St.Johnstone 1 v 4 HIBERNIAN
I hope as I write this you are all watching Hibs on BBC Alba, if not do so. I am still thawing out but I have to say I write this with a smile on my face. We got our Hibs back today. What is clear is we have the players, we didnae have the manager who knew how to set them up, motivate them and to get them playing free flowing football and most importantly playing for that jersey. What changed it, easy, the Heckingbottom blindspots, two up front, Florian Kamberi playing as we know he can, him and Scottie with free roles, play where they want to influence games, Christian Doidge proving he can score good goals, Melker Hallberg giving a masterclass, and a back four/ five who almost kept a clean sheet.
Normally I struggle to find players to give pass marks to, or struggle not to give the man of the match to Scottie or Lewis? Today it was a choice of Good, Better and Best. Now Saints are no great shakes but at 2-0 they did get into the game and we looked like we might lose a goal. But second half we came out and battered them. Not easy as they kicked us all game.
The shape was everything, Maxwell kept his place and almost a clean sheet, the back four were solid, all four of them, although Naismith stood out. Hallberg was immense in that holding role, nearly scored too, Newell and Slivka playing the old inside left and inside right postition, Scottie top of the diamond but no scared to drop back and win the ball deep, Flo on fire, left, right, left again he ran himself ragged, set up two and was the difference and then Doidge, finally given a partner to play with, it worked, go figure! Credit to Eddie, Grant, Whitts and Alan Combe, they made the tweaks we needed, they care, the talking from the bench never stopped, good, direct, intelligent coaching.
Shrink and I sat beside Tracey Smith, she is fine, she has lots of us both concerned about and supporting her. Plenty fans let her know that. We also had Jimmy Nicholl, Steven Robinson and Keith Lasley sitting to our right. No gossip there, we play Motherwell next at Easter Road, although I noticed they took no notes and left after 80 minutes. Jimmy Nicholl was maybe hooking up with them to plan next summers visit to Norn Irelun for the 12th?
The fans, well watching on BBC Tuechtar it may look like a small Hibs support behind the goals, weirdly the half of the main stand given over to us was full of Hibs fans, it was cheaper to sit there with the better shelter and view than it was to sit behind the goals???
What else, well coming in it seemed to take an age to get to my seat, as I met so many good Hibby’s I know saying hello, you all know you who you are, and I expect all of you are sitting with the same self satisfied slightly smug smile as I am tonight. We got out mojo back, we got our Hibernian back. On another positive, well done to the Hibs ticket staff who gave the away season ticket holders superb seats, thanks for that.
The Team, a wee bit different summary from me tonight, I am doing a Good, Better and Best approach….
Maxwell was good, tested a couple of times and done his job, wish he has kept a clean sheet, just seen it on the telly, sloppy one to lose.
Naismith, much much better from him, indeed I would say he was best of the defenders. No nonsense challenges, a peach of a pass just out of reach of Doidge for a third within 30 minutes, a great ball for Doidge’s 3rd and two cracking shots that on another day would have been fine goals.
Porto, strolled thorugh the game, better every game.
Paul, he too had a smashing game, better than he has been in a long time.
Lewis, well Lewis was better than ever, he would run through a wall for Hibernian. Wee observation you might no see on the telly was the clear instruction for Lewis to not cross the half way line, he stepped back a number of times after his brain said go.
Melker Hallberg had his best game in green, superb performance for the Swede, we may have unearthed a diamond here?
Joe Newell, well I have to say I never fancied him, a fop who does not contribute enough. He was good, better than he has been and played his role well and nearly scored near the end
Slivka, described as the nicest guy you could ever meet by a fellow fan at half time. Maybe so but he did not give us enough today, in a handsome win. Good going forward but left Naismith with a lot to do defensively. I hope he is just not mentally match fit yet as he and Newell offered something different to our shape today, something better.
Scott Allan, is the best, really the best attacking midfielder I have seen in a Hibernian jersey since Russell Latapy. He changes games, he works damned hard off the ball and roamed around that last third like the graceful, ball playing gazelle he is. I said to Shrink, I worry some hunnish thug will nail him bad as he takes the piss with his ball work. Hi sgal today was a chnage of foot wonder, a Scott Allan goal if ever I seen one. I felt he played with a freedom that Heckingbottom would not allow, I can’t explain that but I hope you see my point? Sigh.
Florian Kamberi had his best game in a Hibs jersey in months, play where you want son, just do what you do best said Eddie and Grant, whilst out in the street there was silence. Nae bother says Flo, am playing on the front line, he then sets up two for Doidge and runs Saint Johnstone ragged, shots, passes, runs, rolling players, tore in, the laddie who you will all know I have proclaimed from the beginning, is a player, he showed that today, a team player. If Flo had scored a couple no one would have said a word, he was BRILLIANT!
Now Christian Doidge. I heard only last week we had been tracking him since the Lennon days. Today he was like a new signing, played beside a hungry worker like Flo, Chris done what good strikers do, scored a hattrick, just like a striker, tap ins and a strikers headed goal. I am delighted for him, I want out Hibs people to succeed. Chuffed for him and for us on that one. Whomever had the hattrick Doidge bet (Big G?), money well earned. Best he has played for Hibs, keep it going pal.
You know, if we had not made a sub, well for the first time this season I would not have been annoyed, Slivka tired, as did Newell but not so much I felt we might crumble as we regularly did under Heckingbttom.
Boyler replaced Doidge with 10 to go and went right up front and caused a lot of bother. Doidge went off to massive standing applause from the 1500 or so Hibs fans, he needs to recognise that we support him and the jerseys, acknowledge it mate, we get its no been easy but you are one of us.
Both Stevie Mallan and Daryl Horgan came on after the Saints nicked a consolation, replacing the knackered Allan and Newell. Fine, like for like, again Heck never seen that in too many games. Good game management, another thing you could not say about the Yorkshireman.
Its nice when you have Hibs people who have witnessed the shite just like us make the tweaks us, ahem, “clueless” fans have called for and it works. Thanks guys, best day as a Hibs fans since we beat the puddle drinkers in Edinburgh West. Clearly tactically smart, those tweaks saw a convincing Hibs win. I am happy that Eddie, Grant (oh no we’re gonna), Whitts and Alan ken the score and are a core part of the spine of our club.
Have some duffers but just look like a team with no confidence. I must say I hate Murray Davidson, bet he is a Jambo or a Hun, if no, he looks like one. If I was Tommy Wright, I would duck oot and take the North of Ireland job.
The son of Dallas was determined to keep his
orange sash/ cards in his pocket, he did but really should have booked a few of the farmers heifers.
My Man of the Match
I ken the anally retentive hate when I pick more than one, but that is their problem, no mine. Hibernian had a few great performances today, Naismith, tough, Hallberg, superb, Allan, genius, Doidge, hatrick, but for me, the driver in that win was the maginficent Florian Kamberi, what a performance.
Now for another pishy international break, lets keep talking, the bounce goes deed when these shitey breaks come. Today, we saw the Hibs we hoped was there, there is something there, a team with some good players, I hop e you all come along to Easter Road for the well game, there is a team there, today showed that ?