THE CURRENT SUSPENSION of professional football has only added to an already complicated season for Leyton Orient.
Having struggled with the tragic events of last summer, the Orient players have also had to deal with managerial changes, injuries to key members of the squad, indifferent form and until recent weeks, the prospect of a relegation battle.
Nevertheless, despite facing up to a season which has been far more challenging than anyone could have imagined, there have been positive signs for the Brisbane Road faithful to cling as the east Londoners look to the future.
Peter Kitchen, is amongst those positively looking ahead and the former frontman sat down with Yellow Sport to offer his thoughts on who has stood out for the O’s before the current campaign was cast into uncertainty.
“It has been very difficult for the team to build up any momentum,” Kitchen explained.
“The season has been uniquely challenging. Whether or not we see it concluded is anyone’s guess. However, if Orient are to challenge for promotion when football resumes, then they must move heaven and earth to keep their better performers, while perhaps keeping hold of loanees, Ousseynou Cisse and George Marsh.
“But for me, four players deserve special attention. A quartet who could provide the platform for future success at Brisbane Road.”
“James is the most talented player Orient posses. Despite playing mostly at left-back or on the left side of midfield, he still offers the team the most creativity and attacking threat.
“Never one to display a negative attitude or dissatisfaction – even though playing out of position must be somewhat frustrating – I believe there is much more to come from James especially if Orient can utilise him in an altogether more advanced role.
“His pace, energy and ability to run at players would be much more effective in the final third as opposed to a box-to-box role.
“He has been the stand out performer and if he can maintain this level of performance, I think the O’s will find it hard to keep him, as he is capable of playing at a higher level.”
“Dan is another player who as caught the eye, showing a continued calm maturity and composure beyond his years.
“He is young and still learning and adapting to the higher level following on from last season. But consistency hasn’t been an issue despite playing both on the left and centre of a defence which has adopted different systems during the season.
“Dan has partnered Josh Coulson, Marvin Ekpiteta and James Turley either as a pair or a threesome, meaning it is difficult to develop the sort of understanding which evolves when there is a regular pairing of central defenders.
“With several injuries to the three named players, Dan can be excused for making the occasional defensive error given his inexperience and the changes to the line-up. He has also weighed in with the odd goal provided by set-piece moves, proving he has something to offer as Orient look to evolve and build for the future.”
“Craig has stepped up to the plate following the loss of both Jobi McAnuff and James Dayton for much of the season, providing honest performances in the middle of the park.
“Although I don’t think Craig has achieved the level of performance he did last season – when he was named the O’s Player of the Year – he has been a consistent battler in several positions across the middle.
“I think he benefitted from the arrival of loanees Marsh and Cisse, freeing him of a little responsibility and allowing him more freedom to express himself.”
“I think Jordan deserves a mention, despite adopting a bit-part role in the team.
“I think he has terrific ability and a great left peg. We won’t see the best of him until he gets a longer run in the side, giving him a chance to establish himself and build self-confidence.
“Jordan’s continued development along with the arrival of Danny Johnson and the potential of Ruel Sotiriou and Hector Kyprianou will offer greater competition in the final third and offers some encouragement for a positive 2020/21 season.”