02 November 2014

Leyton Orient 2 Coventry City 2, 1/11/14

A game in which... it became apparent that there must be some sort of hoodoo upon Brisbane Road that prevents Orient from ever winning a home game. Perhaps the stadium was erected upon an ancient Indian burial ground and the Gods are displeased? Perhaps a terrible tragedy unfolded on the land in medieval times? Or perhaps the reasons are less the plot of a Stephen King novel and more that we're, well, just a bit shit?

Sigh. In truth there were further signs of improvement. In the first half Orient dominated possession, though only had one shot off target to show for it. In the second the team showed admirable spirit and bluster to come back from behind to lead 2-1, only to blow it at the death. Still, I think better things are to come from this squad, although (KLAXON! I'm about to run with the Stephen King analogies here) expect more Misery before they're really Shining.

Nathan Clarke 
Jump off your seat moment... Two actually. The first a jaw-dropping slide tackle from Mathieu Baudry in the first half that swept the ball away from Coventry's Gary Madine just as he was about to puncture the Orient net. The second a Benny Hill-esque combination of misjudgment and slip from Nathan Clarke that led to the visitors' first goal. I use these two contrasting incidents to illustrate a point: we still have very classy defenders in our squad, and if they can somehow eradicate the momentary lapses then we may have a foundation for climbing the table.

Give that man a medal... And talking of the defence, what a man Scott Cuthbert is. Whether crunching into tackles on the touchline, rising majestically like Ben Nevis to head Orient into the lead or growing a thick beard 20 minutes before the start of today's game simply through the power he has over his own testosterone, the Scotsman will be fundamental to the success or otherwise of the rest of this season.

Taxi for... Were it not for the fact that Jobi McAnuff bucked his ideas up for a 15-minute spell in the second half by God he would be feeling the full force of one of my metaphors likening him to a widely-mocked X-Factor contestant. As it is, the fact that he does momentarily display flashes of the class that you'd expect of a one-time Premier League captain makes it even more bewildering that the winger is offering so little in an Orient shirt.

"Fuck the technical shit"... Mauro Milanese showed that he truly appreciated the long tradition of Orient managers by sending out his players in 4-4-2 formation and hoping for the best. To be fair to him he's got the team trying to play more football along the floor – albeit at the moment mostly in a quadrangle between the defence and the goalkeeper – and he appears to have instilled a bit more passion into them. What a shame, then, that if his side lose to Oldham next week then he's likely to be replaced by, oh I don't know, Ada Martin the kit man in Francisco Becchetti's ever-patient search for stability and success.

Meanwhile on Twitter... Hey, what's this: a message from ex-Orient keeper Jamie Jones to fans of the club that paid his wages for six years and gave him the opportunity to make a career in professional football. A heartfelt vote of thanks? A stirring statement of support? Erm, no, this actually: "Another home win for you today? O wait... No it wasn't. Enjoy your relegation battle." I leave it to fan Edina to summarise the general reaction to this far more eloquently than I could: "What a muggy little c**t."

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