May 20 2013 Latest news:
By Tom Taylor, London24’s Leyton Orient blogger
Monday, January 7, 2013
Our Leyton Orient blogger spares a thought for Marc Laird, who departed the O’s for Southend this week.
Name: Tom Taylor
Season ticket holder
Favourite player: Anthony Griffith
Most memorable game: Arsenal (Home) FA Cup 5th round 2010/11
Predicted finish: 14th
Whilst most of the Orient headlines over the weekend rightly went to the team’s fantastic performance in their heartbreaking draw at Premier League chasing Hull City, there was one bit of news which quietly passed by.
Marc Laird ended his 17 month spell with the club on Friday, after finally finding a new home at Southend United. To describe his time at Orient as disastrous could be seen as a tad melodramatic but it could be not that far from the truth.
The Scotsman was brought in July 2011, as Russell Slade looked to carry on the good work from the previous season. Even from the moment he was announced by the club, his time at Orient was surrounded by confusion. He was brought in as a replacement, but for whom?
Known as a good passer of the ball and not known for his combative skills, Laird certainly seemed an unlikely replacement for the recently departed Adam Chambers. One rumour was that he was fetched in to replace a soon to be departing Jimmy Smith. This seemed to correlate as like Smith, the ex-Millwall man could play in the centre and wide in midfield.
But eventually Smith penned a new deal as pre-season started. This meant Laird was a benchwarmer for the start of the season, and did not start his first game until September which Orient claimed their first point of the campaign.
It gradually got worst for him as for the rest of the season he remained a bit part player, with his only constant spell in the team coming mid-season when Orient had managed to briefly move themselves away from relegation harm. Despite arguably putting in some reasonable performances, Slade didn’t seem to keen on his summer signing. This was apparent when three central midfielders were signed in the latter stages of last season that all jumped ahead of Laird in the team selection.
He was reduced to even less action this term as he managed just two substitute appearances before being shipped out to the Essex seasiders, where he has now agreed to stay permanently.
With Laird’s future decided, there are also several players’ futures still unknown as we go into the brief yet busy transfer window. Ryan Allsop disappointingly appears to be on his way out as he looks to secure better terms from another club, with the big bucks of Bournemouth rumoured to be sniffing around the former West Brom keeper.
Ryan Brunt’s loan deal has officially ended but he looks like making a swift return to E10. Adding further onto them lies the futures of experienced pair Lee Cook and Martin Rowlands, with both expected to stay. Whatever happens over the next month, Orient fans can only hope that they don’t see another “Laird” signing in 2013.