Leyton Orient v Pompey: The Opposition View

Former Pompey loanee Paul McCallum Picture: Joe Pepler
Former Pompey loanee Paul McCallum Picture: Joe Pepler
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It has been a really disappointing season for Orient so far, costing Andy Hessenthaler his job as manager.

The home form has been poor to say the least, with Brisbane Road defeats to Newport County and Yeovil.

In addition, they have scored one goal in the past five matches and the football has not been great, tending to lump it quite a lot.

The fans haven’t liked what’s on offer, the results haven’t been there and the chairman never waits too long to get rid of a manager.

The aim this season was promotion and the summer signings were players to have made an impression in League One.

Robbie Weir came from Burton, Liam Kelly was the captain of Oldham, Gavin Massey was player of the year at Colchester.

Throw in Callum Kennedy (AFC Wimbledon) and Tom Parkes (Bristol City) and you also have two players who last season won promotion from this league.

It just didn’t work out under Hessenthaler and there was a lot of speculation about interference from the chairman. Regardless, the players were not performing consistently.

The manager wasn’t expected to be around for too much longer – he didn’t seem to want to be there himself. A case of when the sack happened rather than if.

Alberto Cavasin arrived on Tuesday and, despite not speaking the language and relying on an interpreter, came across as quite a funny character, jokey and pleasant to everyone.

A lot of what he has said this week has been important, such as stressing how football should be played on the floor and the ball must be passed around the team.

When appointed, the fans looked at his record and feared the worst. However, he has lots of experience and insists this is a challenge he was waiting for and eager to grasp.

Orient are hoping Nigel Atangana will be back from a groin problem for the Pompey game.

He has struggled with injuries this season, but every time he appears is very consistent, full of energy and drives the team on from midfield.

The fans love him, he is a massive favourite, and they are always calling for him to start.

Another ex-Pompey player is Paul McCallum, who has six goals this season and has the habit of popping up from nowhere to score.

His work-rate has been criticised a little bit by the supporters, but the striker has really upped that in recent weeks to be one of the positives this season.