I’d like to start this blog off on a personal note.
Many people know that Easter Road is a special place for me. It’s the one place on this Earth where I feel most at ease. When I go to ER nothing else matters, just what the team are doing on the pitch. Easter Road has helped me recover from illness and was a place where I once fell ill.
I feel a peace at Easter Road that I don’t feel anywhere else. Yes, I know that seems strange to say given that our Hibs are a source of great frustration generally. It’s true though. The moment I walk through the turnstiles a calmness washes over me that I don’t feel anywhere else.
The people who have helped have been thanked personally and some of them continue to help every time I am in that stadium. On Saturday I didn’t think I would make the game. A bad bout of illness has overtaken me this last few days and getting to Easter Road to watch us play Aberdeen seemed like a difficult task indeed. I decided to try it though. I left the house so early I was in the ground with about ten other people. Then the others arrived. My friends. Within five seconds of seeing one of them I was laughing. It became about the afternoon, the Hibs and the match ahead. It became about exchanging glances with friends over dodgy decisions. It became about reassuring the linesman he knows nothing about the off-side rule. It became about jumping up when we almost but didn’t score. It became cheering Stokesy when the Aberdeen fans booed him.
Nothing else mattered on Saturday afternoon but Hibs.
So, on to the game. High hopes were had and it is, in the end, the hope that kills you. Only, in this case I wasn’t actually that worried about the fixture. I know how Hibs can play and I knew that Aberdeen shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. We’re a tough team, I’ve said before that Lennon has instilled that in us. We have no fear.
However, what do suffer from is showing teams respect. This is what we did with Aberdeen on Saturday. If we’d played the first half like we’d played the second half we’d have won that game. Well…if we’d actually found someone who wanted to score for us.
If anything was evident on Saturday afternoon it was that we are a good football team. We are a brilliant football team…but in the final third.
So, what is missing?
Simon Murray for one.
We’ve gone from ‘Girls don’t like boys, girls like Simon Murray’ to ‘Lennon just doesn’t like Simon Murray’. Why sign him? To score goals. He has a couple of ‘mares and now he’s getting six minutes at the end of a game.
Get him on at the start, Lennon. He doesn’t deserve to be on that bench when we know he can score goals if we believe in him enough. Whittaker and Ambrose get regular starts and, love them as we do, they’re both bomb scares at times and there is no arguing with that. Get the best out of Murray, get him playing.
On Saturday we dominated Aberdeen and there is no argument about that. Not one. Ross Laidlaw had little to do and that was evident through out the game (bar the goal, of course). So, it is our fault we didn’t take charge of that.
We can’t say that we were cheated out of anything. Well, we can look at Steven McLean with dubious eyes and wonder if Stevie May, GMS and Shay Logan will be the main performers in Aberdeen’s pantomime this festive period, but the referee and some actors didn’t decide the game. We did. Because we can’t score.
We’ll find it hard to keep John McGinn on our books if we can’t up our game. He continues to show his worth with his twisting and turning in midfield. He can turn most opponents inside out on his own and he leaves many an opposite number not knowing which direction to go in. In a game where we didn’t play badly, McGinn probably added to his personal worth. Our only saving grace is that the lad is loyal but loyalty only takes you so far. We did good when we signed him. In the next year, if we don’t push on (and even if we do) we’re going to have to say goodbye to SJM.
And on another note…there is no reason for el Capitano to be on the bench. Lennon has a strange choice of starting eleven and I’m not sure I am with him any more. I’m not suggesting we look for a new manager but I am starting to doubt his team choices. We’ll see how that goes…
On those last than two cheery notes we move onto the semi-final of the League Cup on Saturday. When most are enjoying the slight lie-in of a weekend, Hibs fans will be rising early to make the journey to Easter Road West.
While the posh are enjoying Brunch, the fans of Hibs and Celtic will be gathering at Easter Road West for a game that Hibs can most certainly win. The faith is very much kept here and I don’t see why we wouldn’t beat Celtic.
With the derby coming up the following Tuesday we have a big couple of weeks coming up. Are we Hibs? Can we keep the faith? Yes. Let’s do this.
On a day when all clubs pledged to show respect to the Show Racism the Red Card campaign, Hibs needed to show the Reds less respect.