Sunday’s derby. I have never been so underwhelmed going into a derby as I was yesterday. Other games, yes, but not this fixture. I got to my seat about kick-off, which is about normal these days. Already the thought of going for chips was luring me away from the game.
Roll on three hours and I was still at Easter Road, only this time in a pub. Thrusting my long worn out card at the barman ‘large Sauvignon blanc please’. He obliged. I took a long drink and sighed.
The game was a disaster for the most part. I’m not going to say we were terrible for 90 minutes because that’s not true. We had some really good spells, some strong spells and Mallan’s goal was top notch. It just wasn’t enough. Hearts were no better, just luckier, I suppose.
We miss someone on the wing in place of Gray or Boyle. That was more evident today than I have seen in a long time. A GIGANTIC space left because neither of them were on the pitch. Why was this not covered? We do well when it is? But, who can tell Heckingbottom what to do? It’s his way or the highway.
Not starting Marciano. What was his motivation for that? Change the goalie for a derby? Thankfully, Maxwell didn’t have all that much to do throughout the game. He took a few decent balls, but what had Marciano done to get himself benched?
Once we were one-nil up, Heckingbottom seemed to decide that was us and sat us back, it worked for all of a short time and then…Hearts woke up and that was that. I don’t know what world Heckingbottom resides in but it’s not this one. Yet, he insists he’s the manager for us.
Horgan has a good game, ah sub him! You only have to see the players faces to know what is going on in the dressing room. They’re miserable, they’re downtrodden and mostly they were very surprised to get rounds of applause as they left the ground, but they shouldn’t be. It doesn’t matter if they’re players of old or players Heck has signed, they all turn up in good faith to play for the team they’re signed to. If Heck has signed players he can’t manage in the Scottish Premier League then that is HIS fault. His fault because he doesn’t understand the game in the first place, so to try and sign players and introduce them to the Scottish game was never going to work. It’s HECKINGBOTTOMS fault, but will he ever say that? No. Because it’s the players fault, or the fans fault, or the wifie that served him ASDA that morning. Never his fault.
It is his fault though, and it’s certainly the fault of the board if he continues to be the manager of Hibernian after the publication of this blog. Not because this blog will make any changes, of course, but because it’ll be out before Paul darkens Leeann’s doorway at East Mains. There is no way Hibs fans will tolerate him for another week, let that be clear. We don’t want him in charge for the BedFred outing to Rugby Park on Wednesday, never mind Celtic at home in the league on Saturday. Get him away.
He’s bolshy, not accepting his wrong-doing in anything but, he spoke to Sky Sports about his position after yesterdays defeat:
“You’re asking the wrong man, I’m just going to carry on as normal and not even considering that.
“If I start thinking about that and making decisions based on trying to save myself then I’m doing the wrong thing.
“I have to push the players and today they know I’m not happy with them – I should be stood here talking about a fantastic goal and some big performances from some players but I’m not.”
Maybe the players aren’t happy with you, Heckingbottom, do we think he has considered that? It’s the players fault again.
Let’s talk about that cowardice though. Can’t bring himself to blame himself. Wouldn’t walk out of Easter Road in front of fans asking him to leave. Sent a steward out to say that the management team wouldn’t be leaving via the front door, but that players would be. Typical cowardice from Heckingbottom, let the players take it. Only, they didn’t, every player that walked out that front door got a round of applause from the assembled. Even Rod Petrie was asked to return.
There was expected to be a “Heckingbottom Out” sort of demonstration outside of the main reception at Easter Road, reglardless of score. And, there was. Not to the extent of the Hearts one against Levein, and I have to applaud those who took part in that. Not those that committed affray, but those that turned up to sing and chant about change within their board and management.
We didn’t reach the amount of supporters who really are wanting Heckingbottom out. The message was clear though. Sky Sports sent round a camera to video people. They soon departed. Not sure why, maybe it was because they were told they weren’t wanted either. Not the guy with the camera, he was just doing his job, but the whole of idea of Sky Sports controlling the game.
A policeman kept doing the rounds telling people it was Sunday and he wanted to get home. He didn’t see the point in us being there, we should just leave, he was pretty sure there was no point in us being there.
On his third lap of him standing in front of me, he said as much and then moved behind me, so I turned around.
I told him he didn’t understand why we were there. He said he did, we were annoyed.
Annoyed? I said. We pay £400 a seat and we’re second from bottom, he had no idea what that meant. He said he did. No, I told him, you don’t. I said we pay season after season and we expect more than this. And not to tell us when to stand outside our ground or not. It’s our choice. (Then I was determined not to leave until he left, succeeded on that.)
Plus others pointed out that he was on Sunday rates…while we were standing about in the rain.
I need to work on this blog in the next couple of weeks to move hosting (meant to start last Thursday!) but I hope to keep up with things.
When I was in the pub, about to lift my drink to go to the table this old boy stopped me and said ‘smile hen, it can’t be that bad.’
I chuckled. ‘I’m Hibs, sir, it’s already that bad.’
He laughed. ‘Well, I can kit up for you if you like.’
‘I’d rather you managed us.’ I told him, reflecting on how deftly he’d scoured the queue and got his whisky first.
Here’s to a resignation long needed. Go Heckingbottom.
To end. RIP Fernando Rickson and to all those who behaved and took part in silences and applauses for him. Scottish Football at its best. Keep it that way.