On FM Scout you can chat about Football Manager in real time since 2011. Here are 10 reasons to join!

The Young Americans [Leyton Orient]

Leyton Orient QuarterbackStyle
Started on 11 October 2013 by Northwood
Latest Reply on 13 May 2014 by Northwood
  • POSTS157
  • VIEWS45686

Doing my homework

When I called the players in for the start of my first ever training as the new manager of Leyton Orient I had already done my homework.

I of cause already knew the name of all the players from the massive file I had received from Gareth Casey the day before. But I knew a lot more than that.

I knew their birthdays, I knew the name of their wives and/or girlfriends and I knew if they were a dog or a cat person.

I knew all it was possible to know from reading a file about the strengths and weaknesses of all the players on my team.

I knew that the team's natural leaders was Nathan Clarke, just a pity about his poor decision making.

I knew that we had three French players in the team and only one of them struggled with speaking English.

I knew that Lloyd James was the best free kick taker in the team but he had not scored a goal in more than two years.

I knew that Kevin Lisbie from Jamaica was best at penalty kicks in practice but in games he easily got nervous and had a tendency to miss at crucial times.

I knew that nobody in the team had more straight line speed than Shaun Batt, just a pity had he had absolutely no technique.

I also knew that our best player Dean Cox was wanted by two teams from the Championship and that he would be upset if he was not allowed to go. He had been with the team for four years and had played a record 127 league games for the team. Now he wanted a new challenge.

And finally I knew that Barry Hearn had not paid a single pound for any of the players on the roster. They had all arrived Leyton Orient on free transfers.

I was ready to go to work.

With only twenty two players on the first team roster I also made my first signing. Keeping in line with the Barry Hearn philosophy of not spending any money actually buying new players, I went after free agents. The picking was slim but I did manage to find a player I hoped could help improve the team.
I signed 34-year old Jody Morris with a history of eight seasons with Chelsea in the top division.

I was we'll aware that he was now in the twilight of his career but I hoped that his routine from a long career could help with some ball control in the midfield together with much needed depth.

The pre-season games had already been decided long before i had arrived in shining armor from Las Vegas. Instead of going overboard trying to implement a new and fancy playing style just a few weeks before the start of the League One season I decided to keep it simple.
I would have plenty of time later on to put my signature on the team but for now it was a question about getting to know all the things I could not read about in any file or report.
I needed to see with my own eyes what would happen when the eleven young men was put together on the pitch as a team.

The results were way better than what I could have hoped for. After a solid win in the first game against the mighty Welling United, we got a surprising win over Sky Bet Championship team Huddersfield Town on the road.
In the first two games we used a classic 4-4-2 formation but in the last preseason game I decided to go for the more ambitious 4-3-2-1 formation.
The players reacted well to the changes and a convincing 4-0 win against Bristol Rovers meant that we finished the preseason undefeated and without a goal scored against us.
Yay it has begun! :D

Good luck for the coming season in League One, you've got big expectations to live up to after their performances in real life :P

August 2013 - Kick off

We had done well in the preseason but I had no idea what to expect when the regular season kicked off. The bookmakers had us predicted to finish 9th with 20-1 odds to win the division.

The first game of the season and my first game in charge of Leyton Orient was against Carlisle U on the road.

We got off to a flying start with my new signing Jody Morris opening the scoring after just 13 minutes. And then the game exploded. Before we reached the break Carlisle had scored twice to take the lead. We made some minor adjustments in the break and in the second half we managed to turn the game around again. First a goal by Dean Cox after a major blunder in the Carlisle defends took us back to equal and then the winner by Moses Odubajo with 20 minutes left on the clock after another breakdown in the Carlisle backline.

We were off to the best possible start to the season and I had gotten a fantastic start to my manager career.

And from there we just kept winning. In quick succession with won a Capital One game and another two Sky Bet League 1 games. A 0-0 draw with Crew stopped the seven game winning streak before I lost the first game of my career when we played Premier League team Cardiff in the second round of the Capital One Cup. But just three days after in our eighth game in august, we got back on the winning track with another solid road win over Colchester.

A look at the table after the first month of play was great reading for Leyton Orient fans and even the local sports journalists covering the team had started to write positive things about the team.

The end of August also meant the end of the first transfer window and I had some tough decisions to make. We had received a transfer offer from Ipswich for our Jamaican striker Kevin Lisbie. Kevin was off to a horrible start and had not scored a single goal in the first month. With his contract running out in less than a year and his age (34) starting to show I decided to cash in while I had the chance. We shipped out Kevin Lisbie for £42k and got ourselves some much needed breathing room in the salary budget.
Only problem was that we were now down to just a single striker on the first team roster. That was David Mooney and he had not scored a single goal in the league since I had arrived either.

We also sent M/AML Jack Sherratt to Wellington United on a loan deal for the rest of the season.

I desperately looked for a striker to add to the team before the deadline without finding anything I liked or could afford. Instead we signed another defender. 20-year old Luke Giverin had been released by Manchester United when he returned to the club after he had been lent out to Antwerp during the 2012-13 season. For just £1.100 pr week we added him to the team.
A quality start in the league, and seems like a good decision to let Lisbie go.
Quality start to the season. Lisbie is back at Ipswich is a bit of a shame but Giverin should do some serious work
Walter : A quality start in the league, and seems like a good decision to let Lisbie go.

A 34 year old striker who can’t score was nothing to build on anyway.

P-KIDDY : Quality start to the season. Lisbie is back at Ipswich is a bit of a shame but Giverin should do some serious work
Thanks for reading P-KIDDY

I am happy about the start but there is a LOT of games still to be played in this league.
Great start Northwood, enjoying it already, especially the writing.
Pauker : Great start Northwood, enjoying it already, especially the writing.

Thanks Pauker.

That means a lot.

And the award goes to......

We started September with another win before the team got some much needed rest and time to recover due to international games. We would only have to play five games this month, and with four of them being at home on Brisbane Road I hoped we could keep the good form going.

We moved in to first place in the league in late September after a lucky 2-1 win over Notts County FC (not every day you win a game on an own goal from your own half ?). Just four days later we traveled to Brentford to play the second placed team and one of the preseason favorites to win promotion. We scored the early goal after just six minutes and then spend the next 84 minutes hanging on for dear life.

When the moth was over we had not just gone undefeated but I had also won my first ever award as I was voted “Manager of the month”.

But below the surface I knew that trouble was simmering. With 46 league games and several different cup games on the schedule the roster already started to look stretched.

I was still trying to sign an extra striker but I struggled to find a player that could contribute and that I could afford. We almost signed Aaron McLean who had been released from Hull but I had to give up when it became clear that we would not be able to agree on a contract with the 30-year old striker.

I also managed to upset defender Scott Cuthbert. He had only played two games in the first two months and now demanded first team football. Instead of calming him down I managed to anger him even more and he now demanded a trade.

We did manage to sign one new player before the window closed.
I knew it would only be a question of time before I would have the same conversation with our star left midfielder Dean Cox that I had just had with Scott Cuthbert. Cox would demand a trade and I could either give into his demands and let him go or order him to stay out his contract and instead having to deal with a disgruntled player.
I decided to try to get out in front of it and began the process of finding his replacement. Again I struggled to find a suitable player to take his place. The best I could do was a 3-month loan deal with another Manchester United youngster.
Tom Lawrence was good with the ball and could also substitute as a striker if needed. At age 19 I could not expect him to come in and dominate but as long as I didn't have to pay his salary I was happy to just get another body on the roster.

The last move of the month was to promote one of the few promising players from our youth team to the first team. The right defender De`reece Vanderhyde had shown some promise with the youth team and now I hoped I could speed up his development by bringing him into the first team and let him get some playing time with the big-boys.
He is quick for his age! You do have some expectations on this story because irl they are going like a train good luck :)
[/url] jasonvilla4ever : He is quick for his age! You do have some expectations on this story because irl they are going like a train good luck :)

Thanks for commenting jasonvilla4ever.
De`reece Vanderhyde looks like an interesting prospect. I am just afraid to bring him inn too early as he is always nervous when he gets on to the field.

Don’t believe everything you see IRL. They even have Kevin Lisbie scoring goals. :P

Trouble in paradise

We quickly got to feel that the honeymoon was over when we reached October. We won the first game of the month 1-0 at home in an ugly fight. It was against one of the worst teams in the league, Oldham and we needed a goal late in squeaky bum time to get it done.

I decided to rest most of the starters in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy 2nd round game and lost handily to the Dons. This was one of just three games against the Dons in the next month as they were also coming up in the league and in the first round of the FA Cup.

A draw against a Coventry team working hard to overcome a 10 point deduction, a few days later suddenly rattled the team’s confidence and the mood within the team started to turn sour.
Luckily that changed again just a few days later when we turned in the perhaps best performance in my short career as Leyton Orient manager, with a solid 4-1 win against Rotherham at home.
A few days later we also got our revenge when we beat the MK Dons at home in the league by two goals by striker David Mooney.

We finished the season with a respectable 3-1-1 record in the league and maintained a 4 point lead to the hunting pack lead by the Wolves.

A quick glance at the standing showed that we had allowed a league low 11 goals against us in the first 14 games. That was an outstanding result considering the fairly anonymous groups of players that played in the back-line.

It was in the other end of the field we still had some trouble. We had only scored 26 goals and it was only in the last few games striker David Mooney has started to show his potential. It was troublesome that 15 of the goals were scored by defensive minded players.

And don’t forget to listen to the latest Men in Blazer podcast and buy your ticket for a chance to spend a night with the Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn and the rest of the crew from “Men in Blazers” at their next live event.
Another nice update. Going solid at the top of the table as well, keep it up.
Walter : Another nice update. Going solid at the top of the table as well, keep it up.

Thanks Walter.

This is the first time in years that I manage in the UK and all the games we have to play during a season scare me considering the small roster I have.
Don't think I'm not following since I'm not commenting! :P Good start for Orient considering they're Orient, nice job ;)

You are reading "The Young Americans [Leyton Orient]".

FMS Chat

hey, just wanted to let you know that we have a fb style chat for our members. login or sign up to start chatting.