Hibs' Scott Allan plays the kind of football we all like - and we need him back
The football fan likes the player to ďgetĒ his club, to perform in such a way as to be emblematic of a style and a tradition. That is more difficult in the modern game when no one stays with the same team forever or for very long at all, but Scott Allan and Hibs seem to go together.
By Aidan Smith
Sunday, 21st February 2021, 7:30 am
Three displays might sum this up: the match against Rangers in his first spell, 4-0, with all the goals created by him. The match at Ibrox beginning his second spell, playing like heíd never been away, pulling all the strings, another victory. And the match at Ibrox in his third spell, conjuring up the ďpass of the millenniumĒ for Daryl Horganís goal. That was very Hibs, raving about an assist when your team had been leathered 6-1, and there was a lot of teasing from Rangers supporters, from many clubs in fact.
But fans from all over have been warm in their wishes for Allan to make a full recovery from his heart condition and get back to playing his best. He spoke well to Skyís Luke Shanley when describing his anxiety - but not his out-and-out fear - over whether he would ever pull on his boots and craft another of those killer reverse passes. I wasnít surprised by that, remembering how smart heíd been in a long interview - not something all players like - back in 2017 when he was on loan from Celtic at Dundee.
Pondering his status in the Scottish game he said: ďHearts fans probably donít like me because I played for Hibs. Hibs fans probably donít like me because I left. Rangers fans probably donít like me because I went to Celtic. I started at Dundee United but their fans probably donít like me because Iím now at Dundee. Celtic fans know that when I was a wee boy my favourite team were Rangers and thatís probably a good enough reason for Aberdeen fans to not like me. Itís a shambles!Ē
All of this, by the way, was presented with that fetching smile of his; he wasnít remotely feeling sorry for himself. Same as now. He suffers from a condition that has turned out to be career-ending for some footballers, life-ending for others, but he is determined to beat it.
Hibs fans have forgiven Allan for leaving and now that heís back they couldnít love him more. The tradition heís continuing is that of the old-school inside-forward: Bobby Johnstone then Alex Cropley then Russell Latapy and now Allan.
But beyond Easter Road thatís also a Scottish tradition: the guy in the middle of the park, never tall but big in ideas, with dancing feet to go with the bold, adventurous mind. In that interview four years ago he told me: ďWhen I play I want folk to go: ĎI saw something out there today. Thatís the kind of football I like.íĒ The kind we all like. Itís cheering he has had his condition identified and a procedure for keeping it in check established. Hopefully his full return will coincide with our full return for Allan needs an audience if heís going to top THAT PASS.