30 December 2013

Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 Leyton Orient 1, 29/12/13

Wolves' pre-match meal
A game in which... the paupers of Leyton just about scraped together enough cash to afford the bus fare to the Midlands to face the fat cats of Wolverhampton, a team so flushed with riches that they eat Alba truffles, beluga caviar and raw hard cash for their pre-match meal and receive payments from the Premier League specifically to buy parachutes. (That's right, isn't it?)

And yet in the second half - despite the fact the entire Orient squad now contains only 13 fit senior pros - it was the away side who were dominating and who looked more likely to win the game. An incredible achievement and yet again a testament to the sheer gutsy resolve of this brilliant team.

What's that? Oh, the first half. Well, Wolves could have been 28-0 up. But if you can't get the ball in the net with a strike force that costs more than the GDP of a medium-sized central European country, you've only got yourself to blame.

Moment of magic... The moment Mathieu Baudry inexplicably found himself in the opposition penalty area experiencing a typically French existential crisis. Just as the defender asked himself 'Why am I here?' the ball arrived at his feet via a sublime Moses Odubajo cross and he was able to tap the ball into the net. C'est pourquoi vous y etiez, Mathieu.

Moment of madness... The moment in the second half when an exposed Jake Larkins found the entire Wolverhampton team charging towards him, £50 notes fluttering from their pockets, after a botched Orient corner. His double save - first from Kevin MacDonald, then from the rebound at the feet of James Henry - was brilliant and epitomised what was for the most part a highly impressive performance by the youngster. 

Top gun... Sawyer, Omozusi, Cox, Simpson and Odubajo all impressed - and Lisbie worked tirelessly - but once again the man of the match was Nathan Clarke. In the first half his performance was that of the captain of a sinking ocean liner single-handedly trying to plug every leak while his terror-stricken crew mates throw themselves into lifeboats and get the hell out of there. He was immense. 

Mathieu Baudry
Little donkey... Putting aside his goal and a much-improved second-half performance, Mathieu Baudry was all over the place in the first half. Whereas once the Frenchman was a gallant musketeer picking off opponents with little more than an inquisitively-raised eyebrow, over the last few games he's been more of an inexperienced Parisian mime artist desperately failing to impress drunken tourists outside the Eiffel Tower. 

In the dug out... To be fair to Russell Slade, like a brothel owner in the midst of clap epidemic, he hasn't exactly got much to work with in terms of fit professionals. But interestingly Orient performed much better after Vincelot's injury forced a reshuffle. What's clear is that Omozusi and Odubajo is the most compelling combination on the right, and given that Sawyer is in good form Slade may have to bite the bullet and leave either Baudry or Cuthbert on the bench. Tough decision, probably made easier by the fact it's unlikely both of them will actually be fit at the same time anyway. 

View from the opposition... "You're just a bus stop in West Ham" chanted the 26,000 home fans in one of the more inventive taunts of Orient. Tweeter @wolves_gossip put it less wittily: "Awww poor Orient fans, they've never won anything and now they've drawn to us they think they've the best team in Europe." Well, no, but forgive us our pleasure for matching a club who pay substitute Kevin Doyle more to get his eyelashes waxed than we can afford to pay our entire squad put together. 

Tweet of the week.... I hate to do this to you, Os fans, but with good comes bad, with yin comes yang, and it is my solemn duty to report that ranting taxi driver, social commentator and one-time football manager John Sitton has, for reasons known only to him and the Devil, tweeted a photo of himself naked. If you're of a nervous disposition, look away now... 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...