It’s make or break time for Leyton Orient in their battle to avoid relgation
10:00 03 February 2017
Simon O'Connor Photography
O’s fan Jacob Ranson gives his thoughts on events taking place at Brisbane Road over the last month
January has been a month of turmoil and its left Leyton Orient sat in the League Two relegation zone at the start of February.
The first month of the year is normally a chance for struggling sides to redeem themselves by picking up a few new faces and ditching some of the unwanted players amongst the squad.
But the O’s took a very different approach to the transfer window, with the owner Francesco Becchetti putting the club up for sale, with the majority of senior players being transfer listed.
After a wholesale clearance, two loan signings - four losses during January summed up the month.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse at the club, everything that could possibly go wrong pretty much has, with Becchetti seeming like he’s had enough with the O’s.
The Christmas period felt like it could have been a turning point, as the side picked up four points out of a possible six during the festive period.
It soon turned sour as they suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat to kick-start the New Year and things have just gone from bad to worse since.
Zan Benedicic and Josh Doherty both left the club the following week, after struggling to get any game time, so that seemed a wise move.
Soon after, captain Robbie Weir was ruled out for a lengthy spell, after he suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage in the defeat at Exeter City.
The bad news kept coming, as the team slipped to another loss, going down 3-1 to Barnet at home, which was followed by even more miserable news, when prolific striker, Jay Simpson, left the club to join MLS side Philadelphia Union.
Rumours soon followed that Orient was up for sale, which to most fans seemed great, as they want the Italian out of the club, but with no stable investors coming in, it meant no money being spent.
The hectic week was brought to a close with a third straight defeat away to promotion chasing Portsmouth.
Luckily, there were two glimpses of hope, as Gavin Massey scored wonder goal and goalkeeper Alex Cisak saved a penalty in the 2-1 defeat.
His crucial save, didn’t stop him from being amongst more rumours of the club being a sinking ship, as senior players Cisak, Tom Parkes, Jordan Bowery and Callum Kennedy were all placed on the transfer list.
Veteran defender, Alan Dunne departed for a new challenge as player coach at Bromley after Bowery had sealed a loan move to Crewe Alexandra.
The club then took it upon themselves to release a statement reflecting on the last two years, which included bizarre comments, one being they inherited a squad with no future, even though that squad was just a spot-kick away from the Championship. Not even that could put a stop to the craziest or protests.
To sink things even deeper the news of academy manager, Richard Thomas, leaving the club to link up with former gaffer Kevin Nolan at Notts County broke, which was soon followed by Andy Edwards resigning from his role to join the FA. It left 33-year-old, Danny Webb to try and steer the ship, ahead of deadline day.
January 31 was another day that had you covering your eyes and shaking your head, with hard-working forward Ollie Palmer departing the club for Luton Town.
Palmer was supposed to be the second departure of the day, but Ulrich Nnomo’s loan move to Paris FC was cancelled, due to him already playing for two clubs this season.
The bright part of the day was the arrival of striker Rowan Liburd from Stevenage and Bournemouth winger Jordan Green, who both have joined on loan until the end of the season.
With the deadline now passed, it’s ‘make or break’ time for the O’s with a hectic schedule, including seven games, five of them being crunch matches.
The schedule has been very generous with a handful of winnable fixtures coming up, but it does mean this month will either leave the club safe or doomed for National League in the near future.