There is something quite refreshing to see a former Premier League player – and a foreign import at that – not only now cutting his managerial teeth back in England but in the lower leagues, too. And for Uwe Rösler, once of Manchester City and the East Germany national side, Brentford and League One would appear to be a nice fit.
Not for Rösler the big-name, big-money club, which many an ex-player-turned-first-time-manager often feels is his right. Once a star, always a star is their deluded mantra. Yet if Rösler, like Paolo Di Canio at Swindon Town, stands accused of slumming it, he's loving every minute of it. "Yes, it is good," he said, "but I told my players afterwards that I know where we are and what we can do and that we must not get carried away. Not at all. This league is all about margins and I believe that the harder you work, the more likelythe margins will go your way."
Rösler became a cult figure at a pre-Sheikh Mansour Manchester City during the 1990s. Not because his grandfather was alleged to have played a leading role in a Luftwaffe bombing raid on Old Trafford – that was just a delicious Maine Road myth – but more for his never-give-up attitude up front and his 64 goals in 177 appearances for City.
After spells with Southampton and West Bromwich Albion, he opted to learn his coaching trade in Norway, with Lillestrom, Viking Stavanger and Molde. Replaced at Molde by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last November, he chose to return to England – this time, in West London – rather than perhaps hold out for a rather more glittering future appointment in the Premier League or Championship fast lanes.
At least Rösler, 42, has inherited a squad of individuals that, if lacking in star quality, has a good grasp of the League One fundamentals – get the ball down and try to use it wisely. Should that fail, get stuck in and make sure that your opponents don't like it up 'em. Jake Reeves is just that sort of central midfielder and rattled a few Orient bones with some shuddering, yet well-timed, challenges.
Sam Saunders, drifting in off the right flank in his fluorescent orange boots, provided much of Brentford's guile, none more so than in the second half. First, he chipped over a free-kick to the far post – an obvious training-ground routine – for Leon Legge to nod in. Then he curled straight in another delightful free-kick; and then another, which the Orient goalkeeper,Lee Butcher, could only help on its way. "I said to Sam that you not only look like Beckham," Rosler said, "but you have the set-pieces to prove it."
It was maybe harsh on Orient, who fell to their fourth successive defeat and sit bottom of the table. They competed vigorously in the first half, when Dean Fox flighted a clever shot on to the top of Richard Lee's crossbar. By that time, though, they already trailed to an early Niall McGinn drive. Dave Mooney also struck a post with a close-range header but Russell Slade's strugglers had long been blown away by the Saunders masterclass. Marcus Bean, a substitute, added Brentford's fifth but, such was Orient's disarray, even Mr Bean could have tucked it in.
Brentford (4-4-2): Lee; O'Connor, Legge, Osborne, Woodman; Saunders (Weston, 76), Douglas, Reeves (Bean, 70), McGinn; Donaldson, Alexander (MacDonald, 70).
Leyton Orient (4-1-3-2): Butcher; Omozusi, Cuthbert, Chorley, Daniels; Smith; Richardson (Laird, 68), Dawson, Cox; Revell (Cureton, 57), Mooney.
Referee Andy Haines.
Man of Match Saunders (Brentford)
Match rating 8/10