Posts Tagged ‘leyton orient’

A Question of Intention

11 April, 2009

img_0409_webPaul Lambert has always been keen to remind us that his aim was for Championship football next season.  A careful analysis of his statements will show that the name of Colchester United hasn’t always figured in the same sentence.  I’m not questioning his commitment or loyalty and I accept that his ultimate aim must be to manage a top club or even his country, however I wonder if we are just a stepping stone on his path to success.  My thinking here is furthered by his appearance on A Question of Sport on Friday (10th April) when he was introduced as a European Cup medal winner with Borussia Dortmund, and some footage of his Celtic playing days was shown.  No mention of his move into management, and no mention  of Colchester.   Maybe I’m reading too much into all this and maybe this latest event is just an example of the control and manipulation of the media in what they promote.  After all, how could they show this episode again when Lambert is managing his national team at some stage in the future?  It’s far better to concentrate on something more fashionable of course, and the truth is that Colchester just aren’t in that league.

img_0421_webWhich brings me on to the match at Orient.  This was the first meeting with previous manager Geraint Williams.  ‘George’ is having a successful time at Brisbane Road since his return and I’m really pleased for him.  I’m sort of pleased he ended up happy with today’s result as it did him more good than it did us harm.  Last week I was complaining at how many times we have gone down 0-1 at home.  This week my gripe is that we seem to relinquish the lead away from home too often.  Eight times we have squandered an away lead and only once recovered to take all the points.  Surely the players must know by now that we are at our most vulnerable just after scoring a goal?  Four games to go and nothing to play for.

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First Trophy

7 February, 2009

img_1173_webAlthough today’s game has been a victim of the mild wintry conditions affecting most of the country we do have the chance to sit back and reflect on our best run of form for some time and with it we have our first trophy of the season.  The Coca Cola League One Manager of the Month for January 2009 is …..  Paul Lambert.  About time too.  He has brought about a complete change of attitude by most of the squad (as well as a change of significant members of the squad) and our results have seen us rise from a miserable 23rd after the MK Dons home defeat to the current 11th place.  It’s a great foundation on which to build the rest of the season, and I’m already feeling that the tone of my postings in this blog is much more positive than at any other time in the last two seasons.

img_0723_webIt is also worth mentioning that our former boss, Geraint (George) Williams has returned to football, taking the vacant post at Leyton Orient.  I hope we give him a miserable day at Easter when we visit him in his new home, but apart from that I wish him all the best for the rest of the season.  His results there will be a testament to his true ability and I hope he is afforded a level of loyalty that he deserves.  I’ll be watching their results with interest for the remainder of the campaign.

Game 12 – Leyton Orient

28 December, 2008

img_1335_webDespite the early presents from the official at Elland Road a few weeks ago, some late presents arrived in our version of the Boxing Day fixture.  OK it wasn’t Boxing Day but we had our first home league crowd over 6,000 and I guess that’s a good enough present for the team.  The difference in having this size of crowd is that you could hear a low level murmur throughout the whole game, and despite the best travelling support we’ve seen yet we won the vocal battle with no trouble.

img_1346_web22We had a score to settle with Orient after losing in the FA Cup a few weeks back.  Well we did settle the score but we didn’t do it in style.  It was a scrappy game, but quite enthralling nonetheless.  Neither team stopped trying and although some easy chances were squandered it was a game of two penalties and a bit of nerve thrown in.  Walker clearly has no nerves and had a relatively easy save to make in the end, although he made it look more spectacular by jumping the wrong way first.  Congratulations to the Orient fans for winning the penalty in the first place.  Ironically they must have been the only people in the ground who couldn’t see what happened but their collective appeal after a a series of ricochets in the box was followed after a pause by a flag from the linesman and then a consultation with the ref and finally the wrong decision.  Justice was done in the end though.

img_1346_webIt made a change to see Colchester engaging in time-wasting activities towards the end but I don’t like this sort of thing as I’ve mentioned in several other posts here.  Neither did today’s match official who booked Jimmy Walker the first time there was a sniff of anything untoward.  Walker wasn’t the only name he collected today.  I lost count but there must have been ten players who got to have an intimate chat with him at some stage during the game.  At one stage the Orient players were queuing up to go in the book and one even resorted to time-wasting to get his moment alone with the man in yellow.  The ref was determined to stamp his authority on the game from the start and it was this that upset the rhythm of the play most of the time.  Occasionally he relented and let the game flow, but he soon made amends and interfered with some strange and very harsh decisions.

img_1331_webThe only thing that mattered today was that we won.  It didn’t matter how we did it and the result is not just the three points, but a rise to 11th place in the table.  That’s the bottom of the top half of the table.  Considering we were 23rd at one stage we can now start to dream of a play-off place which isn’t such an unrealistic aim now.  The best Christmas present of all is that thanks to other results that ‘other team from Essex’ are now below us and we enter the New Year in a better frame of mind than when we ended 2007.  I didn’t wave at the Southend fans as we went past them.  I’m not one to gloat – just yet.  There’s a gap of 4 points to the next position in the table and that’s the priority now.

FA Cup 1 – Leyton Orient

8 November, 2008

img_1196_webToday saw the return of Danny Granville, one of the many ex-Us players who have left the cub over the last few seasons.  It was amusing to see him greeted with the familiar chant of ‘Who are ya?’.  He had a fairly anonymous game I’m pleased to say.  However, it’s sad to say that most of the Us team today were fairly anonymous too.  There was a period during the first half – probably the last 20 minutes – when the whole game drifted into oblivion.  The weather didn’t help either.  I’ll bet you could have kept drier in most areas of Layer Road during a thunderstorm (except the family ‘enclosure’ of course).  I think there’ll be a lot more of the wet and maybe harder stuff blowing back into the West Stand as the season progresses.

It was good to hear the minute’s silence observed by the whole crowd.  Although it was a moment to reflect on past events across the globe the emerging background noise did remind us of how close the A12 is to the stadium.  That helped to remind us that we still haven’t lost a ball out of the stadium.  There was a lack of spare balls anyway today.

img_1197b_webThe game started well with some nice possession stuff deep into the opponents half and it felt like the ‘new’ team was rolling on.  The crowd played their part and for the first time that I can recall  the North Stand few started a chant that infected both West and East very quickly.  It’s still difficult to get the home crowd in unison (4,600 today).  It usually starts in the corner of one stand and takes a few seconds to spread.  It’s like an audible version of the mexican wave.

Despite the loss (one-nil to the away team in the cup yet again) there was a real positive for the team today.  Goalkeeper Mark Cousins played well, with some safe handling and a sense of urgency near the end.  It was a shame his early kicking wasn’t up to much but I’d always take a clean sheet against some poor kicking any day.

An interesting start to the second half saw the sun and moon make a brief appearance, although this was not a sign of better things to come and normal service was quickly resumed with clouds and floodlights taking over for the rest of the match.

img_1197_webIn the end it was the same old story.  A blown chance to score followed by a quick counter attack, the defence backing off until the opposition plant it in our net.  For the last half hour it was like watching the highlights of the early part of the season, and there weren’t many of those.  Players who were looking good in the past few games returned to their old form and we just lost the plot. In the end the club failed to earn the £20,000 cup win bonus, and I can’t really say Orient deserved it that much.  One thing that’s been getting really annoying over the last few years is the amount of time-wasting that happens after goals.  I know we all do it, but what a difference it could make if the defending team could take the re-start as soon as they are ready themselves.  A team could be level before the first scorer gets his shirt back on!

Well, we do have the consolation of that old favourite saying in the lower divisions ‘we can concentrate on the league and the paint pot trophy now’.