For the moment, I'm in Germany's version of east London - i.e. Berlin - so in my absence Orient fan and blogger Andy Brown (of WAGU and The Two Unfortunates fame) has kindly stepped in to give his view of the game against Shrewsbury...
A game in which... Orient never got out of second gear, but didn’t need to against a Shrewsbury team whose striking accuracy resembled Stevie Wonder trying to hit a bulls eye at the PDC. Meanwhile Eldin Jakupovic, our new keeper on loan from Hull, also seemed to intimidate them - nothing to do with his size and resemblance to Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction.
Orient didn’t really connect with their passing in the first half, often giving the ball away, but improved massively in the second-half. Nevertheless the Os looked sharp going forward all game and had that extra class up front. It was a real treat for the 144 hardy souls, many of whom had witnessed an unpleasant 4-0 FA Cup mauling at the hands of the Tractor Boys down in Yeovil.
Moment of magic... Jamar Loza, a 19-year-old youth-loan arrival from Norwich City (who didn't arrive in time to make the back of Shrewsbury's programme) weaved between several players to slot through a lovely ball for January Os calendar poster boy Moses Odubajo to take it round the keeper and slot home Orient’s first from a tight angle.
Moment of madness... Former Os favourite Tamika Mkandawire, who headed firmly into his own net after a corner from Dean Cox. All the plaudits went to Scott Cuthbert, but it was clearly Tam who got the connection. Cheers for that, old chap! Scott Cuthbert had a dodgy second half, giving the ball away a few times and proving he’s about as comfortable at right back as jumping on a bike missing a saddle.
Top gun... A few candidates but Dean Cox and Moses Odubajo both looked a class apart, tormenting the full backs all night and creating plenty of chances. Lloyd James and Marvin Bartley were also excellent in preventing Shrewsbury’s midfield creating any real chances, as Jakupovic didn’t have one serious save to make.
Little donkey(s)... Tom Eaves and Aaron Wildig - aka Shrewsbury’s MIA strike-force - who despite being ably supported by the very talented Jon Taylor still couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo, even on the rare occasion that Captain Clarke was out-muscled. Easily the worst frontline the Os will face this season.
|Russ wins the World Cup|
In the dug out... Russell Slade got it dead right on the pitch again, bringing in Bartley and leaving Ness on the bench and the Os looked hard to breakdown throughout the game. The gaffer also came right up to the fans at the end punching the air like we’d won the World Cup, rather than away at Shrewsbury on a Tuesday night. High-fives all round and real togetherness in the club right now. Can you feel the love?
View from the opposition... A pretty quiet bunch all in all, despite piping up with “same old cockneys, always cheating” after various two-footed lunges on Dean Cox and Lloyd James that that should have resulted in dismissals. Also confusing was the number of fans wearing Man Utd gear in the Pro-Sport bar before the game - maybe they missed the coach to Sunderland? However, they are decent bunch who are really struggling for home form right now, which Os fans will hope changes when Brentford visit them in a few weeks!
Tweet of the week.... Our good friends in claret and blue up the road and their salad-dodging manager. They are the gift that won’t stop giving. After losing 5-0 at the weekend to Forest and getting annihilated 6-0 by Man City, Big Sam now has his own board game according to Tim Bolton.