Leyton Orient were an absolute credit to npower League 1 last weekend. Thanks to a mixture of guts, endeavour, good fortune and excellent quality they deservedly earned themselves a valuable replay at the Emirates which I don't think Arsenal can complain about.
It's fair to say that on chances alone the Gunners should have won and at times they passed the O's to death but Russell Slade and his men kept on plugging away, ending the game the stronger of the two sides.
Much of the credit has to go to all-action goalscorer Jonathan Tehoue who frightened Arsenal's defenders with his pace, power and skill in the second half. He's been around the block in his career but Tehoue is one of those 'impact' players that on any given day can be virtually unplayable and he was just that on Sunday. He made some experienced defenders look silly at times. It was fantastic to watch.
Barry Hearn was understandably thrilled of course, and will now be busy booking the end of season trip to Las Vegas that he'd promised the team. The motivation of a trip to Vegas has helped motivate footballers before and it seems to have worked its magic once again. The players really stepped it up knowing that a treat was in store if they delivered.
There is only six miles or so between the Matchroom Stadium and the Emirates but on Tuesday night two teams, Exeter City and Southampton had to go a lot, lot further to fulfil their away fixtures at Carlisle and Hartlepool respectively. That's two massive journeys for the players and fans to undertake on a midweek evening.
Exeter City's Ryan Harley didn't seem too perturbed by the trip mind you, as he notched his 13th and 14th goals of the season at Brunton Park. He's been a revelation for the Grecians in midfield this season. He was bought by Swansea City last month and was then immediately loaned back to Devon and he's proved that this type of arrangement can work out perfectly well. He's continuing to play at a high level before eventually making the switch to Wales and that will help all parties.
Unfortunately it hasn't been such a good season for Plymouth Argyle, who decided to issue a 'Notice of Intention' this week which has led to a ten point penalty.
This is a huge blow to the side's chances of preserving their npower League 1 status but if this decision helps to keep the club alive it will be the right one. I wish everyone at the club the best of luck as they seek to find a brighter future.
This week's reader's question is from Gary McCall in Devon…
I noticed that Gus Poyet was praised this week for refusing to whinge about Stoke City's tactics at the weekend and it got me thinking - do you believe managers whinge too much these days?
Nice question Gary but I genuinely don't think too many gaffers can be accused of moaning unduly. Of course, we see the likes of Arsene Wenger whinging every now and then but in general I don't think its commonplace.
My reasoning is that you have to accept that certain teams will play in a different way to your own and adjust. What's the point in moaning just because someone has tactics that aren't identical to your own? Make do and mend is what I say!
Managers employ tactics that suit their players and they should be respected for doing so. I remember Steve Coppell telling me he only played direct football at Crystal Palace because it suited his team, and in particular his potent strike force of Ian Wright and Mark Bright. If a system clicks for the players it should dictate the pattern of everything you do. Nobody could have accused Coppell's Reading side of being long ball merchants, could they?
Managers have their own philosophies but most are willing to mould them around the talent they have on the pitch and that makes sense. Everyone else should just concentrate on what they're doing.
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