16 March 2014

Leyton Orient 0 Brentford 1, 15/3/14

Brentford's footballing heritage
A game in which... Brentford came to east London brandishing their majestic football heritage (one season in the Championship since the 1930s and three Johnstone's Paint Trophy final defeats) like a giant inflatable cock. Yes, Orient were honoured to host such a well-endowed club when all we've got is Tiny Cox, but in the first half the Os demonstrated exactly why they're still fighting for automatic promotion with a thrusting performance.

To be fair to the Bees it's a deluded portion of their fans that show no respect to Orient rather than the club itself, and the way their players and management celebrated their hard-fought victory - like they'd just been told that Hooters are to open a new branch in Brentford town centre - is a better indication of quite how far our "little" east London outfit has come this season.

Moment of magic... The delightful interplay between Kevin Lisbie and David Mooney in the first half that set up the latter with clear sight of goal. Unfortunately instead of doing what any self-respecting League One striker should do and sticking his laces through it, Moons elected to try to replicate the once-in-a-lifetime lob he executed at Swindon earlier in the season. Next week: Gary Sawyer tries to Cryuff turn a routine clearance on the basis he once almost did the same after tripping on his laces playing for North Devon under-12s.

Moment of madness... The moment referee Robert Madley (justifiably) sent off Brentford's James Tarkowski early in the second half, thus denying Leyton Orient any opportunity to actually equalise. Yep, like a boxer who's unable to land a single punch on a one-armed opponent, the Os are inexplicably inept at scoring against 10 men. It's a wonder opposition teams don't just start the game one short - or with Jimmy Smith in midfield, same difference.

David Mooney: Probably shouldn't look in the mirror
Top gun... Right, let's get this straight: Orient did not "bottle" this game, they were undone by an excellent Brentford side. No shame in that. Cox, Mooney and Lisbie all combined well in the first half before fading; the defence were pretty resolute throughout; and in the first 45 minutes Vincelot almost looked like he'd justify the inevitable man-of-the-match award in the Supporters' Club. But to be brutally honest, if all the Orient players took a long hard look in the mirror (maybe just a quick glance if you're David Mooney, you don't want to alarm yourself) they'd have to admit all the best performers on the pitch today were wearing a Brentford shirt.

Little donkey...  Yeah, so no one played particularly badly - it's just that for Orient to win big games like this they need a number of the team to play blinders, rather than play as if they're wearing blinders. They've done that many times this season but today just wasn't one of those days. No need to put them up before the firing squad just yet - these players have been heroes to a man this season, and - as Wolves' draw with Shrewsbury demonstrates - there are twists and turns at the top to come. DO NOT GIVE UP HOPE!

In the dug out... "Donaldson's gone in as if it's a bar brawl," said Russell Slade of the Brentford striker's dainty slap to the face of Romain Vincelot, suggesting that if you ever get into a fight in an East End pub, you're not going to get much back up from the Orient manager. Slade seems somewhat unpopular with Brentford fans, who've shown that their Photoshop skills are right up there with their humility by producing the meme pictured here.

View from the opposition... Oh, where to even begin? Perhaps with the plethora of Bees fans (and an embarrassing Posh one) who decided that there's no better way to celebrate victory than by taunting a parody account of one of the opposition strikers. Awkward. And while west London's finest seemed to be upset with Russell Slade's post-match suggestion that they celebrated like they'd won a cup final, this pre-match tweet from Scott James Whittart reveals that the Orient manager got it spot on: "Surely if we win it'll be one of our greatest weekends ever in our history." Yep: #bigclub

YouTube video of the week... This beauty unearthed by Neil Irvine in which Barry Hearn endangers his own life in the aid of positive PR for Orient, and a young Matt Porter proves that awkward, gangly teenagers can one day make it to the top.


47 comments:

  1. It's been very interesting this season (through Beesotted interviews with O's fans, blogs, Twitter etc.) to see the way the Bees are perceived by many Orient supporters. I have to say that the arrogant, deluded #bigclub you describe doesn't bear much resemblance to the team that I thought I'd been proudly following and watching fail repeatedly for the last quarter of a century. Precisely what I (and, I believe, many other Bees) love about Brentford is presumably what so many Orient fans love about LOFC. We are (unless I'm massively mistaken) a small community club where players and staff are approachable and everything is on a personal level, right down to the plans for the new ground, where we could go to the open day and hassle the architect about plans for safe standing.

    Fans of 'the Barcelona of the lower leagues' (note the irony!) are the first to point out that we've only had one season in the second tier since the 30s, and to be honest when you grow up wearing out VHS tapes of your team winning the 1942 London War Cup because it was the only thing your team has ever won, you have no delusions of grandeur. It's true that the Bees have a bit of financial backing now (from a Bees fan) and with the new stadium are trying in the long term to move up a notch and become financially viable, which I believe O's also tried with the Olympic Stadium, and we're now faced with the problem of trying to compete successfully at a higher level and preserve our club's character in the process.

    Oh, and all the stuff about some idiot harrassing a fictional David Mooney Twitter account is just embarrassing, and I'd imagine most people feel the same, regardless of what team they support.

    Good luck for the rest of the season. Would be happy to see Orient in the Championship with us, probably for some of the above reasons!

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    Replies
    1. Stop being so reasonable, Will. That's no fun at all.

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  2. What I dont understand is the constant poison and vitriol spat in the direction of us Bees fans from the Orient. Personally and you can ask most Bees supporters the same question is that we have no ill feling towards Orient and their support and most of us would be quite happy to see both our teams promoted with Wolves going into the playoffs. I think the Orient have played on the "little Orient" tag a bit too much though, they are up there for a reason and its not luck, they have been consistant.
    I just wish they will stop trying to make a rivalry where there is none (well not from us anyway)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks both for your very reasonable comments. I agree with all that - and I did specifically say in the blog that "it's a deluded portion" of the Brentford fans who give us all the "big club" stuff, rather than the majority.

    The rest of it is just the sort of stupid stuff I normally write - most seasons I relentlessly take the piss out of Orient themselves, though inconsiderately the team's performance in 2013/14 has made this nigh on impossible, so I have to search for lame jokes where I can - and the attitude of a small section of Bees fans seemed a good place to start.

    Peace. Matt

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  4. Fun read. Let me also point out it was a big big game for Brentford not because we beat the mighty Orient, but because we greatly increased our odds of an auto promotion spot. Given last years finish, and a record of playoff futility now at 7 attempts without success,we all believe that auto is the only way we can get to the promised land with Qpha and Fulham next year. I for one will be rooting for Orient in the playoffs. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. But don't be quite so sure we'll be the ones in the play-offs just yet. A lot can happen in our 9 and your 11 games...

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  5. The best thing about Saturday was the realisation that the two clubs are very similar and the worse thing was noticing yet again the idiots from both clubs who appear on social media bickering about who the best club are. Disappointed in Slade's "Cup final celebration" remark as well seeing as though we were all excited about this match for many reasons and the game did seem to live up to the hype I thought. Down to ten men and not playing too well and winning...I think Orient would have celebrated just as much and I would Imaging Slade would have had his little jig around the ground at the final whistle too had Orient won ! (or Rocking all over the world as it's commonly known as in E London) Brentford hassled Orient in the 2nd half like no other team has all season and Orient were caught out. Still a long way to go but I imagine the current top two will go up. - good article btw xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. To be fair I don't think Slade was trying to have a pop at Brentford with the Cup Final remark - more trying to illustrate how far Orient have come if a team like yourselves view a victory over as so important. He's actually a pretty decent guy and I've never really heard him snipe at other teams.

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Good read, and a much better assessment of the game than Mr Slade's! However, I'm surprised to read about "one season in the second tier" from both you and one of my own Brentford supporters! Being pedantic, it should read, "only promoted to the second tier once since the 1930s." Why? Because we played in the second tier in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, and 1990s. Since relegation from Div 2 in the mid-50s, I think Brentford can claim to be London's least successful club - and I include Barnet and Dagenham & Redbridge in that, because as League clubs they both achieved far more than they could have hoped for a few years ago! As for Brentford, one season outside the bottom two divisions in 60 years, is an awful record for a big club. :)

    I too do not understand where the Orient/Bees rivalry has suddenly sprung from - after all we've both been struggling in the same boat for a long time. I want Orient to go up with Brentford this year as a top two club rather than Wolves, as results over the last 12 months have been fantastic and certainly warrant a promotion!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops. Yes, you're right about the second tier, TW13!

      Matt, looking forward to reading your take on the rest of the season. For all of Slade's ill-advised post-match vitriol, at least he was right when he said it's not over yet.

      On a geographically-related side note: when I suggested to a supporter of (6th tier) Tennis Borussia Berlin that, as perennial under-achievers and underdogs, Brentford were their London equivalent, he insisted, 'no, that would be Leyton Orient'...!

      Delete
  8. Enjoyed the article, and I'm glad to see you've correctly portrayed it as a deserved win, not a smash 'n grab.

    This whole business about 'celebrating like we won the the FA Cup' has really rankled though. Particularly when we think about Orient's exuberant celebrations at Griffin Park in a much less important game. So here are three why we went as mental as we did.

    1) It was an enormous game.

    2) We had 10 men. And winning with 10 men is one of the best feelings you can have. It was a heroic performance. It was 12 vs 10.

    3) The rivalry aspect. Yes there is a slight rivalry. But it's a rivalry of convenience, so to speak. We're the only London clubs in League 1, we're competing with each other, so go on then, let's be rivals. If we go up and are facing fixtures with our true rivals in QPR and Fulham we'll forget all about you, and I'd like to think you'd forget about us if we went up and you stayed down (or vice versa).

    What do you expect us to do? Sit down and clap? Well we're not like that. Yesterday we got behind our team. It was a unified effort, in contrast to Orient whose fans did little to spur their team on against ten men in their biggest 45 minutes of many seasons.

    Onto all this 'big club' stuff. We don't think we're a big club. You'd have to be monumentally stupid to think that. We're growing, yes, but we're small. Like many Bees fans (and I expect Orient fans as well) I chose to support Brentford partly because we are small and tight-knit.

    With rivalries there will always be childish conversations about club-size. I can point to finishing fifth in the First Division, while you can point at a good number of years in the second tier in the 70s and 80s. We get bigger crowds, but these things fluctuate. At the moment we're probably a bigger club than Orient, but this is only a slight difference. We're comparable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Toby - all very reasonable. As I mentioned in reply earlier in this thread, the "big club" stuff isn't meant to be taken that seriously (read the disclaimer on the side of the blog!) - it's more an exaggerated portrayal of some of the more vocal taunters among the Brentford ranks.

      You're absolutely right we would have gone mental if we'd won and that you lot are totally justified in doing the same - after all any away win at this point in the season is significant when you're fighting for automatic promotion.

      Agree that our rivalry is one of convenience rather than history - if we ever end up in the same division as West Ham then all hell will break loose!

      Delete
    2. Toby states that we are probably a bigger club now. Not quite sure what difference size makes and how it is defined. Who cares! I actually thought that Bees vocal support was poor considering the 2000 plus fans and the acoustics of the East stand. Also have never seen such a posh set of away supporters but then they are from the 'right side of town/leafy Middx. Up the O's!

      Delete
    3. How do you "see" that away fans are posh? We have all sorts like most clubs, but I suppose that doesn't fit into the fictional rivalry. In case you hadn't noticed, your neck of the woods isn't exactly the ghetto these days...

      Delete
  9. Scott tweeted it would be a 'great weekend' for us because we finally got our new stadium approved. Not just because of the possibility of beating yourselves.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I didn't use Photoshop but if I did I would have done a better job. Sorry.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Is it true that Slade refused to shake hands with Warburton? If so that's pretty sad. Hope Orient come up with the Bees though.

    ReplyDelete
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