Hibs 2 – 2 Celtic
I don’t know how many of you ponied up your £15 to watch the match on Saturday,but I think I’d be sending Celtic the bill for it and asking them to cover the outlay-and telling them to think themselves lucky that you aren’t charging them for your time too-or for the anti-depressants that you hammered down your neck afterwards.
Yes,it really was that bad. Not just the performance,but also what the result probably means in the greater scheme of things. There is no doubt in my mind that Saturday was the day that we handed the trophy,our trophy,to Sevco. Gift wrapped,pretty ribbons and just in time for Christmas. Maybe they’ll refuse it,of course. Hand it back after a familiar post-New Year hangover. And maybe Santa does exist after all.
This site-not just me and MAHE,but its members too-has long been critical of many aspects of the running of our club,and much of it can be traced to the input of one man. For this season,we both-independently-decided that the big picture,our quest for The Ten,was more important than repeating our points that the club needed overhauled from top to bottom-with a start being made with the installation of a Director of Football,upgrading of our scouting network,the separation of footballing and Plc interests,etc-and focused entirely on events on the pitch.
Picked a bliddy good year for that,didn’t we?
Saturday saw us up against,and let’s be honest here,a poor Hibs team who knew that we were there for the taking. And why wouldn’t they? We have a defence which can’t defend,a midfield which can neither tackle nor provide the ammo,and a forward line with as much oomph as a mosquito preserved in amber. If you were playing against a side like that in a pub league,you could take your pie and a pint onto the pitch with you.
Neil Lennon,post match,blamed it on a lack of hunger from the players. On not doing their job. Erm,pot and kettle,Neil. After all,I don’t think it is only the players who aren’t doing their job this season,mate. Don’t you have mirrors in your house? We had players who lost the ball in midfield-who shrugged their shoulders and stood there waiting to get it back so they could do the same again. Others who did chase back but who allowed the opposition to waltz past them to get a shot in at goal. Another,our captain ffs,whose idea of preventing a Hibs player putting the ball into a dangerous area is to give away a needless penalty. A right back who can’t or won’t tackle and two central defenders who simply aren’t.
And a lone striker who is wholly unsuited to that role.
Oh,and a manager who has taken no responsibility whatsoever for the dip in our performances this season.
Yesterday he also waxed lyrical about how Christie sees himself elsewhere next season. Is that a fact? Well,bad news son. You’re going nowhere based on your performances this season. Your obvious need to prove you can do it all has shown up one simple glaring problem-you can’t! And as a result,you’ve even forgotten how to do the stuff you previously could. My advice? Phone up Brendan Rodgers and ask him how he took you from Not Even Nearly Man to Star Man,because I don’t think there’s much point in asking anyone closer to home.
And before you hang up,hand the phone over to CalMac and Eddie anaw. Then give it to Griff to phone Ronny Deila for a fitness programme that works.
As for Elyounoussi,apart from the occasional stunning game such as Lille,I have absolutely no idea why he gets picked for every game when his presence upsets what little balance there is in the side. As soon as he gets the ball,the rest of the side might as well retrench into their-generally useless-defensive formation,ready to win the ball back when he is either dispossessed or blasts it over the bar. Either way,give him the ball and I guarantee that it will be an opposition player who is next in possession. If playing every week is part of the deal that got him here on loan,send him back and see if Southampton fancy playing him every week. Or at all. It was them who coughed up £16m for him,not us. If that fee is to be justified by giving him game time and the chance to shine,let them do it.
It could be argued that getting a draw from two goals down at least salvaged some pride on Saturday. I can fully understand that view,but I also think that we surrendered the title too. So here’s a thought. Or ten. We said going into the recent break that it was the perfect opportunity to press the reset with a change of manager,as it clearly wasn’t working anymore with NL in charge. And when it became clear that wasn’t going to happen,we suggested that the board were all-in on the current set-up and change would only occur when it was too late,if at all. Now? I reckon that we are only playing for pride for the rest of the season while hoping for an implosion down southside. So with nothing to lose,it’s time to rethink the structure of the team.
There are too many players in that side who are virtually guaranteed their place every week. Based on performances this season,I’d say the only one who deserves that status is Diego Laxalt. With only around 200 games on the clock even as he approaches his 28th birthday,I’d be begging him to sign permanently and asking Milan to make it happen. He isn’t going to make it there,not now. And I’d make him captain because at least he leads by example.
Our current captain? Well,I think we started our run of titles just a year too late for him. He really cannot justify his position in the team based on his performances this season. We need a ball winner in there,and since we bought Ismaila Soro to do that,let’s give him the chance to provide the bite that we need. Maybe with Ajer alongside him,because he isn’t improving as a central defender.
The two up front need to be a re-energised Eddie and/or Griff. And there’s gonna be a lot of midfielders doing not a lot on a Saturday. Not much different from what they’ve been doing all season,except that most of them won’t be embarrassing the hoops while they’re at it.
And upstairs in the boardroom? They need to be planning that restructure,even if it means turkeys voting for Christmas. Because contrary to popular belief,failure ISN’T an orphan. Our failure this season has been long in gestation,and it doesn’t require a DNA test for its paternity. It lies in the comfort zone of self-congratulatory aggrandisement and reward for corporate dereliction of duty. They have failed at a Plc level,failed on so many issues of governance,failed now at the final hurdle too in the most important aspect of their role,that of providing the best for the playing side to succeed. The upcoming AGM should be their last. They are lucky indeed that it will be held behind closed doors.
However,it is two weeks till our next league match. Two dead games in The Europa League and a League Cup tie against Ross County take place before then. The league equivalent of the previous international break,and perhaps a chance to do what we should have done then. Get in a caretaker manager who knows how to coach his players,and get the eyes down looking for a full time appointment in the summer-or earlier,if he is so inclined. Tell him to use the time to get some scouting done and a back up team to help him. And this time,don’t try to do it on the cheap. Don’t throw the toys out of the pram when the manager wants control. Get someone in who knows what he is doing,can transfer that to the players-and back him 100%,and !00% of the time.
And don’t EVER make the same mistakes again.
Above article by BMCUWP.