Date: 7th September 2009 at 4:26pm
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Geraint Williams pulled no punches in a lengthy tirade at his players following the pathetic second half capitulation at Southend United. After a first half which was, at best, nondescript, Willams described the second half as ‘very poor’.

In conversation with the Official Leyton Orient website, George had the following to say:

‘For 45 minutes I thought we were doing really well. We spoke at half time about reproducing the defensive form we’d shown, and being a bit more clinical in the final third.

‘I couldn’t believe some of the passes we were making – and some of the passes we weren’t making. We never got the ball down and played like I know we can, and as I see every day in training.’

He’s spot on. Perhaps, despite his miserable form so far this season, Orient missed Jason Demetriou more than anticipated. Our ball retention was abysmal, and the midfield was being held together by a half-fit Adam Chambers. Whilst Sean Thornton remains sidelined with his knee injury, Chambers unfit and Demetriou away, the onus has to fall on summer signing Jimmy Smith to provide both creativity and quality of possession. Despite poor starts from Tam and Jason, it has been Mr. Smith who has disappointed me above all others. He’s here on a more-than-decent wage and needs to considerably buck his ideas up; I want to see him dictating games and getting forward to support the strikers, not disappearing into a morass of anonymity.

Williams also criticised the defending, stating that: ‘There were slip-ups. We got caught from our own set piece for the third goal and that’s happening too often. We’ve worked on the training ground at preventing that and yet we’ve been caught again, so it’s very disappointing.’

The defensive unit have certainly lacked solidity without Ben Chorley (and that is in no way a criticism of Luke Ashworth, but of the three theoretically more senior professionals playing alongside him). Losing the big centre back is no doubt a blow, but a player of the calibre of Tam Mkandawire should be capable of organising the back line and helping his younger colleague. And as for the full backs… don’t get me started. I’m already winding up for a double-barrelled assault on that front (n.b. Charlie and Stephen you have the Exeter game to perform well enough to prevent it. Perform or else).

This is the first time I can remember Geraint laying into the players so publically, and I don’t blame him in the slightest. No manager can legislate for the litany of individual errors that have characterised our winless run, nor should he have to put up with the second half performance at Roots Hall which was devoid of effort and character outside of the honorably excused keeper and Chambers. Hopefully tearing a strip off them in front of the press rather than in the dressing room will galvanise the players to stop fannying about and actually go and play well, put some effort in, and win a game. Time will tell. This reporter is saying nada…