10 November 2012

Leyton Orient 2 Shrewsbury Town 1, 10/11/12

A game which... was the footballing proof of the theorem that states if a monkey randomly hits the keys of a typewriter for an infinite amount of time, eventually it will produce the complete works of Shakespeare. Yes, this season Orient have spent what feels like an eternity propelling the ball in the vague direction of the opposition goal and today thanks to the law of probability it actually went in. Twice.

At times they played some nice football too. At times they played some shit football, mind, and while we should celebrate a much-needed victory, it's still only tissue-papering over some Grand Canyon-sized cracks.

Moment of magic... David Mooney's through ball to Moses Odubajo that led to Orient's penalty and first goal at Brisbane Road since 1963. The Irishman seems to divide opinion among fans - some think he's abysmal while others believe he's merely hopeless - but he does have an ability to be both sublime and ridiculous. Today he showed great skill and jaw-dropping ineptitude - usually within the same move. It's like watching Placido Domingo try to sing Olly Murs songs.

Russell Slade selecting today's team
Moment of madness... The point when - thanks to a mistake by the fourth official - it appeared that Russell Slade was going to bring Ryan Brunt on to play at right back in place of Moses Odubajo. Admittedly the manager's selection policy of late (which presumably sees him writing the players' names onto a square peg then manically trying to sledgehammer it through a round hole before giving up and declaring, "Fuck it - Lloyd James in centre midfield") is borderline insane, but even he wouldn't be mad enough to play a striker in defence. He did once play right back Syam Ben Youssef up front, mind.

Knight in shining armour... Kevin Lisbie. If by some miracle we actually avoid relegation this season then our star striker is probably going to be the reason behind it. He's not going to find it easy, though - with the likes of Lloyd James and Jimmy Smith providing the ammunition it's a bit like sending a solider into battle armed with only a Michael Buble CD and a packet of blancmange.

Pantomime horse... Lee Cook's cringeworthy dive in the penalty area makes him a good candidate, though he's excused thanks to the quality of some of his crosses. Why don't we instead ponder on what Jimmy Smith actually brings to the team? Ok, so that's a millisecond of your life you're never going to get back. I guess to be charitable you could say he 'fills a hole'. But then again so does a lump of concrete, and you wouldn't play that in midfield. Unless the only other option is Marc Laird.

In the dug out... Russell Slade turned his back, unable to watch, as Kevin Lisbie strode up to take Orient's penalty today, perhaps suggesting that the team actually play better when the manager isn't paying any attention. If he didn't turn up at all perhaps we could be top of the league?

View from the opposition... "Poor performance from both sides," says Shrewsbury fan Liam Hoofe. "Inability to defend is clearly costing both teams. Rodgers and Taylor were lively for us, Lisbie was impressive for Orient. Both teams will struggle this season. It could have gone either way."

Meanwhile on Twitter... This week saw a truly mindblowing stream of consciousness from everyone's favourite bringer of dinner and former Os' boss John Sitton. His rant careered from X Factor to the Middle East to Paul Burrell to mopeds to planning permission for reservoirs and trying to make sense of it was like figuring out what sort of gameplan one of Sitton's Orient teams were actually playing to. The main target for his wrath, however, turned out to be students: "Burger Pizza Booze.STD'S Marijuana & books" he tweeted, not inaccurately, before leaving all of his followers with this philosophical humdinger: "Marmalade. Why didn't they call it orange jam?"

Statto corner... Despite Russell Slade's midweek claim that Orient were just "inches away" from not being dire, if you total up the distance by which all of this season's failed attempts at goal missed their target, the line actually stretches from Leyton to just north of the planet Jupiter.
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