Leyton Orient - Russell's Records
By Mat Roper
RUSSELL'S RECORDS Some would think it's not all that hard to break the wanted records down at Brisbane Road, but manager Russell Slade is on the verge of yet another.
The O's start to the season has been nothing short of a miracle and the last time we started a football league campaign in such a way the first World War hadn't happened and Kind Edward VII was on the throne. 1910/11 was O's best season in the league since joining in 1905, but the 2013/2014 could prove to be even more important and even dare I whisper a successful one.
It's the start that Slade, the players, the board and the fans were looking for.
With the fate of the Olympic Stadium debacle still hanging like a heavy black cloud across East London, the five straight wins including four in the league and one in the league cup has seen O's meteoric rise to the top of League One, above strong favourites such as Wolves, Brentford, Sheffield United and Bristol City.
So what's the secret ingredient to the sweet smelling cake of E10 at the moment. Most pundits, and the manager, seem to be pointing to the fact that there has been very little change over the summer. The two main signings were both on loan at Leyton Orient last term and were very much part of a winning side towards the end of the campaign that saw them miss out on a play off place by just one point. That togetherness and winning mentality seems to have simply continued, but what is perhaps far more easy to see is that we seem to be adhering to an age old football philosophy - scoring goals and keeping clean sheets and no matter whether you play in the Hackney & District SundayLeague on the marshes or in Premiership at Old Trafford, if your strikers are converting chances and your defenders and goalkeeper are being scrooge like at the other end then you are going to be winning games.
Four league games in now and the O's have scored twelve and conceded just one. In fact it appears that the defensive side to Orient's current success is the most pleasing for the manager and staff. Saturday's 2-0 win over a Crewe side that pressed hard in the second forty five was the third clean sheet in a row, having followed up a particularly pleasing shut out at Broadhall Way, Stevenage - never an easy place to go and keep a clean sheet as many league one enthusiasts will tell you.
It is a start that I don't think even the most loyal O's fan was predicting - it has even caught the bookies on the hop with a 40/1 start of the season quote being slashed to near single figures and them sweating on handicap markets with the O's 12 points in already!
The confidence around the club (without it becoming big headed) and the smiles on everyone's faces is plain for all to see. It is of course a marathon not a sprint, but being an O's fan you learn to enjoy so much more what you have than what you could have so long may the fine form continue!!