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  • Letting Off Steam

    hibs.net Private Member Bobo puts his frustrations about the team he is passionate about into words...

    After the latest debacle at Easter Road on Saturday, like many, the overwhelming frustration I feel is destroying my love for the club.

    Hibernian was once regarded as a big club in Scottish football, were renowned throughout Europe for their entertaining style of play, while always at the forefront of innovative ideas and change within the game. Now only a shadow of our past, weíve become perennial underachievers, no better than also-rans, in one of the poorest leagues in European football.

    The 2007 Cup success should have been built upon to consolidate our place as a major player in the Scottish game. Instead, on field performances have declined at an alarming rate with the catalyst for this regression coinciding with the resignation of John Collins following the well publicised revolt when players were pandered to at his expense.

    Always a consummate professional, Collins tried to mould his squad into athletes by improving their fitness and life style awareness. For a short while his methods appeared to be working, and we had the fittest squad of players I can remember, but sadly the fore-mentioned revolt put an end to this. Player power demanded that the inherent drink culture, that still blights too many of our current players, would prevail. Player fitness has never been the same since and we appear to be one of the poorest conditioned teams around, despite the major investment of East Mains.

    Three non-inspiring managerial appointments have subsequently contributed to the drastic decline in performances, while all saleable players have been sold, and a procession of inadequate replacements seriously weakened our squad. The fact our shambolic defence and goalkeeping situation has been largely overlooked, throughout this time is criminal and has only served to compound the problem!

    I attended my first game at Easter Road 44 years ago and, as a small child, was awestruck at that very first experience. I was hooked and Hibs have been a major part of my family life ever since. During those 44 years (25+ as a season ticket holder) Iíve watched some great players, managers and teams serve Hibernian with pride, passion and distinction. Iíve witnessed memorable European nights, cup wins, fabulous Derby victories and also many disappointments along the way, most notably two relegations and a host of Scottish Cup failures. The last 3 seasons have delivered the most sustained period of eye bleeding performances I have ever witnessed.

    Supporters are the life blood of the Club; their loyalties the one true constant over generations. Sadly this loyalty has been taken for granted for far too long so much so that many supporters, like me, are now at breaking point and lifetime associations with the club are seriously in jeopardy of being lost forever.

    The worm has slowly turned and in the face of the current recession many supporters have sought more affordable ways to spend their Saturday afternoons entertaining themselves and their families. Many more are following suit by voting with their feet as on-field performances continue to deteriorate game after game. A sub-standard product has been served up for too long and doesnít offer value for money, enjoyment or a memorable match day experience; instead itís embarrassing to watch as well as being an emotional and financial drain. I canít remember the last time I left Easter Road having enjoyed watching an entertaining Hibs performance!

    One unconvincing win from our last 12 SPL games, at Easter Road, is totally unacceptable but doesnít really tell the full story. Colin Calderwood has been dismissed from the managerís position, the latest fall guy for a grossly underachieving squad of players who make more headlines about their off-field antics than their playing exploits on it. How long does it actually take to deliver a squad of dedicated professional players capable of, at the very least, matching the endeavour of opponents, with lesser budgets and resources than Hibernian?

    Until discipline and professionalism is instilled in our players, our fully completed, FIFA compliant stadium wonít matter a jot if no one turns up on match days to watch them. The east stand is becoming a white elephant, looming emptily, like a giant tombstone, over a pitch where performances died a long time ago.

    Once more the managerís chair needs filling, the most important position at the club. If a similar appointment to the previous three is made it will all but finish it for most supporters. We need a leader, someone the support will admire and look up to, a manager who the players will fear, respect and gain inspiration from.

    Itís time to put our house in order, letís hope the next manager steps up to the plate and fills the bill.

    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Betty Boop's Avatar
      Betty Boop -
    1. NOLA's Avatar
      NOLA -
      Well written piece Bobo! cant argue with any of that.
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