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  1. #31
    @hibs.net private member Peevemor's Avatar
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    I don't think Alex Miller was as defensive as people make out. For me there were 2 main problems with him.

    Firstly, he never, ever made substitutions until it was far too late.

    He was with us too long and certain managers knew exactly how to play us. This was exacerbated by Miller's unwillingness/slowness to change things that weren't working.

    As for Joe T, I was a huge fan. He looked the ideal replacement for Joe Mcbride jnr (a fans' favourite) and was one of the best crossers of the ball I've seen at Hibs.

    It's a disgrace that he never got a testimonial.

    He was never a defender though.


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  3. #32
    Coaching Staff Smartie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peevemor View Post
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    I don't think Alex Miller was as defensive as people make out. For me there were 2 main problems with him.

    Firstly, he never, ever made substitutions until it was far too late.

    He was with us too long and certain managers knew exactly how to play us. This was exacerbated by Miller's unwillingness/slowness to change things that weren't working.

    As for Joe T, I was a huge fan. He looked the ideal replacement for Joe Mcbride jnr (a fans' favourite) and was one of the best crossers of the ball I've seen at Hibs.

    It's a disgrace that he never got a testimonial.

    He was never a defender though.
    He was and he wasn't.

    For years his football was every bit as bad as people describe, often worse.

    The Jackson/ Wright/ Evans/ Harper/ O'Neill/ McAllister/ Weir/ McGinlay year or two were sublime and they were quite often given the freedom to play that they required. We played good football, scored a decent number of goals and were possibly only a decent defensive partner for Geebsie, a decent CM partner for McGinlay and a bit of squad cover away from being able to properly challenge a very strong Rangers team for the title.

    Rather than the Rangers myth, I think the biggest bugbear most folk deservedly had with Miller was his derby record, which was abysmal. If he hadn't got in his own way so often when it came to facing up to inferior Hearts sides he'd be viewed much more favourable by large swathes of the Hibs support.

    I mean, for all the football was defensive and grim at times, he led us through some very tough times for us as a club without being relegated or even coming all that close to it, won us a cup and nearly won us another, at a time when there were plenty of strong players and teams in Scotland.
    Last edited by Smartie; 07-04-2020 at 05:46 PM.

  4. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Smartie View Post
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    He was and he wasn't.

    For years his football was every bit as bad as people describe, often worse.

    The Jackson/ Wright/ Evans/ Harper/ O'Neill/ McAllister/ Weir/ McGinlay year or two were sublime and they were quite often given the freedom to play that they required. We played good football, scored a decent number of goals and were possibly only a decent defensive partner for Geebsie, a decent CM partner for McGinlay and a bit of squad cover away from being able to properly challenge a very strong Rangers team for the title.

    Rather than the Rangers myth, I think the biggest bugbear most folk deservedly had with Miller was his derby record, which was abysmal. If he hadn't got in his own way so often when it came to facing up to inferior Hearts sides he'd be viewed much more favourable by large swathes of the Hibs support.

    I mean, for all the football was defensive and grim at times, he led us through some very tough times for us as a club without being relegated or even coming all that close to it.
    That was the strange thing about Miller; he signed plenty good attacking players, but didn't seem to have the belief to take the shackles off them and let them play.

    The squad which included the players you mention should have done much more, in my view. O'Neill & McAllister on the wings (with Mickey Weir as back up), Jackson & Wright as strikers (with Kevin Harper breaking through); mouthwatering attack with the the ability to be legendary, but the team just seemed to fade after reaching the '93 League Cup Final.

  5. #34
    First Team Breakthrough Potty78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SideBurns View Post
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    That was the strange thing about Miller; he signed plenty good attacking players, but didn't seem to have the belief to take the shackles off them and let them play.

    The squad which included the players you mention should have done much more, in my view. O'Neill & McAllister on the wings (with Mickey Weir as back up), Jackson & Wright as strikers (with Kevin Harper breaking through); mouthwatering attack with the the ability to be legendary, but the team just seemed to fade after reaching the '93 League Cup Final.
    His derby record was awful I agree, but some of those derby defeats or draws also came from hibs not taking there chances and a tad bad luck. Finished 3rd year after cup final in 93 too. My original point was he was not the most defensive manager in my opinion. I also agree he was there to long. Calderwood hands down for me. Anyway happy birthday Jo👍

  6. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
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    Best crosser of the ball we had and Miller instructed him not to go over the half way line.

    The most boring manager we ever had.
    Remember speaking to Paul Kane who said Tortolano was always
    one of the best in training - but his confidence was shot when he played a game because of the abuse he got from the fans.

  7. #36
    @hibs.net private member Kato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yorkshire HFC View Post
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    Remember speaking to Paul Kane who said Tortolano was always
    one of the best in training - but his confidence was shot when he played a game because of the abuse he got from the fans.


    ...and that abuse, from utter weirdos and in no way a majority, started when Miller attempted to turn him into a LB, which he never was.

    John Burridge spelling out exactly what was wrong with Miller as manager.

    Screenshot 2020-04-07 at 20.49.33.jpg

  8. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
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    ...and that abuse, from utter weirdos and in no way a majority, started when Miller attempted to turn him into a LB, which he never was.

    John Burridge spelling out exactly what was wrong with Miller as manager.

    Screenshot 2020-04-07 at 20.49.33.jpg
    Sorry but can't accept this.
    Joe was the target of the majority of our supports frustration at that time. Like it or not he became an easy target. Unfortunately, and you are right about this being outwith the majority, some of the bile aimed at him was ridiculous to say the least and there were a number of occasions where I found myself in the middle of some unsavoury incidents with fellow Hibs fans by defending the laddie.
    John Burridge didn't like the way things ended up for him at Hibs and blamed Miller. I will not base my judgement on the man on that evidence if it's all the same to you. Many many other players cannot speak highly enough of Miller so there has to be a balance.

  9. #38
    Oh and by the way, loads of great attacking players being mentioned during Miller's tenure and the best of the lot by a country mile, in my opinion, hasnt even been mentioned.
    Stevie Archibald. What a player and what a signing.

  10. #39
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Back at that time I frequented the East, and it was fair to say there were a few guys who had it in for Joe. It actually became counter-productive for them as a lot of us didnít like the negativity and would start applauding Joe for just about anything, making a tackle, taking a throw in, standing up straight, whatever, especially during the first half when he was positioned on our side. Just to counter the criticism. There were a few occasions, not many, but a few, where it descended into borderline aggro.
    There's only one thing better than a Hibs calendar and that's two Hibs calendars

  11. #40
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    And in reference to the point about Joe T being told to stay back by Miller, I dont recall that. I certainly think it happened with Michael Renwick or Willie Miller. In fairness, Lewis has been told by most managers to be the last man back at our offensive set pieces, though that is slightly different from telling a fullback not to cross the half way line. Super Joe was a different generation though and tactics have changed a bit since then
    Last edited by Mibbes Aye; 08-04-2020 at 03:16 AM.
    There's only one thing better than a Hibs calendar and that's two Hibs calendars

  12. #41
    @hibs.net private member Mibbes Aye's Avatar
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    Final post about Joe T which maybe sums it up.

    I canít remember the game but I was in the East. Joe got the ball midway in our half, near the East touchline and without even seeming to think about it, pinged it over to whoever was waiting for it in front of the West Stand, twenty yards from their goal line. I have seen a number of great passes at ER. This one was effortless, almost thoughtless, just instinct and knowing how and where to hit it. It was a thing of beauty.

    On another occasion I saw us away at Brockville, on a night when the heavens had decided to open. Those who knew Brockville will remember that when the elements opened they were cruel, it wasnít just the stadium, but the approach itself, particularly the rugged lunar landscape that I think they described as a car park.

    Anyway, rubbish game in even more rubbish weather. We are attacking but they break and Joe is the last man. All he needs to do is stand up. Stand up, Joe, stand up. Show your guy outside. Just hold him up and show him outside. And donít, don't, donít dive into the tackle. You are the last man, whatever the **** you do, donít make the tackle.

    And then oh ****, Joe lunges in, the Falkirk player skips over him, slots it to an open striker and they score and we end up losing the game. And got soaked and borderline hypothermia.

    Nevertheless if you asked me for my favourite players, not best, not most successful with Hibs, but my favourites, then Joe Tortolano would be on the list and I think there are a bunch of other guys who would say the same. He had an exquisite left foot at times. He gave his all for the badge. He took ridiculous abuse from numpties in the East, hate to think what it would have been like if social media was prevalent then.

    And I am ready to forgive him for Brockville. He had a great left foot, but he also had great positional sense. Tactics were different then but he reminds me of Lewis Stevenson - knows what the manager wants and ensures he makes the off-the-ball movement to offer up a pass or get-out.
    There's only one thing better than a Hibs calendar and that's two Hibs calendars

  13. #42
    @hibs.net private member Kato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIP Bestie View Post
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    Sorry but can't accept this.
    Joe was the target of the majority of our supports frustration at that time.
    Maybe so but the vocal people who gave verbal abuse were a minority. I don't think the majority of Hibs fans behave like that but a large vocal minority can make it seem so.


    John Burridge didn't like the way things ended up for him at Hibs and blamed Miller. I will not base my judgement on the man on that evidence if it's all the same to you. Many many other players cannot speak highly enough of Miller so there has to be a balance.
    Of course there has to be a balance. Why would Burridge lie about what in reality is a tiny part of his career?

    There is evidence all over this thread and in fact all over Hibernian's stats that Miller signed and played many great attacking players, some of them Hibs legends.

    However I never claimed Miller was a an overly defensive manager just that he was boring. Michael O'Neil when asked how he worked under Miller said AM just told him to go out and do what he wanted. That isn't great tactics and can only bring results in the short term.

    Burridge's description rings true does it not? There were huge swathes of seasons where Hibs play was turgid, unimaginative, tentative and ..... boring. We lacked spirit in the Derbies and at times struggled to put away teams with way less talent than us by simply playing safe.

    As a player Miller was part of one of the most turgid, overly defensive units I've ever seen. They relied on a midfield drilled to stop (i.e. kick, maim and foul) their opposite number. Their defence out-catenaccioed the Italians whilst their attack prompted the cliche "bounce-bounce-goal". Peter McCloy had more assists than any of their midfield. I don't think Miller had any clue about how to put and attacking team out on the park and I'll go back to what prompted this discussion on him. He put the best crosser of the ball we had back to full-back, what the heck was that all about?
    Last edited by Kato; 08-04-2020 at 11:45 AM.

  14. #43
    @hibs.net private member Kato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    And in reference to the point about Joe T being told to stay back by Miller, I dont recall that.
    From the horses mouth, bud. We were stood down the front of the East (can't remember the opposition) and it was obvious Joe T could have taken their full back any time he wanted. We were encouraging him to take him on and JT came over and told he was instructed not to go over the half-way line. Maybe didn't happen every game but did in that one and we watched out for him in other games where it was obvious that was instruction. Just weird imho.

  15. #44
    @hibs.net private member erin go bragh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mibbes Aye View Post
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    And in reference to the point about Joe T being told to stay back by Miller, I dont recall that. I certainly think it happened with Michael Renwick or Willie Miller. In fairness, Lewis has been told by most managers to be the last man back at our offensive set pieces, though that is slightly different from telling a fullback not to cross the half way line. Super Joe was a different generation though and tactics have changed a bit since then
    Always thought it was Bertie Auld that gave they instructions to Jackie Mac . Never heard Miller giving such instructions.
    He didnít play a lot of games for us but Tommy Craig could ping a pass .
    SCOTTISH CUP WINNERS 2016
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  16. #45
    @hibs.net private member BILLYHIBS's Avatar
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    Another player that felt that Alex Miller nullified his natural attacking instincts was Dougie Bell in his upcoming autobiography:

    “Speaking to HIBS fans at various events at the time their overall feeling was that Alex’s tactics were a bit too negative in the big games but not the ordinary league games If we played Dunfermline for example and they were bottom half he wanted me run at them and get the crowd excited That is what I had been doing for years and since I had been at the club and I loved it Against the bigger and better teams he was now telling me that I had to sit in That might have made good tactical sense but I really disliked having to do it

    In one game he asked me to man mark a particular well known Celtic player which I did That player hardly touched the ball The problem was that I only touched the ball myself about 10 times in the game and for an attacking midfielder that likes to get forward that was excruciating
    The Manager thought I had one of my best games for him and I couldn’t understand how “

    Michael ONeill had this to say

    “Alex Miller was a really good Manager We had a bit of a love hate relationship at times but he was a very very good Manager He was always criticised for being a little bit negative but I never found him that way at all He was structured but not negative “
    Last edited by BILLYHIBS; 08-04-2020 at 02:48 PM.

  17. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by BILLYHIBS View Post
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    Another player that felt that Alex Miller nullified his natural attacking instincts was Dougie Bell in his upcoming autobiography:

    ďSpeaking to HIBS fans at various events at the time their overall feeling was that Alexís tactics were a bit too negative in the big games but not the ordinary league games If we played Dunfermline for example and they were bottom half he wanted me run at them and get the crowd excited That is what I had been doing for years and since I had been at the club and I loved it Against the bigger and better teams he was now telling me that I had to sit in That might have made good tactical sense but I really disliked having to do it

    In one game he asked me to man mark a particular well known Celtic player which I did That player hardly touched the ball The problem was that I only touched the ball myself about 10 times in the game and for an attacking midfielder that likes to get forward that was excruciating
    The Manager thought I had one of my best games for him and I couldnít understand how ď

    Michael ONeill had this to say

    ďAlex Miller was a really good Manager We had a bit of a love hate relationship at times but he was a very very good Manager He was always criticised for being a little bit negative but I never found him that way at all He was structured but not negative ď
    Really enjoyed watching Dougie Bell in his brief spell at Hibs, majestic player. To be fair to Miller, he was part of a trio of signings - along with Tommy McIntyre & Graham Mitchell - who were excellent for the club (more so Tam & Mitch, obviously).

  18. #47
    Coaching Staff Smartie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SideBurns View Post
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    Really enjoyed watching Dougie Bell in his brief spell at Hibs, majestic player. To be fair to Miller, he was part of a trio of signings - along with Tommy McIntyre & Graham Mitchell - who were excellent for the club (more so Tam & Mitch, obviously).
    He certainly had an eye for a player and brought a lot of good players to the club.

  19. #48
    @hibs.net private member BILLYHIBS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SideBurns View Post
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    Really enjoyed watching Dougie Bell in his brief spell at Hibs, majestic player. To be fair to Miller, he was part of a trio of signings - along with Tommy McIntyre & Graham Mitchell - who were excellent for the club (more so Tam & Mitch, obviously).
    Very good player but only played 35 games for the club

    Remember his debut at a frost bound Brockville?

    He would take the ball for a walk always looked as though the ball was tied to his boot

  20. #49
    @hibs.net private member Peevemor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BILLYHIBS View Post
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    Very good player but only played 35 games for the club

    Remember his debut at a frost bound Brockville?

    He would take the ball for a walk always looked as though the ball was tied to his boot
    The problem was that he'd invariably end up walking the ball back and forward along the halfway line.

  21. #50
    @hibs.net private member BILLYHIBS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peevemor View Post
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    The problem was that he'd invariably end up walking the ball back and forward along the halfway line.

  22. #51
    Quote Originally Posted by BILLYHIBS View Post
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    Very good player but only played 35 games for the club

    Remember his debut at a frost bound Brockville?

    He would take the ball for a walk always looked as though the ball was tied to his boot
    Aye, I was there, was around Christmas eh. He scored a beauty I think; 3-1 to Hibs?

  23. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Peevemor View Post
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    The problem was that he'd invariably end up walking the ball back and forward along the halfway line.
    That's true. Sometimes wondered if he was interested in what way we were shooting, just liked running around with the ball at his feet 😁

  24. #53
    Testimonial Due weecounty hibby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SideBurns View Post
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    Aye, I was there, was around Christmas eh. He scored a beauty I think; 3-1 to Hibs?
    I think it was early January. The ne'er day derby had been cancelled so this was first game back. Huge Hibs crowd that day. At least that's my recollection

  25. #54
    @hibs.net private member BILLYHIBS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weecounty hibby View Post
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    I think it was early January. The ne'er day derby had been cancelled so this was first game back. Huge Hibs crowd that day. At least that's my recollection
    Tommy McIntyre Graham Mitchell and Dougie Bell all made their debuts that day

  26. #55
    @hibs.net private member Kato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BILLYHIBS View Post
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    Tommy McIntyre Graham Mitchell and Dougie Bell all made their debuts that day
    Mitchell especially was a great servant to Hibs.

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  27. #56
    @hibs.net private member BILLYHIBS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
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    Mitchell especially was a great servant to Hibs.

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    Two out of three ainít bad

    Liked Mitchell McIntyre and Bell but I donít think Bell got on with Lexo

    Adam Jackson reminds me of McIntyre said that when I first clapped eyes on him at Stirling

    Graham Mitchell was a very good and consistent player for us

    Back on topic I loved Joe Joe Super Joe Yes he would make mistakes but always capable of producing something special

  28. #57
    @hibs.net private member Kato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BILLYHIBS View Post
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    Two out of three ainít bad

    Liked Mitchell McIntyre and Bell but I donít think Bell got on with Lexo

    Adam Jackson reminds me of McIntyre said that when I first clapped eyes on him at Stirling

    Graham Mitchell was a very good and consistent player for us

    Back on topic I loved Joe Joe Super Joe Yes he would make mistakes but always capable of producing something special
    Didn't mean to exclude Bell or McIntyre, just that GM was around for us longer and was a very steady performer.

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  29. #58
    @hibs.net private member Peevemor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kato View Post
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    Didn't mean to exclude Bell or McIntyre, just that GM was around for us longer and was a very steady performer.

    Sent from my SM-A405FN using Tapatalk
    The League Cup semi against the huns saw one of the best performances I've seen from a Hibs defensive pairing - McIntyre & Geebsie were immense that night. McIntyre & Hanlon are very similar if compared when on form.

  30. #59
    First Team Breakthrough TheCabbage's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=EVENTUALLY;6136293]He scored a fabulous goal at Pittodrie in a rare midweek 2 nil win. Hibs played great that night and Joe came on as a sub and ran in on goal from around the halfway line cork screwing Willie Miller into the pitch as he twisted him round and round again before thumping a shot past a helpless Jim Leighton.
    Joe loved it and so did the sparse Hibs away support in the Beach End

    Pretty sure I sat my English O
    Grade that day.
    Rushed through and ran to catch the Hawkhill bus.
    2 points and I passed the exam as well

  31. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by BILLYHIBS View Post
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    Two out of three ainít bad

    Liked Mitchell McIntyre and Bell but I donít think Bell got on with Lexo

    Adam Jackson reminds me of McIntyre said that when I first clapped eyes on him at Stirling

    Graham Mitchell was a very good and consistent player for us

    Back on topic I loved Joe Joe Super Joe Yes he would make mistakes but always capable of producing something special
    Joe obviously loved the Hibs, despite the barracking he took from the boo boys and always gave 100%. I hope he's got plenty happy memories too; and that goal compilation with the accompanying music is class!!

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