It’s Yogi! John Hughes is the new Hibs manager

June 8th, 2009 1 Comment »

Hibs confirmed this afternoon that John Hughes is to be the new manager.  The announcement was made on the official website.

Rob Petrie:

“I am delighted to announce that John Hughes has been appointed Manager of Hibernian Football Club

“Appropriate arrangements were agreed with Falkirk Football Club to secure John’s release and John has signed a three year contract with Hibernian. We anticipate that Brian Rice will join John at the Club as Assistant Manager on his return from holiday.”

“The search for a new manager is always a difficult task and after a very thorough process we were fortunate to have a number of exceptional candidates. John Hughes was the unanimous choice of the Board not for his exploits as a former player, but for his credentials as a manager, his style of football and his potential to bring success to the Club on the field of play.

“I am sure too that John will galvanize everyone connected with Hibernian and drive the club forward. The Board will never lose sight of the requirement for Hibernian FC to be competing for honours and we see John as the ideal candidate to achieve this.”

Yogi:

“This is a very proud day for me. I am delighted to be the Manager of Hibernian.

“Everyone knows what Hibernian means to me. I have so much respect for the Club and its supporters that I would not have accepted the job if I did not think that I could make a real difference and be successful. It is important to me that the Board have identified that it is my managerial ability, and not my history as a Hibernian player, as the reason I have been appointed.

“I also have great affection for Falkirk FC and would like to thank everyone connected with that club for the fantastic opportunity they gave me to cut my teeth as a manager.

“My future now lies with Hibernian and I believe I will bring innovation and an attractive style of passing football to the Club. I can’t wait to start working with the players and get down to business at the training centre.”

Benjelloun Youness signs for Hibs

June 5th, 2009 1 Comment »

It seems that Hibs have made their first summer signng in a second Moroccan player called Benjelloun (although the original Benji is on loan, he’s not likely to return). Benjelloun “Benji II” Youness is a defender from Olympiakos Nikosia of Cyprus. Wikipedia seems to have the most up to date information on the player: New Benji

His stats aren’t exactly outstanding although he has spent a lot of time at Paris St.Germain without actually playing. Hopefully we’ll see a bit more of him at Hibs.

Presumably this signing had more or less gone through prior to MIxu leaving. Signing defenders does seem to be further confirmation that Rob Jones is on his way out of Easter Road.

Celtic’s attempt to sign Hibs’ Steven Fletcher fails

February 1st, 2009 1 Comment »
Hibs players' Christmas Party

Hibs players' Christmas Party

Update:The transfer window closed and both Steven Fletcher and Rob Jones remain Hibs players.  It appears that Celtic could not afford Fletch after all.

Celtic are following their usual, uninspiring pattern of stealing the best talent from the rest of the SPL by attempting to sign Hibs’ Steven Fletcher.  Both Rangers and Celtic have found it increasingly difficult to afford quality players from outside Scotland in recent years and Fletcher will be the next in a long line of players citing their “ambition” as a reason for moving West.  That his ambition is limited to choosing to remain in one of the smaller European leagues is apparently lost on Fletch.

As ususal, the Glasgow media have been happy to be the mouthpiece for the player and his agent, writing about how Fletcher hopes Hibs won’t price Celtic out of the move.  Fletcher doesn’t seem to understand the basics of football transfers – he still has years left on his contract and if Celtic can’t afford him, that’s tough luck.  Maybe he’ll just have to put his “ambition” on hold and move South to the biggest league in the world.

In the current economic climate, Hibs may have some concerns about transfer fees in future and may want to cash in on Fletcher now but that’s only thing that might work in Celtic’s favour.  As ever, Hibs’ Chairman Rod Petrie holds all the aces.  Hibs are in a solid position financially and Steven Fletcher has a long contract with the club so there is no need to sell.  There’s every chance that at 5pm on Monday 2nd February, Steven Fletcher will be a Celtic player, but it will be on Hibs’ terms.

Dean “Deano” Shiels also left this week, to further his career with English Championship strugglers Doncaster.  Dean has been a good servant for Hibs despite performances which were at times highly frustrating for the fans.  It’s difficult to say if this will be a good move for the player but it’s clear that after 5 years at Easter Road, it was time for a move to pastures new.  Swapping Edinburgh for the bright lights of Doncaster may not be an obvious choice for many but the challenge might be just what Shiels needs.

Speculation also surrounds Hibs’ captain, Rob Jones. Colchester have been making big noises but offering little cash for Jones but there are other clubs also interested.  Should Leeds or Nottingham Forrest put in a decent bid, it will be interesting to see whether Petrie can resist taking the cash.

Celtic out of Europe before December

November 25th, 2008 4 Comments »

Celtic crashed out of Europe early again after taking the lead against the mighty Aalborg Boldspilklub of Denmark. Ex-Dundee United player Barry Robson put the green and grey hoops ahead but Aalborg fought back with a long range strike by Caca and an own goal by ex-Hibs player Gary “Calamity” Caldwell. Celtic are out of the Champions League and fail to go through to the UEFA cup with that place now taken by Aalborg.

It really makes me wonder whether there really is much of a difference between the Old Firm and the rest of the Scottish Premier League. Surely with a settled team, good manager and a bit of luck it should be possible to at least split them. I have a horrible feeling that other teams are intimidated by the Old Firm and the edge they have is as much psychological as anything else. Whilst they obviously have bigger squads and happily take their pick of the best players from other Scottish teams, they still have to play some very average / shite players, even in Europe.

Granted there is still a gulf between the Old Firm and the rest but if, say, three teams all started to take points off them regularly and at least one of those had a good run in the league who’s to say what could happen?

Financially things don’t look to good for Rangers. There could come a point where they can’t take their pick of other team’s players so easily – then their team would look very average indeed.

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Jonatan Johansson signs pre-contract with Hibs

November 13th, 2008 1 Comment »

Hibs announced the signing of Finnish player Jonatan Johansson on a pre-contract agreement.  He signs from Malmö FF in Sweden and will officially join Hibs on 1st of January 2009.  Presumably we’ll be selling Steven Fletcher sometime in the 4 weeks after that.  If not, we’ll surely have too many strikers.  Even playing 3-4 a week which we have been doing unsuccessfully for a while now, there would surely be too many unhappy forwards.

Jonatan Johansson is an experienced international (91 caps for Finland) and a good mate of the Gaffer, Mixu Paatelainen.  He’s also an ex-Hun but let’s not talk about that.  He comes with a decent reputation but the statistics show he hasn’t exactly scored for fun (see below) and at 33 he’s surely in the twilight of his career.

That said, perhaps a big, mature centre forward to partner Derek Riordan is just what we need?

Years Club App (Gls)*
1995–1997
1997
1997–2000
2000–2006
2005–2006
2006–2008
TPS
FC Flora
Rangers
Charlton Athletic
→ Norwich City (loan)
Malmö FF
032 0(6)
009 0(9)
047 (14)
148 (27)
012 0(3)
046 (20)

Here’s a YouChoob compilation of Jonatan Johansson’s best bits: