Finally escaped to write this.
So, Saturday afternoon brought us Falkirk at Easter Road. Despite Falkirk forgetting how to play football it was never going to to be a match-up to take lightly.
Falkirk are further down the league that they would want to be at this point in the season but it’s easy to see why. For one I think they’ve had secret coaching sessions with Terry B****** on how to play Hoofball along with a few attempts at Head Tennis. Houston seems to have lost the plot with this seasons Falkirk squad. His problem though.
Ours is that we can’t get the ball in the back of the net. Not consistently. Saturday was very much testament to that. With 18 corners and numerous other chanced it’s beyond me why were didn’t have a few on the scoreboard before half time.
Part of it is that Falkirk played defensive right from the kick off. They weren’t playing to win, they were playing to not lose it, there is a difference. They just tightened up even more after Taiwo was sent off for his insane two footed tackle on John McGinn leaving them with ten men from 23 minutes onwards.
When Hibs play football we play football. We’re classy and we can tear through teams when we really want to and we did in parts on Saturday afternoon. Some respect must be given to the Bairns ‘keeper Danny Rogers. He pulled off a few decent saves that did deny us goals.
Yet something is just not right.
Grant Holt is fast becoming one of my favourite players. His effort is amazing. He put up with a lot today, a few fouls on him that the referee and lino’s seemed to have missed as if they were watching the other channel.
The game was feisty which wasn’t a problem at all, Hibs and Falkirk were close rivals all last season and it shouldn’t be a shock that it would remain the same this season. Stubbs may be gone but Houston won’t have forgotten the jibes last season. Beating Hibs on Saturday would have made his shiny bald head beam with happiness.
However, to win you need goals and Hibs ‘keeper Ross Laidlaw was a mere spectator for the majority of the game. While Hibs didn’t score any more goals than Falkirk we did create many more chances and Danny Rogers goalmouth was a busy one. Aside from Falkirk’s goal (and no, Marciano wouldn’t have saved it either) the groundskeepers would be happy enough that both ends only dealt with forty-five minutes of action.
We played well on Saturday, I would think that there would be very few people who would disagree with that. The team have gelled. There were a few loose passes but they looked like they were small communication issues rather than anything major going on. We tried to play our football game but as soon as Falkirk got on the ball they just hoofed it about until we took it off them again. Frustrating.
Frustration might be the word of the game. Almost 100% effort for the entire match from the whole team, including the subs, and we just end up with a point. It’s the story of Hibs and not just limited to this season.
How many times must we sit and watch a player who could take a shot then pass it out wide? Set play nonsense. TAKE THE BLOODY SHOT! If you keep battering it in then you batter the defence, yet we seem to be running up, creating mayhem then dampening it down by passing out (almost literally!) and letting the opposition regroup. Or, in Falkirks case, just group!
MOTM Darren McGregor has really proved himself in recent weeks. On Saturday he was all over Falkirks apparent lone striker. They started with a 4-4-2 with Baird and Miller upfront but they were generally called back to muck in with defensive duties.
El Capitano was a little off his game on Saturday. Nothing major and he worked hard but there was something amiss from Sir David’s game. Temporary I am sure.
I’m still not sure why JC is not getting a start. Our top scorer and no one is showing any signs of wanting topple him from that. Nineteen minutes at the end of a game isn’t enough for him. He’s not being allowed to build up a strike force with anyone. Jason needs fed. He won’t pick up a ball at the halfway line and run with it, he needs service. Probably more service than other strikers but he does need it. Jason will score if Jason is given the right build up.
Can’t fault the team as a whole. I’ve seen Lewis Stevenson questioned in the aftermath of the match yet Falkirk generally forgot about him for most of the match and he loomed around unmarked, especially in the second half. Fonts didn’t have the game I would have thought he had but I would imagine he knows that.
I still think we’re missing Liam Henderson. Probably my favourite on loan player of recent years. He played his heart out for Hibs. No one could deny his spirit and his love for a club he was only sent to in order to gain experience. He became a hero with Hibs and if he never does anything else in his career then he was part of the Time For Heroes team. He’ll never be forgotten for that. And guess what? He wants to come back. Get working on it Hibs. If there’s one thing we know about Hendo it’s that he knows how to deliver.