It was disappointing to drop points on Tuesday night after conceding a last-minute equaliser to Oldham, especially with Brentford, the team ahead of us in the second automatic promotion place, losing. There was quite a sour atmosphere afterwards as a small number of fans booed and voiced their discontent at the performance. The manager, Russell Slade, was as angry as I've seen him after the game and in his press conference said of the booing: "I'm so disappointed with some of the crowd not getting behind the team and even a few of them booing us at the end, which I think is a joke."
Our chairman, Barry Hearn, tweeted, "I like fans at Orient games but my message to those who booed the team last night is very simple – go support another team."
The comments caused a stir but, more encouragingly, this morning our chief executive, Matt Porter, turned his computer on to find his inbox packed with messages of support for Russell and the team in recognition of their efforts, rather than fans spewing. It has been a tough fortnight but at the start of the season no one would have turned down the position we are in with seven games to go: third place with 76 points. We can only try and summon the resolve to finish the job strongly.
Our three French lads fit in well
Every team has a unique blend of characters and one thing that makes us stand out – in League One, anyway – is our trio of French players: Romain Vincelot, Yohann Lasimant and Mathieu Baudry. Like the rest of our squad they arrived on free transfers and have had meandering careers in one way or another. Our fans have really taken to them, as can be seen by the French flag being waved at matches.
You might expect them to form a clique, but that is not the case. They rarely speak French to each other around the place as they join in the fun with the rest of the lads.
The players and staff all make an effort to help new lads settle, which can take a bit more doing when they arrive from overseas. Yohann's English is a bit behind the others and when I interview him he prefers to have one of the other lads translate so he can articulate best what he wants to say, as was the case last week when Mathieu (or "Frenchy") stepped in to lend a hand.
All was going well until Yohann started answering a couple of the questions in English, which threw Mathieu off course. Mathieu continued to translate by just repeating what Yohann had already said in English again.
"Yeah I know," I told him, "He said it in English."
"Oh yes, oops."
It was a funny moment and Mathieu is often on the receiving end of the jokes as he is one of the most popular members of the squad.
Recently he was the victim of a bit of banter that the whole club was in on. The lads gave Mathieu the phone number of Andy Edwards, our academy director, and told him that he was a contact at Spurs who could sort tickets for the players. Unbeknown to Mathieu, the lads had already sorted the tickets, but the texts he was getting from Andy told him he had arranged directors' box hospitality for all the lads.
"Frenchy" was proud, showing the messages of how he had "sorted it out for the boysies", and telling them they all needed to wear a suit and tie. On the day, they all took great amusement in watching him queue up in a black suit with a gold tie at the VIP entrance while they wore jeans and trainers (which he was annoyed about). Then Mathieu was turned away and they revealed to further amusement they had the tickets all along.
Mathieu Baudry has been the victim of some practical jokes carried out by his team-matesReuse content