Derek Riordan returns to Hibs

September 1st, 2008 No Comments »
Derek Riordan

Derek Riordan

Yes, Derek Riordan is back where he belongs – Easter Road Stadium – the Leith San Siro.  After a long and drawn out negotiation it was announced tonight shortly before 8pm. It’s a happy day for all Hibs fans as well as for Derek although the signing somewhat overshadows the signing of centre-half Bamba from Dunfermline.

Derek Riordan has barely been given a chance at Celtic Park and there have been loads of rumours that this was because he made sweet love with the managers daughter.  I’ve no idea if that’s true but it would be nice if he would f**k Strachan’s team by scoring a goal or three on our fixture against the SDBs on 25th October.

It’s been an ongoing saga which has bored most of us to death on message boards over the last month or two but after loads of people in the know saying it was a done deal ages ago it seems the deal has finally been done – well done guys, I never doubted for a minute ;-)

To celebrate, the official site has taken the evening off and is unable to deal with further requests for information.

It’s getting close to the hour where we can say Steven Fletcher is not leaving.  There’s not been a lot of speculation about him during the transfer window and it seems likely he’s going to stay.

Steven Pinau to get international clearance in time for Inverness CT

August 21st, 2008 No Comments »
pinau

pinau

Mixu reckons Hibs will have clearance for Steven Pinau to play against Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Saturday. Pinau, who signed from Genoa, has not yet played other than as a trialist due to the time taken to sort out paperwork between the SFA and their Italian counterparts. Sounds like a marriage made in hell that. Competitive incompetence anyone?

Anyway, with a bt of luck we’ll get to see if Pinau is made of stern enough stuff to cope with Inverness in August. Could he be the first Hibs player ever to score at Inverness’ Mechano Stadium? Oh, what a baptism of fire rain porridge it could be.

Zemmama to return soon?

August 20th, 2008 No Comments »
Merouane Zemamma celebrates scoring against Aberdeen

Merouane Zemamma celebrates scoring against Aberdeen

Merouane Zemmama is fighting his way back to fitness. He is back in full training with the rest of the squad and is due to return within a month. This has got to be the best news from Easter Road for a while. Zemmama’s extra spark of creativity has really been missing since he injured his foot at the tail end of last season.

It sounds like Mixu Paatelainen is delighted at the news too, he said “”It will be absolutely fantastic to get him back because he is a terrific football player. You always miss quality players and Merouane certainly falls into that category. He’s someone who makes things happen and I have to say I can’t wait to see him back.”

Mixu has the fixture against Dundee United at Easter Road on 13 September ringed as a possible return.

Once he is back, it’s going to be tough for the boss to decide who to drop. At the moment we have, contending four (maybe 5) places; Alan O’Brien, Steven Thicot, Joe Keenan, John Rankin, Ian Murray, Dean Shiels, Lewis Stevenson, Phillipe Morais and Ross Chisholm. I don’t think any of them will keep wee Zoomer off the park for long.

Shared aspirations and conspiracy theories

August 19th, 2008 No Comments »
Alan O'Brien of Hibs and Ireland

Alan O'Brien of Hibs and Ireland

The first home fixture of the season was last Saturday and we managed to beat Falkirk 3-2 in what was the best game of football I’ve seen in a long time.  Let’s hope it’s a taste of things to come as despite defensive frailties, Hibs managed to create chances for most of the game.  Long may it continue.

A special mention goes to Alan O’Brien who played a blinder and has now had his name chanted more at Easter Road than Garry O’Connor.  That sounds like a strange one but I think it might just be true.  Maybe Garry got one just before he left.

We were treated to the Hibs board’s version of Pravda which was handed out to supporters before the game.  “The Hibernian Review” which will no doubt appear whenever the board are feeling a bit sensitive about fans criticism, contained the usual stuff you’d expect to find, well, in the match day programme.  Obviously the Chief Executive, Scott Lindsay, had an important message to get across.

As a Club we must all work together to achieve our aspirations, and the backing of supporters for the team is a vital part in that. – That seems reasonable enough

Every Hibernian supporter shares one clear aspiration – to see their team competing for honours by playing attacking football. – True, you’d wonder about the Kilmarnock and Aberdeen fans ;-)

It goes on like that for a while before stating that the club has spent £1M in year ending 2007 and £0.75M this year in “attracting and retaining football talent”.  He takes a bit of a liberty in calculating 1 plus 0.75 as “close to” 2 but that’s beside the point, the point is that this must be a figure plucked out of the air based on transfer fees, signing on fees and god knows what else because we’ve not spent even close to that on transfers.  Who knows what “retaining talent” might involve?  Paying them?

I actually believe we do spend a decent amount on players, our accounts actually show we spend more than most. Board member’s wages are really another post for another day.  What really gets me is the condescending and clumsy way the board attempt to communicate with the fans. I also wonder how the budget will go now since our season ticket numbers appear to have dropped considerably since last season. There’s been no official comment on that yet but I expect Scott Lindsay to state that sales this season are “close to” the same as last year.

Now, I might be getting carried away with conspiracy theories here, but…..

“Sometimes there are exceptional circumstances. In seeking to back Mixu on his appointment in January, the Board agreed to bring a number of players to the club who were not part of the original budget. Several more players have been signed in time for the start of the season. The squad is now larger than planned in normal circumstances. That means the annualised cost of the existing squad is currently higher than we would like through the conscious decision of the Board to support the Manager. The balance of the squad is being redressed.”

This sounds to me like support for the “Mixu has quit” rumours that came from hundreds of “in the know” sources at the same time during the close season.  Could it be that the chairman or chief executive put his foot down and said no-more signings until a few leave, Mixu handed in his resignation which wasn’t accepted and a compromise was found bringing in a few new faces before the start of the season provided major efforts are made to get rid of as many as possible of the deadwood.  Sounds strangely plausible but then conspiracy theories usually do.

Here’s hoping the rest of the season will be like the Falkirk game!

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Mixu Paatelainen – another Hibs manager to quit?

July 28th, 2008 3 Comments »
mixu paatelainen

Mixu Paatelainen

Strong rumours abound in Edinburgh that Mixu Paatelainen has quit Easter Road, although this was denied on Talk 107 this morning.  The strength of the rumours is such that I’d be tempted to say there must be something in them.  I’ve no idea what really, my personal guess would be that unless money is made available to sign players, Mixu may be on the way out.

Hibs have not yet signed a player in the close season although there is a press conference tomorrow to announce something.  More than likely the signings of Steven Thicot, Fabien Yantorno and Joe Keenan.  None of whom are names that excite any Hibs fan I’ve spoken to.

When he was Hibs manager Tony Mowbray made public statements about not being able to take the club further and it was obvious why he left when he did.  John Collins left, actually stating outright that the board had not supported him after they had sold the best players that were left at Easter Road.  Could this be the start of our third manager’s disgruntlement on the same issue within three years?

If it is then the board at Easter Road, who are deeply unpopular with fans as it stands now anyway, will find they may have gone too far with their lack of support for the footballing side of what they only see as a business.

A football club needs good football players and a decent manager.  Hibernian and Rod Petrie in particular got lucky in bringing in a good manager in Tony Mowbray who got the best out of a great group of youngsters and managed to bring in a few bargains.  That team was sold by a board who have made no effort to replace them.

The Hibs board continued to sell during John Collins’ reign and he failed to bring in good players on the cheap.  It now appears that all is not well down Easter Road way and who would bet against the board and wage structure being the root of the problem?