott McGleish another season. A fans' favourite, Orient's top scorer for 2010/11 and a player that always gives 100 per cent. But instead the manager politely showed Scotty the door and moved quickly to replace him with a striker marginally younger and marginally better in Jamie Cureton - a move something akin to dumping Fearne Cotton so you can go out with Holly Willoughby. Still, when you miss out on the play-offs by one point these margins are important. Which begs the question, can bold Russell really do without Ryan Jarvis's guaranteed two goals a season? Time will tell.

2. Loyalty isn't dead!
For most footballers loyalty means not sleeping with your wife's sister too often. But, with rival clubs circling around manager Russell Slade and players such as Jamie Jones, Jimmy Smith and Dean Cox, loyalty was tested to the limit this summer. So, it was refreshing to see such fierce devotion to Orient among the staff. Russell Slade: "An opportunity arose with a Championship club... I was not given permission to speak to them"; Jamie Jones: "League One goalkeeper - for now"; Jimmy Smith: "My contract is up. I will have to speak to them about whether I'll sign a new deal or move on."

3. Players get really, really bored in the summer
Thanks to the delights of Twitter we now know that, for players, summer is a long, soul-destroying stretch of interminable boredom, punctuated only by occasional games of Pro-Evo or getting a new tattoo. By July, Dean Cox, Jimmy Smith and George Porter were driven to taking the expression 'thick as two short planks' to its logical conclusion, with this series of pranks.

4. Dean Smith should probably do a bit more research
"I think a few Orient fans I've spoken to said he's had a few injuries," said Walsall manager Dean Smith of his new signing Adam Chambers, suggesting perhaps that his research might have been a little more in-depth. (Next week, Deano on new signing Adrien Patulea: "Yeah, some bloke down the pub told me he reckons he's got a bit of class.") Still, Smith has long been a loyal servant to Orient and continues to do his former club many favours. In signing Ryan Jarvis, for example, he's virtually guaranteed that Orient won't concede a goal in their opening fixture against the Saddlers.

5. We might get to see Orient past v Orient present
Have you ever wondered how the current Orient team would fare against Os teams of old? Well, we might just find out as - due to an adminstrative error - Martin Ling is back in league football as manager of Torquay. Predictably enough our one-time gaffer has already signed teacher's pet Brian Saah and has been sniffing around Craig Easton. Should Orient draw Torquay in a cup competiton then expect our current crop to be lining up against a 4-4-2 formation that includes Derek Duncan, Loick Pires and JJ Melligan. And who'd win? Well, perhaps football would be the winner. Just kidding. 

04 July 2011

A guide to Leyton Orient players on Twitter

There was a time when fans had little insight into what was going on inside players' heads. Not any more, for thanks to the delights of Twitter we now know that, for example, Elliot Omozusi is thinking this: "Sum1 tel me sumfing decent 2 watch on telly coz i'm about 2 2foot my v screen n elbow drop my sky box".

But it's not all witty prose and Oscar Wilde-esque one-liners. Some Leyton Orient players on Twitter are there simply to wind each other up, exchange cooking tips or, in the case of Jimmy Smith, stalk female celebrities. Here's my guide to the wheat and the chaff...

Jimmy Smith

What's he on about? Jimmy mixes the mundane with boasting about his nightlife escapades and taunting various ex-members of early noughties child-rappers Blazin' Squad. Bizarrely, all of this is delivered in the vernacular of a West Coast rapper: "ipod on full max while getting ready ha,ATM pitball an neyo on". No, me neither.
Who's he following? Square-jawed Jimmy clearly has an eye for the ladies, following a smattering of women from The Only Way Is Essex and various female Sky Sports presenters. He also follows Paul Terry, so is clearly into beauty and the beast.
Key moment: Asking US socialite Kim Kardashian on a date, with all the twinkly-eyed Essex boy charm he could muster: "@KimKardashian yer come here we go for dinner ". Surprisngly, Kim is yet to reply.

Dean Cox

What's he on about? Tiny has apparently spent the entire summer generously answering tweets from Orient fans. Well, if height restrictions prevent you from going on amusement park rides what else you going to do? In between there's a bit of mild one-way flirting with Jack Wilshere: "@jack_wilshere we needed you mate nobody can create things and effect a game like you can." Jack is yet to reply.
Who's he following? The usual hotpotch of footballers, boxers and Fearne Cotton. Tiny also follows Orient players' nite spot of choice, Faces Nightclub, Gants Hill.
Key moment: Replying to Jimmy Smith's bizarre holiday boast tweet - "ipod on full max while getting ready ha,ATM pitball an neyo on" - with the simple, yet effective, "get a life mate".

Alex Revell

What's he on about? Lots of witty goading of his team mates - for example, to Matthew Spring: "Sorry mate it's an under 40's night" and to Jamie Jones: "if you didn't have jeremy beadle hand you might have caught some crosses".
Who's he following? Comedians and footballers. Or, in the case of Aaron Brown - @ABrownUK - both in one.
Key moment: Trying to initiate a conversation with Michael Owen to no avail, so then sulkily resorting to calling the Man Utd player a "sick note no hamstring minted comb over nob". That told him!

Jamie Jones

What's he on about? According to Jamie, "It's all about being a geeza... r u a geeza????" Apparently 'being a geeza' involves taunting team mates over their PS3 abilities, taunting teammates over their golfing abilities and taunting teammates over their cooking abilities. All delivered in pure, unadulterated scouse, la.
Who's he following? Mostly footballers. And Ryan Jarvis.
Key moment: Cooking a spaghetti bolognese (pictured) for Alex Revell, who was so impressed that he felt like he was in "Bella Italia". "Just asked me if I wanted Parmesan or pepper!" tweeted the dumbstruck striker.

Charlie Daniels

What's he on about? The usual PS3-related banter with his team mates along with chat with his partner @CarlySalmonx that would probably worked better as, you know, a private conversation. To wit: Carly: "Dinner ideas please." Charlie: "I don't mind wotever u want to make." Get a room you two!
Who's he following? Footballers, golfers, comedians and, testament to Charlie's deep love of musical theatre, Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Key moment: Realising that his Las Vegas hotel was perhaps the plushest place he's ever stayed: "So posh in this hotel. Can't wear shorts for dinner!" 

Elliot Omozusi

What's he on about? Elliot's Twitter stream of consciousness reveals that the right back's thought processes revolve primarily around deciding whether or not to get out of bed and whether or not to leave the house: "I swear I'm goin bk 2 sleep"; "Up bt aint gettin outa bed 4 now"; "Y on earth am I awake"; "Any1 fancy making me breakfast dnt really wanna go cafe"; "I'm gonna stay in my house 4 as long as possible". Fans of watching paint dry will be enthralled.
Who's he following? Various women who claim to have once been in failed X Factor girl bands. Well, you've got to aim high, Elliot.
Key moment: The moment Elliot temporarily forgot his obsession with his own sleep patterns to call out an audacious challenge to the US President himself, no less, after the death of Osama Bin Laden: "Obama best show me sum pics of him wiv a hole in he's head now."
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