Well it was hardly the most convincing victory I've seen, but we did come from behind and win (which is always nice) and we showed the sort of character that we are going to need if we are to really keep pace with the teams at the very top of this division.
The game was hardly a classic, and as Dave (Drinking During the Game) has already said we snatched the victory from the jaws of a draw. the first twenty minutes of so we looked the more likely to win but unlike the two previous league games we didn't score half way though the first half. Orient then came into the game more and their goal came after a succession of free kicks where you could feel the pressure building.
It is a worry that we are still conceding goals from set pieces, but it does have to be said Orient have the type of side that I expected to face this season. They are big (both tall and stocky) and strong. They didn't seem to be 'getting stuck in' and we never looked intimidated, but it is a little hard to make progress at set pieces, at either end, when the opposition have an inch or two more height than you do.
For some unknown reason we were playing a lot more long ball than I would have liked in the first half. Unbelievably Burton won just about every ball sent up to him and his knock-ons were all very accurate. However when he laid the ball off the receiving player (mostly Shelvey) was still a long way from goal and had between four and six defenders between him and the goal.
It was clear that (despite some tricky runs and shots from Shelvey and Sam) we were going to need a different game plan. When Orient scored just before the half hour the game changed. They seemed to grow in confidence and we started to rush with little effect.
Parkinson's team talk was (from his press conference after the game) exactly what was needed. It was likely that if we could get the ball down and pass it around we would create chances in the second half. There were calls from the fans for 4-4-2 just before Shelvey scored, and in the twenty minutes before Burton scored the winner I was worried that it would be a missed opportunity. I would have accepted a draw before the game, but I made the observation that Parkinson had to make a decision if we was brave enough to make a change late in the game in search of the win. If we are going to push for a top two place (I think we are good enough and should do so) then we are going to have take some gambles in games like this one.
It wasn't necessary, however, as our strongest lineup (both players and formation) was going to go on and win the game anyway.
So it's all positive. I would have loved to have walked the game, but that rarely happens at any level, so a win is more than enough, thank you very much.
I learned a few things about the takeover last night from a former employee and friend of Peter Varney. Due to confidences and the possibility that what I heard is not 100% accurate I will not expand on that save to say that the stalemate is not looking like being sorted anytime soon, despite the fact that the local papers keep telling us it is 'within a week'. However, as I've already said what I heard was merely more rumours so it could well be wrong.
Either way we need to bring in reinforcements. We cannot replace Shelvey, Semedo, Racon or Bailey as we cannot afford that type of talent. However, we do need some bodies in central defence and as LLoyd Sam is the only recognised winger at the club (excluding youth players that are not ready yet) we need to be looking at that too. As for the strikers, well Burton is unlikely to play every game this season, but with Gray (who I still think could have a decent season) and McLeod we probably already have the most expensive wage bill in the division for forwards. It is going to be difficult to justify bringing in anyone else unless we let one, or both, of those leave.
So, it's three wins out of three, I would never have dared for that a month ago. My biggest worry for this season was that we would start badly and the fans would turn on the club. With that not happening the bond between players and fans is looking like making us a stronger unit than I remember for a long time.
As Andy Gray says, "It just gets bet'er and bet'er!" I'm so excited.
Up the Addicks!