Football Expert & Columnist @chris_kammy
Ling when you're winning
Kammy has hailed Leyton Orient for sticking with Martin Ling and reckons their faith is now reaping rich rewards.
Last Updated: 15/11/07 2:12pm
Slowly but surely, Leyton Orient are on the up, as Martin Ling is turning them into a very decent football club.
The fans couldn't have asked for any more after a great start to the season in League One - if you'd told Lingy they were going to be in third place at this stage then he'd have taken it straight away.
It's never easy coming up a division and they found it very difficult last season when they finished one place above the relegation zone in their first year back in League One.
If you have a successful season the year before, some people might expect you to run away with the next division and it just doesn't happen like that. Things take time to develop.
But the key to success at any club is giving a manager time and Barry Hearn has done that with Martin. He's been repaid handsomely as the manager has steadily built a team capable of doing the business in League One.
You have to grow into management and the more experienced you get, the better you become. You learn what is required at League One level and you realise some players aren't as good as you thought they were. Lingy took all those things into consideration and he did it well.
He's done marvellously well in the transfer market, particularly with Adam Boyd who was a great free transfer from Luton. He's got fantastic skill and is a great finisher - as he's proved so far this season.
The problem is he doesn't have any real pace and that means he has to rely on his cleverness and movement. Sadly he'll never be a Premier League player, but he could make it in the Championship, that's for certain.
They also picked up Sean Thornton from Doncaster, who is too good for that level. When he was leaving Sunderland I recommended him to a Premier League club because I liked his ability. He doesn't produce it consistently enough, but he's still young and he's got time to become a top player.
So they are building an exciting team and they've given their fans plenty of thrills along the way.
Lingy likes to play football. I played with him at Swindon a few years ago and he was a decent little footballer, who liked to spray the ball around. His teams mirror the way he played the game. He wants them to pass, he wants them to entertain and obviously he wants them to win.
But the problem he has is at the back and only two clubs have let in more goals than Orient in that division this season. When you step up to League One level and you have a go at teams, you leave yourselves open to getting a good hiding like they did at home to Swansea when they lost 5-0.
But they had two or three good chances early on in that game and it might have gone the other way. That's the price you pay when you play attacking football.
They've caught a cold a few times at home, but that's only to be expected because of the way they play. I'm sure Barry Hearn has no complaints and I'm sure the fans have no complaints.
The only problem might be that Lingy has raised the expectation level.
What Martin has to do now is find out how serious the club are about going up to the Championship. The teams that spend money in January are the ones that get promoted, you have to speculate to accumulate.
If they want stability in League One, then they've probably achieved that already this season, but if they want to do better than that then the club have got to let Martin bring in better players.
I'm sure Barry Hearn is looking at the Championship and would even love to be in the Premier League, so Martin has got to go to him with a plan. If the chairman thinks the plan is viable then I'm sure he will go with it.
Lingy will say he wants to keep building the club for the next three or four years, but inwardly I'm sure he would like things to happen much quicker. In modern football, everyone wants success straight away.
The Sky cameras will be watching Orient host Brighton on Saturday and we should get a great game because Dean Wilkins is another very under-rated manager.
He's gone about his job very quietly and I've got a lot of time for him. The club have backed him, but the problem he's got is that his team are playing in an athletics stadium every week. The atmosphere isn't great and a lot of the noise gets lost, even though the supporters are doing the best they can. It's a very difficult job and he is doing great with it.
These two teams are on a par, even though Brighton are lower in the table at the moment, and it should be a really good contest.Do you agree with Kammy? Let us know what you think by using the feedback form below and continue to email him your questions here
Kammy answers your questions...
Hi Chris, Brian Laws produced the worst start in Sheffield Wednesday's history as they lost their first 6 games. But now he has taken the team to the very top of the form table with a win away at Stoke, a draw at West Brom and a 5-0 battering of Saints at home. Do you think everyone is jumping the gun to sack their manager too quickly these days and have the Owls got a good chance to make the play-offs this season? Steve Bedford, Sheffield.
KAMMY REPLIES: Of course people are being sacked too quickly. People are not getting an opportunity and it's ridiculous. I don't think anybody's sure what happened with the departure of Steve Cotterill at Burnley for example. You look at Lincoln and you understand why they made a change because they don't want to go out of the Football League. That's self-explanatory, but other ones mystify you.
Brian Laws was reportedly one game from the sack, but he won that game against Blackpool. They went behind and showed real character to come back and their form has now changed. The players who were under-performing have turned it around and it shows you don't need to have a knee-jerk reaction. Sometimes you do everything right in pre-season and it just doesn't happen for you when the season starts.
Give him time now because he's aiming for the play-offs. They had a great run at the end of last season, but it came too late. This season their run has started in plenty of time because we're not even in December yet, so if everybody is back on track and his new players are settled in there is no reason why they can't trouble the top six.
Hi Kammy. As an Ipswich fan it's great to see Town sitting in the top six and yet to win away from home! The team have made Portman Road a fortress! But what do you think this season holds for us? What's going to change first - the home form or away form? Matt Cook.
KAMMY REPLIES: Jim Magilton has got to have a look at it and I'm sure he will do. The way they play is open and attacking and eventually they are going to batter someone away from home playing the way they do. If you score the first goal and the opposition don't take their chances then you can end up winning a game comfortably.
Ipswich are not the only ones that play that way. West Brom do it and Tony Mowbray's having a great time at the moment. But he also knows that his side give the opposition chances and if they take them then Albion will end up losing a few games as well. He knows they are a bit loose at times and he needs to do something about it.
Jim will be thinking the same and knows he will have to sacrifice some of his attacking players when playing away from home, even though they are great at home.
It's a great mystery why teams win their home games, but lose their away games. The psychologist that can come up with the solution to that problem will be worth millions and millions and millions of pounds. It's one of the great unanswered questions in football.
Hello Chris, Is there any hope for Crystal Palace this season? Do you think Neil Warnock will be able to turn things around? Keep up the good work. Regards, John Inkpen, Deflated Eagles Fan
KAMMY REPLIES: Neil will turn it around there, though he has not had an immediate impact and that has surprised him. I spoke to him before the Watford game and after the QPR game. Queens Park Rangers should have won that match because they were the better team, but Palace scrambled a draw and that will give them some confidence going into the break.
Because he's not had an immediate impact with the players, he's now looking to change things around. Sometimes when you come in, then you are fortunate and the players play above themselves for two or three weeks. But at this moment in time the players haven't got the right mentality and that's what he wants to change.
He's had to rely on the young players to help him out because a lot of the senior players are not performing to their maximum ability, so it's taking longer than he thought. But he's got bags of time and it may just be a case of making sure they don't finish in the bottom three this year - and I don't believe they will. Then next season will be the one where they go for it.