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The Young Americans [Leyton Orient]

Leyton Orient QuarterbackStyle
Started on 11 October 2013 by Northwood
Latest Reply on 13 May 2014 by Northwood
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TodayAtTomorrow : Nice update mate, enjoying the depth; surprise packing in Colombia in the Copa America tho!

Thanks TAT

The update was original part of the next update but it became way to long for one post.

Colombia was a bit lucky all the way thru the tournament but Falaco stepped up when needed.


Back home in Leyton I tried hard not to make the same mistakes I had made the year before once again. It is a rule that you are simply not allowed to make the same mistake twice when you are a “Legend”.

We had close to 30 players combined in the senior and U-21 squad. Last season I have had all my players available at all times in the first team. That was a mistake and I had struggled to commit to a starting XI and constantly switched players in and out of the starting lineup. The team had never gotten a chance to gel and build up cohesion.
That would change this season. The plan was only to carry 18 players (eleven starters plus seven substitutes) in the first team. The remaining players would be moved to the U21 team and only get moved in to the first team when needed.

The asymmetric 4-1-1-2-2 I had used with so much success in my two first seasons was now scrapped.

The formation I would use this season was a more traditional 4-3-2-1.
That formation could easily be adapted depending on the teams we would play by either dropping the CM down was a DCM when on the road or against the big-boys or by moving the CM forward as an AMC in games where we could dominate.

I had just above £13M to spend but instead of running wild and adding only marginal better players to positions already covered I kept my wallet in the pocket and instead looked for the home-run.

Our top scorer from last season (George Baldock and Andrea Russotto) had scored just seven goals each all last year so it was obvious that we were in the market for a striker.
Many of the players Leyton Orient could now afford to buy was still out of our range when it came to paying salaries.
An example was Fernando Torres who was released by Chelsea but still had some qualities we could needed in front of goal. Despite being without a job, Torres and his agent did not even want to take a meeting with us to talk about a possible deal. He instead went back home to Spain to play for Ponferradina in the LIGA adelante.
We would have to find a player from outside the major European leagues who would come to England and play for a reasonable salary, but who would also be able to step into a new team and score goals.
That was almost an impossible task.
After looking over thousands of names in scout reports, we finally decided on a 20-year-old player from Honduras named Júnior Lacayo. He had played three years for Santos Laguna in Mexico. He was currently playing for the B team where he had scored 20 goals in 34 appearances.
It was a total gamble but I liked his attributes and for £750K, it was worth a gamble (1).

We had sold our regular starter Moses Obubajo to Nottingham F for £1.8M and needed a new AMR. We were now getting a bit young and also needed to add some veteran presence.
The solution was to sign Spanish attacking midfielder Ángel Laftia (2) from Getafe. He was 31 years old but his attributes still looked solid and had not yet dropped off the cliff. He had played in the LIGA BBVA last season and we paid £1M to get him to London.

I also added two new players on the midfield.

In the defensive midfield, we picked up a young Belgian prospect in Christophe Coudert from RSC Anderlecht. He was just 21 years old but had already played regular first team football for Anderlecht for two seasons.
He was a prospect but could still be used already now. I liked his determination and that he could play with both feets and I hoped he would be worth the £3M we had to pay for him.

The other new midfielder came from Padova in Italy and Leyton Orient had to pay £1.3M to get him. Marcel Büchel could play both DM and MC. He had experience from the Austrian national team and from Serie A and had managed an AvR of 7.18 with five PoM last season for Padova.

The last player we added was yet another addition to the defensive line. We paid Leeds £5.25M for DR Sam Byram. He had been with Leeds his entire career and had been a regular starter for the last four years with an AvR over 7.0 the last three years.

I also sat down with Andrea Russotto and tried to renegotiate his contract. Not because I was afraid to lose him but more because of a highest-earner clause, his manager had managed to sneak into his original contract when we signed him in the middle of last season.

We had a total of six pre-season friendlies arranged as I wanted to make sure that the team taking the field on opening day knew how to play together and knew how to play in the new formation. The first of them would be at home in the new stadium against CF Monterrey from Mexico.

The results were not spectacular. We scored goals but still struggled to keep a clean sheet in the other end of the field and the final preseason game was a total disaster.

I didn’t feel very confident before the first game of the season and it didn’t help any that the nightly “ARE YOU READY” telephone calls had intensified and kept me awake for hours every night.

(1) I have no clue why he was given a work permit. That part of the game might be broken.
(2) Yes that is the same Ángel Laftia that scored two goals for Getafe against Barcelona in RL this weekend (03/05/14). I found him more than a month ago ;)
Some great signings here, and congratulations on becoming a legend. I look forward to the season ahead!
Walter : Some great signings here, and congratulations on becoming a legend. I look forward to the season ahead!

Thanks Walter.
It’s not easy to explain to my wife that I am now a legend and needs to be treated as such.
Got high hopes for some of these players and the coming season.
WHAT A LEGEND! Pulling some nice transfers there
Northwood's avatar Group Northwood
9 yearsEdited

Are you ready? Part 1

I was still in my office overlooking the new Leyton Orient Stadium when I got the call at two o'clock in the morning. Half-asleep in my office chair, I picked up the phone and once again heard the same computer voice that had woken me so many time over the last 12 months with calls in the middle of the night. I had tried to change my number but it had only worked for one day before the calls were back. I had tried to turn off the phone during the night only to have the phone completely jammed up by thousands of voice messages the next morning to the point where I had to get the clubs IT-guy to completely reboot the phone. I had hired a private detective to try to track down the number without any success.

This time the voice said the same three words I had now heard and seen so many times before.

Are you ready?

I was getting ready to click off the phone and go back to work when the voice suddenly continued.

Be ready outside in 10 minutes

Exactly 10 minutes after the call a big limo turned around the corner and stopped in front of me. The back door opened automatically and the same computer voice I had heard just 10 minutes before on the phone now asked, me from deep inside the car, to get into the backseat.

It didn't take me long to figure out where we were going. The commute from Leyton Orient Stadium to London City Airport is normally at least a 25-minute drive thru the London traffic, but in the middle of the night, the limo made it in less than 15 minutes. The car was waived thru the airport gates and less than 30 minutes after I had been woken in my office chair by the telephone the car came to a stop in front of what looked like a Gulfstream.
The car door swung open and a person that looked like a sharp dressed Mr. T, but without the jewelry greeted me.
The big man opened his mouth and with the softest voice said

Please board the flight Mr. Northwood. We are ready.......................... to go?”-

I had hardly sat down before the door closed and the flight started to taxi. The door to the cockpit was closed and I was alone in the cabin with “Mr. T”

Where the hell are you taking me?” I demanded.

Please Mr. Northwood. Just sit back and enjoy the trip” the big man said.

The jet engines switched on and the flight started to accelerate.

You will be briefed as soon as we have taken off” he said while putting down a glass of water in front of me.

I figured it was to no help arguing with the man and sat back drinking my water while the flight lifted off and turned south. Maybe they wouldn't tell me where we were going but that could not stop me from paying attention and trying to figure it out myself.
At that point, my head started to spin.

What was in the watttttttzzzzzzzzz.........
I didn't manage to finish the sentence before I was asleep.

I apologize for the lack of football in this update but please bear with me for the next two updates.
If you want football, why not check out the Men in Blazers podcast instead.
Northwood's avatar Group Northwood
9 yearsEdited

Are you ready. Part 2

are you ready?

Are You Ready?


It was Mr. T asking me those three hated words as I was slowly starting to wake up.
The first thing I felt was the unmistakable pressure you get in your ears when a flight is getting ready to land.

I didn't know where in the world I was.
I was unsure for how long I had been out and the airport outside the window bathed in sunshine looked just like any other private airport in the world.
The door opened and I stepped outside on shaky legs. The sun shined right in my eyes and it was impossible for me to make out who the man standing on the runway meeting me was but I had no problem recognizing the voice and again those three words.

Are you ready?” said Mr. Barry Hearn.

The former Leyton Orient owner shook my hand and continued
Welcome to America and Chicago. The press conference will start in half and hour”.

What press conference are you talking about” I asked looking like a huge question mark.

Haven't you figured it out yet” Barry laughed.

You can't say we didn't prepare you” he continued while leading me to the waiting car.

I must have asked you if you are ready at least a thousand times the last year” he laughed again.

Ready for what?” I tried.

Have you not been reading the papers” Barry said before asking the driver to take us the Soccer House.

Don’t you know what job is available?

I am not looking for a job. I already got a great job, remember” I said while my head started to spin again.

Sure you do, and you have done a fantastic job with my team” Barry said

What do you mean my team. You stepped down. You left us”.

Do you really think I would leave my team to a baby face like that.” Barry snapped.

He might have been running the team on a day to day basis, but it’s still my team and me making the important calls. I just had to step back to be able to prepare the next part of our plan without being interrupted”.

What plan are you talking about Berry?

The big plan. Don't you remember? America’s team........
I know that the English labor laws made it difficult for you to make Leyton Orient into America’s team. So I decided instead, why not change US soccer into the Leyton Orient way, and what better way to do that than making you the new manager for the United States men's national soccer team”.

My jaw was dropping.

But I enjoy my job with the O`s and don't want to leave London” I got out.

Of course you do and you will continue to do a good job in London. I have already cleared it with President of Leyton Orient Matthew Porter and with the United States Soccer Federation and you will be able to do both.
What do you think I have spent the last two years since I left planning?

Twenty minutes later the press conference started with some guy called Roger Bennett presenting me as the new manager of the USMNT taking over the team form just “retired” Jürgen Klinsmann.
For the next thirty minutes I answered questions about playing style, player selection, the standard of MLS players compared to European players and World Cup expectations, to a large crowd of American journalists.

And my head had not yet stopped spinning.

I was ready....................

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