Date:Tuesday October 3 2006
Another weekend, another defeat. Losing is almost as natural to Orient as breathing is to you and I. Having capitulated once again this time against a rather poor Blackpool side, Martin Ling is running out of excuses and his ridiculous cliches have become infuriating.
How many more times can Ling use the 'Putting our best foot forward' cliche? How many times can John Mackie tell us that it's 'a must win game'?
On every occasion that the O's have taken the field this season, we've heard Martin Ling harping on about Orient putting their best foot forward. How many feet do the O's have? It's time to bin the cliches Martin and concentrate on what really matters, winning for the first time since August 12th.
There's no real point in looking back and claiming Ling was naive not to add to the squad. It is quite clear that Ling is guilty in this respect but to blame him would not be constructive. With the O's in this perilous postion, the loan market represents the best opportunity for success.
Loan players are a strange and unknown quantity. Sometimes you can strike gold as Orient have in the past with Kevin Campbell, Wayne Corden and to an extent Richard Garcia. Yet, how many times have awful loanees pulled on the O's shirt? Often they are mercenaries, completely disinterested in team ethics knowing that whatever happens they're probably not going to be at Brisbane Road come the end of the season anyway.
The real responsibility falls on the players that have got Orient into this position. It's time for them to stand up and be counted and not shy away from the fact that they are already flirting with relegation. It could be suggested that it's too early to worry, but with over 25% of the season already gone, the O's will have to buck up their ideas if they are to survive.
The problems facing Martin Ling are immense. From the goalkeeper to the front pairing, the team lacks confidence and this is quite evident in some of the dreadful performances in recent weeks. With Glyn Garner faltering all too often in goal and a defence that is more generous than Father Christmas, Orient's are constantly conceding goals.
Having conceded 28 goals in 12 games, the O's have the worst defensive record in the entire league, yes worse than Accrington Stanley, even worse than Macclesfield. The defence has no confidence in their 'keeper, whilst the 'keeper clearly looks uneasy with his protection. It's a vicious circle, but it cannot be allowed to continue. The O's need a top quality central defender and a goalkeeper that can command his area, hold onto the ball and kick when required. These are all deficiencies in Garner's game.
Clayton Fortune is not the answer to Orient's defensive questions. Fortune's cumbersome performances this season have brought back memories of Alan White when he wore an Orient shirt. Surely Ling must have realised that a pairing of Mackie and Fortune was never going to work as neither possesses enough pace to make the partnership viable. Thus, the O's have been left with a soft centre, softer than a nougat chocolate inside a box of Roses.
Whilst central defence is a problem, the full backs have had their work cut out too. Justin Miller, who has enjoyed a relatively good start to the season has all too often had to cover for the centre backs. Matt Lockwood has had to cover left back and left wing due to a lack of support and hence has been caught out on numerous occasions. Joe Keith is not the answer, but with Ling's options limited due to injury, what else can he do?
With Shane Tudor and Craig Easton unavailable, Ling has not fielded his first choice midfield for a long period of time. Despite the emergence of Adam Chambers, who has impressed so far, Orient are being outplayed, outmuscled and outfought in the midfield. The worrying lack of pace has also left the side open to the counter attack which has seen the O's ripped apart at times this season.
What is for certain is that the O's need pace. Joe Keith and Donny Barnard are not the answer, fielding Keith is merely leaving Orient with ten players whilst Barnard is more accustomed to playing at right back where he can be effective. Shane Tudor although injured, has proved frustrating once again as he continues to fall over theatrically each time somebody sneezes within ten yards of him. Ling will be desperate to see Easton back to full fitness and pair him with Chambers or Simpson or perhaps use all three in an attempt to make his side harder to break down.
In attack, Ling's assertion that the O's had enough quality in the final third at the start of the season was questionable. Paul Connor has not won over his doubters as of yet whilst the enigma that is Jabo Ibehre is starting to wear down the patience of his supporters. Lee Steele is a predator in front of goal but is too injury prone whilst Gary Alexander has been absolutely superb in every department....apart from the goal scoring department.
Alexander's attitude however has been first class. His work rate and committment are unquestionable. He has fought for each and every ball, tackled when he has had to and held the all up beautifully at times. It is his spirit that the O's will need to embody if they are to survive.
Martin Ling has so many problems to sort out and it's not going to be easy. However, he knows that these players need a change of luck, the bounce of the ball, a lucky goal and suddenly it could all change.
The game on Saturday with Chesterfield gives Orient to show their appetite for a battle. Having beaten the Spireites last season in the F.A. Cup at Saltergate, Ling will want his side to repeat the score line at Brisbane Road. A win on Saturday would go a long way to solving the deepening crisis and the low morale that currently engulfs E10.
Transfer Rumour - Shaun Batt (Thursday May 23 2013)
Word On The Tweet - Orient Gossip (Tuesday May 21 2013)
Yeovil Win Play-Off To Complete League 1 Line Up (Sunday May 19 2013)
Orient To Play Bradford Next Season (Saturday May 18 2013)
Vincelot Misses Out On Player Of The Month (Friday May 17 2013)
Slade - Getting Closer With Mooney & Vincelot (Thursday May 16 2013)
Transfer Rumour - Ricky Holmes (Thursday May 16 2013)
Transfer Rumour - Raffaele De Vita (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Vincelot Nominated For Player Of The Month (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Orient Continue Judicial Review (Tuesday May 14 2013)
|Leyton Orient||2||-||0||MK Dons|
|5. Sheff Utd||46||19||18||9||14||75|
|7. Leyton Orient||46||21||8||17||7||71|
|8. MK Dons||46||19||13||14||17||70|
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