The sh~t adventure is over, we are out of this horrible League. Hibernian Football Club today celebrated their return to the Premiership. Just under 20,000 fans in the stadium, ensuring Hibernian had the first, second and third biggest attendances in Edinburgh this season. The crowd also included 1900 Buddies from Paisley who managed to stay up, which is good for them and good for Scottish Football.
For me we started with our strongest available team, bar one. I thought playing Bartley was not necessary. I was right, a) he did nothing, b) he won his first challenge in the 45th minute and c) Lenny hooked him for Fyvie. The wee St Mirren midfield ran rings round him.
Hibs started very well and had a few decent moves, with McGinn, Boyle, Holt and Shinnie all playing good football. As the first half went on we let St Mirren start playing and I felt we were watching a real end of season kick about. Us not really breaking them down, them time wasting. Second half, Captain Dave went off injured, replaced by Forster and Marv didnae come back out, but instead we saw a fitba player, Fraser Fyvie come on and within a few minutes Hibs were 1 up and playing much, much better.
Its an interesting thought, we have won the League, only playing for pride and the opposition not sure if they have to try or not until they lose a goal. When they did lose a goal, the buddies upped their play and replied with a very neat equaliser sending their fans delirious. Hibs did get at them again, although Jase looked tired and jaded, rumour being he had been ill all week, however I thought Holt was very decent again.
It was great to see over 18,000 Hibs fans packing the 3 1/2 stands of home support. With over 9000 season tickets already taken up, it would be great to have Easter Road full like that every home game next year.
A nice wee story today. Some of you will know, I faithfully picked up my old Uncle from his home in Loanhead and took him to Easter Road with me, my sons and my best pal. Slowly my old Uncle has lost almost all his sight and couldnae manage the games any more. He gave his season ticket to his daughter and two grandsons. As I stood in the warm sun today chatting with pals, who sneaked up behind me? My old Uncle with his grandsons. He cannae see the length of himself, but felt he had to be at the Holy Ground today to hear, feel and experience Hibernian being crowned Champions. That is dedication, that is the Hibernian way. I was delighted to see him.
So, to the team
Rocky had little to do, but no chance at their very good goal. One good punch and not much else needed. I would like him to stay if he can.
David Gray, Club Captain who captained the winning team, Hibernian, in the Scottish Cup Final on the 21st of May 2016, scoring the winning goal n’all, is simply a legend. He hurt himself half way through the first half and did not come out second. If, as rumours suggest, Captain David might leave us, he should know that he is loved by every Hibernian fan, he is a hero, a Hibernian hero. If he played for Hibernian until he retired I would be delighted.
Darren McGregor is magnificent, he is a Hibee through and through, I wish he was 10 years younger.
Efe started as centre half and moved to right back. He has his wobbles but is clearly a good football player. His kids are lovely too. I know that not everyone agrees, but I would be very happy if Efe chose Hibs to continue his Premiership career. Great acrobatics in the post match celebrations.
Lewis Stevenson gives his all every week, he is 100% and never hides. How some people can suggest we replace him is beyond me. I hope Lewis plays his whole career at Hibernian. Thank you Lewis, you may not have been born a Hibby, but you are one now.
Marvin Bartley was rotten today. I watched the battle between him and Mallen particularly today, Mallen won. Marv won his first challenge in the 45th minute, it was not a game for him. We will need him next season, I hope he stays.
Shinnie started well and has a lovely touch, but I expect he played his last game for Hibs today. Thanks for your efforts Shinniesta, they were appreciated.
John McGinn had a storming first half, like he was playing ftba with his pals. Well he wiz, Hibs ones and St Mirren ones. He dropped out a little second half, I get why, it cannae have been easy against the team who found and developed him. Post match he shook hands with every St Mirren player, their coaching team and then went over and applauded their fans. You are a good laddie son, I fully expect you to star for Hibernian in the Premiership next season son. You are Super John.
Boyler had a decent game today and as others have pointed out, his pace is a big asset. I expect Boyler to play a part next season, he can give defenses trouble. Practice your first touch pal.
Grant Holt has grown on me. Much of the season he was often hopeless, the last few weeks he has been immense. He scored again today and did a power of work for an auld fellae. This will surprise a few of you but I hope he stays on, possibly as a bit part player and coach. He has certainly developed Jase.
Jason had a quiet game today. I know many of you expect him to leave but something in my head thinks he might just do one more season with us in the top League. If he does chose to move on, like a few others, he will always be a Hibernian legend to me. Daft as a brush, he brought me and all the Hibs fans some great moments, he is the modern hammer of the Jambos. The Broomhouse Pirlo is magic, he just wisnae the day.
Two subs at half time, Fozzie for the injured David Gray and Fraser Fyvie for Barts.
Fozzie did nothing wrong, was big and steady, but I dinnae expect to see him at Hibs next year. He will do fine elsewhere though.
The way Hibernian played today changed when Fraser came on, we were more upbeat, more forward passes, a goal. I think it is utter madness that we might consider letting Fraser leave. If he does, he will go to the competition and we will regret it. If its a Lennon/ Fyvie/ Fiery Ginger thing, sort it out and sign him up. A key player. Stay with Hibs Fraser, you are right for us.
Keats came on for Shinnie and did plenty. I know he likes the Club, he is another of our Cup Winners, but if expects more game time next season, he is better looking elsewhere. He again would always be warmly received by us, a good guy and a decent player who, for me, just never took his chance when he was given it.
I thought Lenny got the team wrong today, Fraser Fyvie was excellent last week, Marv wisnae needed and we were guff to watch first half. Once Fraser came on we were better, although it still felt like the last game of the season. Neil and Gary have brought a steel to Hibernian, they are winners, they want Hibs to be winners. In his post match speech, Neil showed he has grown to love our club, and we have grown to like him. I have great hope for next season under Neil and Gary, its their chance to recover their career after a dent in Bolton, its also their chance to continue wakening the sleeping giant that is our football club. We loved Stubbsy and his team, we have grown to do the same with Lenny and his. You are welcome addition to the Hibernian Family Neil and thank you for getting us out of his stinkingly difficult League.
The referee should have booked a few more Saints, otherwise no a bad performance.
I think St Mirren are a very decent team, I also think they are a damned decent club. Their fans can choose Celgers or Rantic, they dont, 1900 turned up to see them over the line, the fact a few hundred stayed to applaud Hibernian when presented with the Championship Trophy is great. Also great were the Hibernian support who applauded the Saints off the pitch. Thingk we should try to sign Stevie Mallan.
From a team perceptive, the aforementioned Stevie Mallan passed his trial, he is quality. I know SJM’s brother has been spoken about, but I think their other key player is Lewis Morgan, number 17, if we were to have a punt on a player, it would be him, I thought he gave us a torrid time today and in the past. Well done on staying up Buddies, you are a proper Club with proper fans.
Man of the Match for me was Grant Holt, lose a stone, get fitter and I would be content to see you pull on a Hibs shirt on again next season.
20,000 in Easter Road, we are a big team, maybe THE BIG TEAM. Come back please, Hibs is forever, not just trophy days. Special thanks to Since 1875, you guys have helped wake the giant, keep it up.
So, the season is over, we are champions, we are back in the top league, we fill the stadium, we make noise, the Hibees are Back.
Thanks for reading my slaverings this season, I hope you enjoyed my thoughts, those of a simple Hibs fan, who loves our Club in the same way you all do. Also thanks to those who stood in for me when I nipped off to foreign climes, especially SKII who, like me, simply loves the Hibs unconditionally.
See you all next season.