O´s So Special Christmas
9/46 into the season we reached december month. Normally a busy month for an English football team but we started the season with a two weeks break and only had four games to play all month. That gave us a chance to get the entire team back to health.
With no games scheduled I instead sat down with Barry Hearn
and the rest of the board and negotiated a new contract for myself. The original contract was just for one year but the club had already now decided to extend it for another year and raise my base salary to £2.100 p/w.
The game just before christmas against Crawley
was brutal. We won the game 2-0 but beside from the final scoreline almost everything went wrong. Jody Morris was sent off after just 27 minutes after two yellow cards and would have to sit out for two games.
But much worse was that we lost both Romain Vincelot
(3 weeks) and Dean Cox
(5-6 weeks) due to injury.
In the next game against one of the worst teams in the league Gillingham
, we got very lucky with another game winning goal in overtime.
After that result I was not overly confident going in to the final game of the year against our closest competitors Wolverhampton
who was looking to reduce our advantage to “just” six points.
We got off to an excellent start when David Mooney
scored his first goal of the month. I quickly changed the tactic and dropped back and looked for counter opportunities instead. It almost worked but just a few minutes before the break we gave up the equalizer from a corner. During the break I did my best to cheer up the team and urging them to keep fighting.
And again we could not have hoped for a better start. just 4 minutes into the second half xx was pulled down in the box and David Mooney
scored his second of the day on the ensuing penalty.
We did our best to keep the Wanderers
away but in the end we had to settle on a draw after they got a second from.
I was happy with the result against a tough opponent on the road and even happier to be able to celebrate New Year on top of the Sky bet League One
, nine points clear.
Had my work cut out. Of the 24 players currently under contract, 13 of them would be out of contract after the season. Luckily only three of the players regularly appearing in the starting lineup had contracts expiring.
The one player i wasted no time resigning was goalie Jamie Jonas
. Looking at his report card and his attributes showed what looked like an average player. But taking a second look at his stats sheet was a different story. His just 18 goals allowed in 23 games was outstanding.
The plan of turning Leyton Orient
in to Americas team was getting off to a slow start. Without the board's permission to scout outside the UK it was impossible to get the project off the ground.
One player I was looking at was American youngster Will Packwood
currently playing with Birmingham City FC
. At the moment he was way out of my price range (£1.1 M) but he was very much the type of player I would like to sign in the future.
Talking about America. The MLS Cup
was decided in early december when LA Galaxy
beat Sporting Kansas
City 3-0 in the final. Let by Landon Donovan
and Robbie Keane
, who combined for 60 goals during the season, were the better team not just in the final but also during the regular season where the finished 12 points clear of their nearest rivals.