Jobi McAnuff’s professionalism praised by former Leyton Orient team-mate Dean Cox
PUBLISHED: 14:00 07 June 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
The 36-year-old was treated poorly during his first spell at the club, but returned and is now one of their key men
Ex-Leyton Orient winger Dean Cox has praised the professionalism of Jobi McAnuff and backed the one-time Jamaica international to keep positively influencing the O’s squad.
The duo were team-mates at E10 for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 campaigns under the previous ownership, but both couldn’t prevent relegation from League One on May 3 2015.
When O’s returned for pre-season during the summer, McAnuff was initially part of the squad, but he was soon banished from first-team training by previous chairman Francesco Becchetti and told he could leave.
After no move materialised, the former West Ham United winger was told to continue training with the academy at Brisbane Road and had to wait until November 21 to play for the club again.
Then-head coach Ian Hendon finally managed to get O’s chairman Becchetti to make McAnuff available for selection and the experienced ace showed his class over the next few months before also impressing under new player-manager Kevin Nolan.
Despite a solid return of three goals and several assists, the wide-man was told to find a new club that summer and duly did – signing for League Two rivals Stevenage ahead of the 2016/17 season.
While McAnuff would go on to have another good campaign, Orient did not and went through five different managers and were relegated at the end of the term.
Even though O’s changed owners in the summer of 2017, few would have blamed McAnuff for not wanting to come back with the club now in the National League, but he did and went on to be one of Martin Ling’s signings of the season.
The ex-Reading skipper scored six goals in all competitions and wore the captain’s armband consistently from November 18 and Cox believes his old team-mate will continue to be a big influence on Orient’s youngsters.
“I was here when he was given probably the worst treatment I have ever seen any player have – he had to train on his own at times and was told not to turn up for match days.
“For him to come back and be the professional he has is outstanding. I read comments from some of the youngsters like Josh Koroma recently and he was talking about the way Jobi treats him and others and Jobi has invaluable experience.
“Jobi’s experience can rub off on the rest of the group which is great. He is a fantastic role model and a fantastic captain by all accounts and was always brilliant when I was at the club.”