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Lisbie so pleased McAnuff’s brave decision has paid off

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 March 2019

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff brings the ball forward against Maidenhead United in the National League (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff brings the ball forward against Maidenhead United in the National League (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The captain has led the way this season and wants another title win on his CV

Ask Leyton Orient fans who their player of the season so far is and Jobi McAnuff will be the name on the lips of most people.

While some will mention players like Marvin Ekpiteta, Craig Clay, Josh Koroma and Macauley Bonne, almost everyone would agree the O’s skipper is in the conversation.

Several members of the Orient squad have been consistent this season, but few can match captain McAnuff for his continuous superb displays under Justin Edinburgh.

It is astonishing for a 37-year-old to have made over 30 appearances already this term – let alone in a division as physical and taxing as the National League.

Yet McAnuff has done this and done it extremely well and his former team-mate Kevin Lisbie is thrilled to see his fellow ex-Jamaica international enjoying his football again.

Life for the experienced ace in E10 wasn’t always so smooth and no one wants reminding of the terrible treatment he received by old owner Francesco Becchetti.

It speaks volumes of McAnuff’s character and integrity that he decided to go back for a second shot with Orient and now he is captain of a team which is fighting to go up.

Lisbie, who helps out by training some of the younger age groups at O’s, said: “I speak to Jobi all the time and he had a rough time when he first went to the club and obviously at the time the club was in disarray.

“It was a brave decision to go back there, but he has absolutely turned it around and I have come to watch a few games and for me he has been our best player in all the games I’ve seen.

“He brings that little bit of class to the team and he is a fit boy, so I’m so happy to see Jobi go back there and prove to everyone what a good player he is.”

McAnuff’s certainly done that and will hope to get his hands on the National League title come the end of the campaign.

Orient are in a good position in the top-three with a game in hand on leaders Wrexham, but there is sure to be plenty of drama during the next few weeks.

What can be guaranteed is McAnuff will be a much-needed calming influence on the younger members in the camp.

Quite a few of O’s star men have not been involved in a battle for promotion, but the one-time West Ham United winger has seen it all before.

He captained Reading to league glory in the 2011/12 Championship campaign and you wouldn’t put it past McAnuff to inspire and lead Orient to title success seven years later.

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