In our latest pre-match National League chatter we discuss all things Leyton Orient with season ticket holders Steve and Paul from @OutlookPodcast:
Before we talk about your team, tell us about your podcast?
The Orient Outlook Podcast was formed in the summer of 2014 as there was no Orient Podcast at the time as a way to keep all fans informed of what was going on with every aspect of the club. At first we thought we wouldn’t have enough content for 30 minutes every fortnight, but little did we know of all the dramas that were to come…
In the 3 and a half years since formation we have 3,300 twitter followers, have exclusively revealed news of transfers and management changes, interviewed ex and current players and even had the Chairman and Vice Chairman come on the podcast and even guest co-host.
The club’s existence was under threat last year, remind us what happened under ex-owner Becchetti?
What didn’t happen… so much drama. From kicking Assistant managers, to interfering with team selection, appointing and sacking managers on a whim. To keep it short he destroyed the club and almost killed it.
As soon as the first protests took place in November 2016 he didn’t want anything to do with it. He stopped attending matches, stopped paying staff and players at the club whilst the EFL stood by and did nothing. We’re happy to say our dreams came true on June 22nd at 4.45 the news was announced that he had sold the club to a consortium led by life long Orient fan Nigel Travis. We are very lucky to be here…
How are the new owners doing and what’s the current situation like Orient?
I think all Orient fans will agree the new owners have done a fantastic job. Martin Ling was appointed as Director of football and had to build a squad as we only had 9 players who were contracted for this season, most of them young and inexperienced. The club didn’t even have a bank account!
The new owners have reinvigorated the support for the club, which has led to a record number of Season Tickets being sold for this season despite our relegation to the National League. It’s like a different club from the last 3 seasons. The most challenging part for them was to sack Steve Davis in November despite saying they wanted stability at the club, to be fair to them though they absolutely made the right decision to get rid of Steve and to bring Justin Edinburgh in.
How’s your recent form been?
Recent form has been better, we went on an unbeaten run in February which saw good away wins against Halifax, Fylde and Chester and even led to talk and hopes off a late surge for the play offs. In the last 2 weeks we have stumbled though as we lost a 3-0 lead at home to Gateshead in the FA Trophy QF to draw 3-3, then lost 1-0 away to Dover, lost the QF replay away to Gateshead 3-2 and drew with Ebbsfleet 1-1. Some of the old lapses in concentration in defence seem to be creeping back in again.
Which players should we look out for on Tuesday night and why?
Macauley Bonne – our top scorer with 18 goals this season is a poacher, but is starting to look tired as the season progresses.
Ebou Adams – CM loanee from Norwich. He’s far too good for the National League. Dominates the ball in the midfield.
James Brophy – LM signing from Swindon in the January transfer window. Very good at carrying the team forward and has 2 goals in his last 2 games.
Have you got the right man in charge and what tactics does he employ?
For us Justin Edinburgh is the right man for the job. He has come in and steadied the ship at a time where relegation was a real possibility. In his second game we beat Sutton 4-1 and looked a different team. He has made us harder to beat and more disciplined. He likes a basic 4-4-2 and will only change this late in a game if we are losing.
Our old friend Martin Ling is Director of Football – how’s he doing?
Martin is doing well for the club. He overlooks every footballing aspect and seems to be enjoying his role. We interviewed him for a live stream the club done 2 weeks ago and he was in good spirits, especially as his son Sam has re-signed for the O’s from Dagenham & Redbridge. Martin deserves a huge amount of credit for what he has done since he has returned to the club.
How important have the LO Fans Trust been and what’s their involvement with the club?
There’s no doubt that in the dark days of the club that LOFT (Leyton Orient Fans Trust) really stepped up their game and we were more than happy to support them. They held very well attended meetings, drew attention to court cases, hosted a match and created a Regeneration Fund that raised over £175k.
LOFT are still hard at work as they are holding a Special General Meeting on 29th March to discuss what to do with the money, since we have new ownership technically the money isn’t needed. They also are working with the Supporters Club to appoint a Supporter to be appointed to the Board.
What’s the atmosphere like at Brisbane Road these days and what pubs are best to visit round the ground?
In terms of pubs there are lots to choose from such as the Leyton Technical, The Birbeck Tavern, The Northcote Arms, Leyton Star and our very own Supporters Club in the ground that welcomes away fans. There’s always a decent atmosphere at Brisbane Road although night games are always quieter at the ground due to lesser attendances.
We beat you easily in November but now look doomed to relegation, what’s your match prediction for Tuesday night?
You played us at the right time in November as Steve Davis had just been sacked, we were on a terrible run and the team had no confidence. It will be a difficult game on Tuesday as we have seen many ‘out of form’ teams come to Brisbane Road this season and put 11 men behind the ball and frustrate us, and then nick a goal.
Many visiting teams have had good defensive performances and we have struggled to break teams down. Saying that though looking at the League Table this is a game we should be winning so in typical Orient style Steve will say 1-1!
Thanks guys, good to hear that Orient are moving forward with new owners after a terrible few years and I hope to see you back in the League (where you belong) in the near future.