29 December 2020

Leyton Orient 2 Southend United 0, 29/12/20

A game in which... Orient took to the field massively disadvantaged by the fact Ross Embleton was self-isolating on account of wanting to finish season four of The Crown. Well, I say massively disadvantaged but it soon became apparent the Os were playing with exactly the same tactical nous as in previous games. Which was none.

Luckily this was ultimately an improved performance nonetheless and two typical moments of class from McAnuff and Wilkinson and a unprecedented lack of catastrophic defensive errors were enough to polish off a woeful Southend side. 

But let me say this: Orient really aren't as bad as many doomsayers have been making out in the past few weeks. We're actually worse. Ok, JUST KIDDING... Christ! We're one point of the play offs, and while we obviously won't actually get promoted, in a messed up season we ain't doing too bad, and very occasionally have looked pretty good. And remember, finishing 17th in the fourth tier is actually Orient's natural resting state, so we're all good... 

Moment of magic... The moment referee Craig Hicks measured out the 10 yards required for the placement of the Southend wall when facing an Orient free kick. It seems finickity Southend players and fans believe that the man in black miscalculated by, say, a couple of kilometres or so making it too simple for McAnuff to pop the ball in the net. I guess looking at the evidence we can concede that Mr Hicks probably does have a problem estimating measurements, but it's not Southend you should feel sorry for, it's the referee's string of disappointed lovers sold a false promise, amirite? 

Praise be... It's now a firmly held Orient tradition that whenever Sam Ling – who unrelatedly is the son of the Director of Football – doesn't put in a car crash performance we have to overly praise him, so let's get that out the way: MIND-BLOWING 90 MINUTES FROM SAM LING – WHO UNRELATEDLY IS THE SON OF THE DIRECTOR OF FOOTBALL – ONE IN THE EYE FOR ALL THE LING-BASHERS. Aside from that Akinola played quite well, hey? 

Taxi for... It's now five months since Martin Ling's bizarre interview in which he ends up congratulating himself on signing Ouss Cisse then realises in horror what he's done so tries to backtrack by executing a two-footed tackle on the English language: "A sigh of a job well done we thought we were losing." So let's all think about what Cisse has achieved since then. Well that's three milliseconds of your life you'll never get back. But let's not be too harsh on the player who looked so promising on loan but has delivered so little this campaign. After all, I think he's just about to complete the tackle he began in the season-opener against Oldham. 

In the dug out... Forget Brexit, the real schism in this country is between the ROSS OUT-ERS and the ROSS IN-ERS. (Not forgetting, of course, the MONSTER RAVING ROSS-ERS, the THE PEOPLE'S FRONT OF ROSS, THE ROSS-IAN PEOPLE'S FRONT and a new organisation called RECLAIM ROSS set up by the actor Laurence Fox, who believes that #allRossesMatter and that all the rich, privileged, white Rosses have a really hard time these days.) 

Is Ross the right manager for Orient or not is the question. The answer: hard to say for the long run, but it's difficult to imagine that a different gaffer would have us topping the table right now without some changes to the squad. Still, there may be a neat compromise lurking in the fact that we now have a 100% record in games in which Embleton was the manager, but didn't actually attend... 

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