If we were underwhelmed by that, then the first half really let us down when Orient were out-muscled by a physical, if profligate, Barnet side and it became apparent there was a huge Romain Vincelot-shaped vortex in the middle of the pitch. But in the second 45 minutes the home side were transformed, almost as if the half-time team talk was delivered in the English language, and put the opposition under the cosh with some neat passing and attacking verve. Seeds of promise, then...
Give that man a medal... It's one of the immutable laws of physics that if Bradley Pritchard is within a five-mile radius of a football match his bodily matter will instantly teleport and rematerialise in the starting XI. And so it was with grinding inevitably that the fifth Orient manager in succession deemed the midfielder worthy of selection, and a typically lightweight first-half performance left fans once again scratching their heads as to why. In the second half, however, Pritchard showed what he could really do – which is play very short passes near the touchline to players better able to cross the ball. As such he was instrumental in both Orient goals and made a good case for further influence this season.
|Martin Allen. That's not the sea: it's his sweat|
In the dugout... When Dean Cox finally departs this earth and is presumably playing in the Heaven FC first XI, what are the chances that even God thinks it's a good idea to play him at the tip of a diamond? And so it was that Ian Hendon – like every Orient manager before him – figured to himself: "Hey, Tiny is my best player so let's get him more involved and play him behind the strikers." NO, IAN, NO. THIS NEVER WORKS. It's like chucking a dwarf into the path of 11 onrushing juggernauts. Leave Coxy out wide, where he can do far more damage.
Meanwhile on Twitter... "Football is back!" tweeted an excitable Jamie Jones, almost as if he'd forgotten he's going to spend the whole season sitting on the bench. Still, that should leave him plenty of time to bait the fans of the club that paid his wages for five and half seasons, eh Scouse?