21 February 2015

Leyton Orient 3 Oldham Athletic 0, 21/2/15

Fabio Liverani
A game in which... Fabio Liverani ripped off his shirt, beat his chest and declared with a guttural, primal roar: "FUCK THE LOT OF YOU, I'M PLAYING WITH TWO WINGERS AND TWO LEFT-BACKS. WHAT YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?" Or maybe the manager was simply forced into selecting a team with a bit of width by virtue of Bradley Pritchard's injury.

Either way it worked, for this was a joyous return to the Orient of old: spirited, committed and energetic. It also demonstrated that we do actually have a talented group of players and if someone – Liverani? Donatelli? Nugent? Ada the kit man? – can get them to continue playing together as they did today we may still get out of this mess. 

Jump off your seat moment... The moment loanee goalkeeper Alex Cisak saved brilliantly from Jonathan Forte's penalty. If he puts in more fine performances like today's it might finally allow some closure for the Orient fans still heartbroken by the loss of our previous hero between the sticks. No, not Jamie Jones you bloody idiots, Eldin Jakupovic. *swoon* 

Jobi McAnuff marks his debut by wearing mascara
Give that man a medal... Any number of players could have been named man of the match today – Sawyer, Wright, Vincelot, Baudry or Cisak for starters – but let's instead celebrate a player making his Orient debut today: Jobi McAnuff. Yes, yes, the stats might tell you it was the winger's 25th appearance for the club, but it was the first time fans actually saw the player we thought we'd bought in the summer. 

Taxi for... Everyone played well, so let's just single out one moment involving the otherwise excellent Chris Dagnall. Put clean through on goal by Josh Wright, what would you expect the Liverpudlian language-mangler to do? a) Shoot b) Side-foot the ball to David Mooney who, instead of tapping it into an open net, elects to throw himself to the ground appealing for an imaginary foul, only to find he was 40 yards offside the whole time or c) back heel the ball 15 yards back up the pitch to a waiting Oldham defender. If you answered c, you're bonkers. But also correct. 

Liverani tinkers with today's formation
"Fuck the technical shit"... When today's team sheet was announced only those with a doctorate in applied mathematics could have figured out what formation that particular combination of 11 players could possibly line up in. Luckily Dean Cox put in a call to his old mucker Professor Jimmy Smith who advised "4-4-2 #LEGOOOOOO!" And so it was that Fabio Liverani inadvertently stumbled across a decent starting XI. (Albeit one that he will almost certainly ditch as soon as Bradley Pritchard is fit again.) 

Meanwhile on Twitter... This bizarre exchange between ex-England captains Will Carling and Michael Vaughan in which they discuss one-time Orient carthorse Colin West. (As discovered by Chas Portch.) What next, Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga debating the relative merits of James Scowcroft? Stephen Fry and Barack Obama arguing over Adrian Patulea?

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