Author Archives for Gemma

About Gemma

Football fan absolutely daft on Hibernian and Liverpool and big fan of Barcelona. Love writing about football but also many other topics as well. Local news, world wide news and write opinion articles as well. Live and love life. :)

Efe little thing is gonna be alright 🕺🏾

It’s another Saturday and it’s another visit to Easter Road.  How would it play out? No one knew.  It’s Hibs, it’s anyone’s guess.

I had thought about doing this blog as a vlog, something I am keen to try out, but I have a case of the hiccups that’s driving me insane.  I’ve tried the drinking the glass of water from the other side thing, didn’t work.  Held my breath, didn’t work so here we hiccing go.

Some changes in the side this week due to international duties being undertaken by Ofir Marciano and John McGinn and injury.  Darren McGregor was captain for the day and Dylan McGeouch and Ross Laidlaw made starts.  Paul Hanlon is back and was on the bench.  Good news indeed.

I should probably mention at some point that we were playing Falkirk and it was a bit of a crucial game.

Out bounded Hibs, led by McGregor.  A minutes silence for those who passed in the attack at Westminster on Wednesday then kick off.

What followed was 45 minutes of sheer…confusion.  Well, from a fans point of view anyway.  Sometimes it’s like we forget why we’re on the pitch.  The team seem almost shocked to be there and just flap about and hope Lady Luck is on their side.

Falkirk on the other hand…what a bunch of dirty tactics their manager has instilled in them and it won’t get them anywhere.  I am always of the view that football is a contact sport and I think that refs give away too many soft fouls but it’s an absolute disgrace to watch a team run out prepped to be dirty.  They had the odd spell of football but to watch professional football players make tackles they know are known as “leg-breakers” on other professional footballers is disgusting.  Proud of yourself Houston? Should you manage to get your team into the SPL for next season you’ll have to teach them how to play football again.

Back to football though.  Hibs do put us through the mill and that first half was just odd but not unexpected.  Watching it I did kind of think it had draw written all over it.  As a Hibby though, I did expect Falkirk to sneak a win and for my inner Neil Lennon to be drawn out.

Some of our passes were dismal.  Also, why do we keep sending high balls to Jason Cummings?  He’s not got the height and the opposition ALWAYS have someone who towers over him marking him.  Jason needs the ball to his feet, not his head.  At. His. Feet.

Well done to all the Hibernian and Falkirk fans on the 44th minute.

The referee blissfully blew for half time.  The referee, I might add, must have been picked off the street before the game because he seemingly didn’t know the rules most of the time.  It’s almost as if they grabbed someone and said ‘do you fit this top and shorts? Yes? Then come with me!’.

I’m willing to bet the officials in the Championship wish that we had fourth officials for all games (not just TV and Cup) so they could take the brunt of our Lenny’s rage.  The linesman that draws the near side must surely cringe and wish themselves somewhere else.  The trouble is, officials, Lenny is usually right.  He may go overboard at times but his complaints are generally justified.

We’ve gotten under Neil Lennon’s skin, I think I have written about that before but I believe it to be true.  There is something about us that does that to people.  Pat Fenlon and Alan Stubbs are recent converts and now Lennon joins them.  They feel the passion and the love we have for our club and they feed off it almost.  I sit a few seats away from a past Hibernian player who now comes to most every home game.  I spoke to him after the game today and he was just so chuffed with the game, with Hibs fight.  It beamed off him.  That is what we do.

In the first half Jason was taunted by the Falkirk support when he went to take corners but what do Hibs fans do? They outnoise the taunts and this was met with applause from Jason himself when coming to take a corner at where South meets West.  I don’t know why opposition fans bother, their taunts gee him up.

Anyway, half time saw the CIS League Cup 2007 legends getting airing, apart from Lewy of course, who was getting a “Lennon half time talk”.  Brilliant to see most of the lads together again.  Forever in our hearts.  My favourite of them all is Rob Jones for his incredible Rob Jones Shoves.  He managed them with panache and without being caught by the officials for the most part.

Onto the second half.  Frustrated Hibees getting upset.  Dunfermline beating Morton 1-0 at Morton.  Could Dunfermline hold on? Would Morton come back and win?

Well, Dundee United weren’t part of todays drama as they were off in the Irn Bru Cup Final against St Mirren.  They won it and though they are now out of the title race (bar a miracle), but still in the play off place race, well done to them for putting a trophy in their cabinet.  I know it seems daft to say they are out the title race because they still could but it’s unlikely.

The beginning of the second half was pretty much how the first half ended.  Falkirk only know dirty tricks, Hibs fans frustrated at the poor passes, the hoofballs and the just not shooting.  Keatings had replaced Shinnie at half time and brought a new air into the game but it just wasn’t to be, not immediately.

I find it hard to believe that Craig Sibbald is only 21.  Firstly, that hair cut, but secondly because his pace is awful.  So is his acting.  I think Falkirk should release him to Coronation Street.

After shouting ‘this is f***ing mince’ I would be put in my place by a certain cool cat, Mr Efe Ambrose.  His 75th minute goal opened the scoring at Easter Road and activated his beautiful celebration.

Oh how we celebrated.  Oh how a brilliant Hibs fan in the West ran towards the Falkirk fans with his strip over his head and how we LOVED that.  The Fear giving him abuse that we laughed at.  Amazing guy.  If anyone know who he is, let me know! I’d like to speak with him.

While Falkirk scored within two minutes after the goal.  Ahem 1-1.

Hibs business returns to normal.  We’ve got it all to do again.  This was going to be a draw, we’d not be that much ahead.  How dreadful.  How Hibs.

What a magical time 90+2 is for us and for Keats who smashed in a winning goal on his standing foot.  You, sir, are amazing.  A 2-1 win, ten points clear and we can only throw it away.

We’re not going to do that, we’re too good.

GGTTH

All pictures credit to Cameron Allan.

Thanks to the Club and the Hibs Announcer on Saturday for your help. 

Consistenly inconsistent, but that league title is ours

If there’s one thing you can be entirely sure of with Hibs it’s that they’ll be inconsistent.  It’s the only thing they are consistent with.  Not that it’s a new thing.  Most Hibees will have seen this and may feel the same.  What the hell happens to us?

At least once a season, usually about this time of year, we have a spell where we just…I don’t know.  Do you ever get that weird feeling when your sugar levels drop and a lethargy over comes you? That seems to be what happens with Hibs.  Something similar anyway.  It’s like a lethargy shrouds us and we just lose it.

Saturday was a prime example of it.  The ground felt weird the moment I walked in.  There was an odd atmosphere.  I put it down to having been up since six for work and being tired.  It just felt strange, like we were all expecting something stupid to happen but not mentioning it to each other.

The elderly gentleman who sits beside me asked me what I thought the score would be and I responded that I didn’t even want to take a wild guess at that.  After a week of backing donkeys at Cheltenham (one came in 19th!) I was in no place to be trying to guess what the score was going to be on Saturday.

About four minutes into the game I already knew what we were going to be doing for the entire match.  Dumbarton were parking their bus and we just do not know how to deal with that.  What will we do? Well, let’s have a team flap.

The first half was AWFUL.  Absolutely nothing good going on there at all.  Of course, referee awards penalty to Dumbarton and who takes it? Of course, Christian Nade.  He scores and they go in at half time 1-0 ahead.  Hibs go in ready for a tongue lashing.

I was glad it was half time because previously, a half time team shout from Neil Lennon usually bucks us up a bit.

Nope.

At times I thought they had 22 men on the park because every one of our players seemed to be double-marked.  Then, in a melee in the goalmouth Dumbarton scored again, but thankfully for us it was their own goal and it levelled the match.  Thank you Daniel Harvie, you put us back in the game.

So it seemed we had silenced the Dumbarton tambourine.  For a little while anyway.  A mere five minutes later Thomson shot from outside the box and BAM, they were 2-1 up.

The crowd were not happy.  Every misjudged pass, every stretched out passing play was questioned by the crowd and rightly so.  Why are we making six thousand passes before the ball even gets considered for the box?

Then Keats has a penalty saved.  Holty brought down in the box.  Yes, a penalty saved.  Could the day get any worse?

Just before the 80 minute mark there was a tussle between Jordon Forster and, who else, Christian Nade.  The incident ended up (somehow) in the technical area where, witnessed by everyone there, Nade punched Forster.  The only people in the region who didn’t see it were the linesman, who was standing looking at it, and the referee.

I’d had a fairly quiet match up until then but I was on my feet at that.  Should have been a straight red for Nade but referee consulted with linesman and both Nade and Forster got a yellow.  No, no way.  A punch is violent conduct, isn’t it? Dumbarton hooked Nade immediately.

Thankfully Martin Boyle sneaked us an enqualiser in the 83rd, aided by a mistake from keeper Alan Martin, and I will allow that the team did try very hard to keep the attack on for the remaining few minutes and Dumbarton’s shaky keeper could have been easily beat had we been able to properly have a shot on goal.  A couple of corners, a few chances but it finished 2-2 and that was that.

All is not lost though.  Other scores actually went our way (for a change).  Raith (when did they slip down to 7th?) beat Dundee Utd 2-1 and Morton beat Falkirk 1-0 putting them on level points with tomato heads team.  We still have a seven point advantage on Falkirk (and Morton) who have played all their games so far, we have one in hand and Morton have two.

We really, really, REALLY, can only throw this away now.  If we don’t win automatic promotion then…

I don’t believe we will chuck it in any way.  Hopefully the players gave themselves a fright because Saturday was a horror show.  Ever been asleep and had a nightmare that you couldn’t get yourself out of? That was how this match was.  One of those dreams where you only have your underpants on? Yep that too.  Just a disaster.

Hibs played on Saturday as if the league was already won and all they had to do was turn up.  Well, Hibs, that’s not the case.  As fans, we have put in all of our efforts this season.  I single out this season because the season ticket sales soared.  The away support have been terrific, travelling everywhere in numbers and often being treated to some poor displays but never losing the faith.  The home support has been huge.  We have been noisy and we have supported the team.  The singing section looks like it’ll move to the FF stand to increase fan participation in singing.  That’s a huge move for the singing section who have been doing a fantastic job this season.

No one has lost the faith.  It’s just taken a bashing at the moment.  We need that team, our team, to stand up, admit they were awful and prove to us that it’s not going to be how they are now.

We have Falkirk this coming Saturday.  We have Jason back for it but Marciano and McGinn away.  I’m not worried about losing Marciano, Laidlaw did fine when he was out before, but I would ask Strachan to give us back McGinn if he has no interest in playing him on the Sunday.  What international experience is he gaining sitting in the stands? Yes, proud of him for getting the call up but if Strachan has no use for him then we do and we’ll happily take him back for the Saturday game.  I’m happy our boys get selected but overall I am club before country.  I will support Neil Lennon if he asks for McGinn to come back.

Sports Channels

Please, please, please stop apologising for when supporters say swear words.  I know you are trying to avoid complaints but, basically, when you have competitive sport you’re going to get some choice words.  People watching football on the TV are more than likely aware of this.  Basically you are apologising for fan enthusiasm.  Stop it.  Stop it.  If you need to, at the start of the game tell us that there may be some choice wording but don’t apologise for it.  It’s patronising the emotion that fans feel for their clubs, most of the time.

Back to Hibs

Personally, I would have had the squad in for an 8 am training session on Sunday.  Or earlier.  The weather is crap, it ruins their Saturday night (not a fan of that but there is good reason) and it means the manager is serious.

Otherwise, it’s time to get serious.  One week to get ready to welcoming Falkirk here.  If we fail in that endeavour then we need to question who we are.

In saying all that.  None of us are going to stop supporting you, Hibs.  Just get the finger oot and finish what we’ve started.  We love you 😀

GGTTH

Thank you to our very own Callum Kane who provided inspiration for the blog and for the title 🙂

 

 

 

Red cards and handbags at Tannadice but Hibs win, the league is ours

In all honesty I have no idea where to start with this blog.  After watching Dundee Utd v Hibs I am under no illusions who is the better team (Hibs – natch) but what a game.  What a refereeing disaster.

I’ll admit to nerves going into this game.  Hibs Cup performances of late have been off the park but our leagues games have not been great.  Scrappy, perhaps.

The hope was that Hibs would channel their inner cup into the league on Friday evening and, to be fair, they did.  Cannot argue with that.  Hibs ran out at Tannadice with a win in mind.  Team selection was perfect, for me, and good that Darren McGregor was back in there after his cup suspension last weekend.

Referee Don Robertson started off well but finally lost it.  He started off the game more or less good but as it got more aggressive he lost control.  He was let down by his assistants as well, which doesn’t help.  He booked David Gray after missing a blatant yellow on Grant Holt seconds before.  Despite being up with play! He should have given a red card to Dundee United’s Mark Durnan for an elbow to David Gray’s face but despite looking straight at it he failed to pick up on it, and neither did his assistant. Most officials know that David Gray doesn’t go down easily and for him to have travelled before going down says a lot.  In my very humble opinion that was a straight red.

It wasn’t a great performance from Hibs but it was enough.  The gap has opened but we still can’t be complacent because…well, because we are Hibs.  We don’t do easy.  The word Easy doesn’t exist at Hibs or East Mains.  It’s the way it is.  We laaav the challenge really. 😉 We respond to it really.  We’ve some to do but we’ll do it.  We will.

Now Jason.  First yellow for dissent.  Silly really.   Was the ref, Don Robertson, right to give it? Alright, he bounced the ball off the ground and mouthed a bit but would a more experieneced referee just have cautioned him?

Second yellow.  Jason did something that looked like a Superman into the goal and sadly his hand reached the ball before his head.  No idea what was going through his head there.  It’s a Jason thing but if he’d only kept his hand down his nut was connecting with the ball.  It might not have went in but he’d not have went in either!

Jason though.  He has his mad moments.  There is no doubt that Neil Lennon will have told him how, exactly, he feels about that red card.  In covering his card suspension we have Keats and there is no problem for me with Holt and McGinn and, to be fair, the rest of the team clicking in.

As much as many went ‘wtf’ at the red card, Jason scored the goal that won us the game.  It’s difficult to be angry at the lad for long.  He’s playing superb football under Lennon and growing a lot as a footballer.

I wouldn’t say we’re on form in the league but we’ve won this game.  We’ve taken them and won 1-0 so that is a lovely three points for us.  The league is ours to lose! And by God we’ll try haha!

In reality I can’t see Hibs losing the league after defeating Dundee United.  It would take a monumental lack of interest and we don’t have this. Dumbarton at home next on the 18th and then Falkirk on the 25th also at home.  Then Morton at home on the 29th in the rescheduled fixture.  Three  must wins to give us something breathing space.  Falkirk still fancy their chances as do Morton (away there on April 8th).  It would be lovely to be able to go into the Scottish Cup semi final with the league in the bag.

SPFL

Hopefully Efe Ambrose has proven himself to Hibs fans.  The coolest man on the pitch at Tannadice and did his job nicely.  He’s not had any “mishaps” (so far) and I think he’s been a great addition to the team. What’s the meme? Efe little thing is gonna be alright.

I’ve noticed there seems to be something of a seethe going on about Neil Lennon’s connections to Celtic.  The seethe comes from other teams fans.  Not Hibs fans.  Forgive me if I am wrong but part of being a manager/head coach is having connections and Lennon will have many through his time as a player and a manager.  So, yes, if we’ve got injury problems it makes sense to use those connections and bring in decent players.  Doesn’t it? Perhaps the seethe is having a manager whose only connection is his laptop? Who knows? Or a new manager who seems a bit partial to your great rivals?

Anyway, back to Hibs.  It’s in our hands now.  Our fans are a different class at the moment and that is undoubtedly helping the team.  We’re asking them to do a job and they are doing it and we’re doing ours.

GGTTH

 

 

 

 

Cup romance must wait, Hibs need to woo the League

‘Here we go, two in a row’.  It’s got a nice ring about it.  The cup romance is still with us.  We’re still in love with the whole experience.  Having failed to win it in 114-years we now face the fairytale of winning it for the second time.  Oh what a time to be alive.

I don’t like bringing this up but I’m sure every Hibby remembers Sunday the 25th May 2014.  We remember all right.  After an absolute shambles Hibs were relegated from the SPL to the Scottish Championship.  I remember the feeling of being absolutely lost.  I remember the tears running down my cheeks, the scarves flying from above me onto the pitch.  The boos.  I saw other people crying, children and adults.  Old timers too.

The moronic Butcher didn’t step back and look at the damage he’d already done but carried on axing members of our squad before anyone had time to take it all in.  Thankfully he was booted not long after.  Farewell Butcher and Malpas, clown and sideshow act.

Things didn’t just look bleak, they looked finished.  There was a chance Leeann Dempster might not come to Hibs because of the relegation but she stuck true to her word and came in at, in reflection, the perfect bloody time.

It was a truly dreadful time for Hibs and the loyal support.  The Jambos at work were in ecstasy.  Having been mocked by us for all their shenanigans in the weeks prior, they ripped us up.  (Aye that would never come back and haunt you Jambos, shower of dafties).

The weeks to the start of the new season were fraught.  Many, many fans pledged their support simply because of it being the club that they love.  I was one of them.  Bucking Championship but how could I walk away?

In a few shorts weeks we had to appoint a manager and get a team together.  We started the season light on bodies and that did for us.

Look at us now though.  We’re still in the Championship, yes, but look at us.  We’re Scottish Cups winners.  We, as of writing, still are the holders and we will be all the way up to the weekend of April 22/23 and possibly beyond.  In May 2014, the idea of being Scottish Cup winners two years later was just ridiculous.  The idea that a year later, in March 2017, we’d be heading to the semi-final again…that would have seemed ludicrous.

However, the idea that we’d still be in the Championship in 2017 was not even in consideration.  So that we are is a concern and one we can hopefully fix in the next six games.

I say the next six games because that’s the amount of league games we have between now and the semi-final with Aberdeen.  The first is, what could potentially be a toughie, Dundee United at Tannadice.  It is a must win.  In fact that, and the following five, for me, are must wins.  A potential 18 points there.  That would sort the league out and leave us free to concentrate on the semi and then, potentially, the final.

Six games, six weeks to get the head in the right place and win the league.  There’s no need to concentrate on the Cup, we’re there, in the semi.  Falkirk are only 6 points behind us.  We all know Peter Houston will be wanking into a sock about that.  When we face them at Easter Road on the 25th of this month let us be further ahead.  Let’s hope they’ve dropped points and not the other way around.

Stubbs rebuilt us and Lennon has carried that on but even he is a bit puzzled as to the performances of late.  I think everyone is.

A stinking mid-week performance in Paisley hasn’t helped but, to give St Mirren credit, they are playing well and Jack Ross has boosted the side with confidence.  The players clearly believe in him and their performance against Celtic in the first half of the quarter-final at Celtic Park shows just how far they have come in a very short time.  They made Celtic look ordinary and, of course, they went into the tunnel at half time 1-0 up. A lovely goal by Harry Davis.

They didn’t do much wrong in the second half either, only Celtic upped it and the bringing on of Roberts at half time for GMS changed the way they played.  St Mirren should be proud of what they did in that 90 minutes.  Brendan Rodgers said they were the best domestic team Celtic had faced all season.  Take from that what you will rest of the SPL (means you’re crap, Rangers).

Rangers will be over-confident after their 6-0 win over Hamilton at Ibrox.  They’ll believe they can beat Celtic in the semi’s.  Delusion (they call it confidence) is in abundance at the moment.  OK, but they’ve forgotten they make the trip to Celtic Park next Sunday in the league.  Let’s see how that goes.

For me the league must take priority.  Forget the cup now.  Forget all about it.  We’re not even in it.  It’s only the league we must concentrate on.  I have written before that we cannot do another season in this league and I don’t believe we will.  We’re the best team in this league by a country mile and we’re better than some in the SPL as well.  So we should be up there next season and challenging.

I finish this post with a poll.  I’ll vote League with no Cup because going up is the goal but my word, we sort this league out before this semi and this could be a very magical season.

GGTTH

Living on my own *not a football blog*

I’m aware the whole site has become a bit Hibernian related recently and that is fine for followers who are Hibernian supporters, or even interested in football.  For people who follow me for other reasons it’s probably getting a bit wearing.

So here’s a blog about living on my own.  No, not the wonderful Queen song, but the actual act of living alone.  Is living alone an act? Who knows? It’s certainly interesting.

Although in my – ahem – middle-to-late thirties (pushing the boat out a bit there), I, for whatever reason, have always lived with someone.  Well, apart from the 6 weeks my cousin entrusted me with her family home while they went to Australia.  This was a few years ago now, when I was in my twenties.  OK, more than a few years ago then! Jeezo.

flooded-bathroom

Oops!

During that six weeks the bathroom flooded and I had to rip up the carpet.  I couldn’t find the source of the leak but whenever I turned on the sink tap or the bath tap the entire bathroom filled up a bit…

Add to that the day the neighbour upstairs knocked down because I had my music on.  Middle of the day, cleaning the house and I had some music on.  Just about every night they locked their rarely-walked dog in a bedroom and pissed off to the pub.  Every night that poor dog howled and howled.

So, one day, a few days after the knocking down, I went to the local shops.  There she was, the woman of the house upstairs.  She was standing with a group of friends.  Or associates, who knows? Anyway, she made for me first.  I merely put my hand up and stopped her.  Anyone who knows me will know that I am not backwards at coming forwards and I will say what I think.

I can’t remember entirely what I said but it went along the lines of ‘if you bang down again when I have my music on I’ll just turn it up louder’.  No, it wasn’t that haha.  I basically told her she’d had it if she knocked down again and I’d get that dog out the house away for her and her thick other half and I’d make it so they wanted to move house very soon.  Well, words to that effect.  It worked though.  The dog suddenly got walked, they were very quiet and when they went out the dog got the freedom of the house when they were out and seemed quite happy at that.  It was a fairly quiet five weeks after that.  Well, not when I had my music on.

Aside from that, I only left their house unlocked for 12 hours while away just the once!

So, here I am, living on my own.  I’m loving it.  An entire two bedroom paradise all to myself and I call it Fox Towers (because it’s upstairs).  It’s a five minute walk from Fox Manor, the land of mother and father.  This has been both a blessing – suddenly deciding to nip round for tea when I can’t think of anything, and also a burden – mother suddenly appearing at the door when I’m eating my tea.  (Only joking mother, you’re welcome any time…).

I moved last December and, due to a cock-up, had to sleep on my brand new mattress for almost a month until my bed arrived on the 23rd.  Sleeping on a mattress on a floor like a student was a novelty that wore off after about two nights.  When you’re my age with a dodgy back…well, there is no dignity in having to haul yourself up with the help of the wall and the window ledge…

beko-washing-machine

Mystery 3 and a half hour cycle

I’ve also discovered I have conversations with things.  This hadn’t really been something I had thought about until Thursday evening when I found myself talking to the washing machine.  I’d put it on at four in the afternoon, on a Quick Wash and three and a half hours later it finally slipped into what might have been it’s final spin.  So, I found myself in the kitchen asking it if it was thinking about finishing any time soon.  I then added ‘please, because I need to get the stuff out and dried for Saturday’.  It obliged.  I then thought about it and realised I also speak to the boiler an awful lot.  It has a pressure problem.  It drops suddenly and then “err 108” flashes on the screen.  This will usually happen just as I have stepped in the shower and turned the water on.  Rather than lovely, instant hot water, it’ll be frozen.  That’ll be followed by ‘effing boiler’ a string of expletives as I have to get out the shower, find a towel or house coat, run through to the kitchen and up the pressure by twisting both of it’s knobs.  Hard.  I’ll then ask it why it has to do this to me when it was working fine five minutes before I stepped in the shower.  It’s answer is just to burst into life and provide me with the hot water I need for a shower.  Thanks!

On continued reflection I realised I have had converstions with the TiVo box (what is you are recording because I have set nothing up?), the printer (why does my laptop say you’re printing when you can’t even get out of standby mode?), I’ve had conversations with my curtains and my hoover (about how useless it is on hoovering my stairs, I had to buy a hand held one for this task!).  I also had to ask my Hibs (had to get them in somehow haha) calendar why it fell off the wall.

I met the aforementioned cousin on the bus on Friday and she asked me that now I’m on my own, do I talk to myself? I just looked at her and said ‘Oh, um, well, sometimes I suppose!’.  Well, it’s true.  I’m normally speaking to something!

Oh, and I casually mentioned to the washing machine earlier than when it goes I’m getting a twin tub.

Hibs must make league priority, Twitter has loan meltdown

If there’s one thing that any Hibs fan knows with absolute certainty it’s that if there is a hard way to do something Hibs will pick to do it that way.

The derby cup mauling of the Jambos was only just over a week ago but it seems much longer than that as Hibs seem to have lost their way a bit in the league.  Prior to the cup derby game there was the soul destroying point at Raith which led to Neil Lennon’s heavy criticism of his team.

However, the demolition derby looked like it had given Hibs new lease of life, they outclassed and outplayed Hearts to win 3-1 and set the atmosphere on fire.  Hibs fans left Easter Road satisfied and jubilant, exuberant and with no malice.  Job done, Hearts out for the second year in a row in the fifth round dispatched by us after a draw at Tynecastle and a replay at Easter Road.

Then would come Saturday. Back to league duty.  Lurking feelings that a league and cup double could be a possibilty but the priority should be the league.  Only it didn’t seem like it.

Dunfermline came to Easter Road to face what should have been a tough game for them.  Hibs should have been on a high.  Hibs were on a cup derby hangover.  Managing to get two-nil up the game finished 2-2.  OKay, I thought.  Let them have that.  They put so much into the derby they probably were feeling a little tired.  Neil Lennon said after the match that they were. That’s fine.  Dundee United hadn’t fared well earlier in the day do no real damage done.

Then came Wednesday.  Hibs, top of the league.  St Mirren bottom of the league and starting to drift.  Hibs and some nine-hundred and odd fans made the journey west to Paisley to face St Mirren at the Paisley 2021 Stadium.  I never actually knew it was called that until today.  Since they moved from Love Street I’ve just said they played at St Mirren Stadium.

That, however, is by the by.  Hibs, in central defender injury hell, made the emergency loan signing deal that nearly broke the Internet, brought in Efe Ambrose on loan from Celtic and signed Brian McLean on short-term deal until the end of the season.

As far as Twitter meltdowns go, I’ve seen many.  Not just about football but in politics, American politics, news, but Monday night on Twitter was insane for those who follow Scottish football.

The first part of the meltdown seemed to be concerning Raith Rovers.  Their three keepers were all injured in different ways.  Raith were already had the maximum amount of loan signings but had found a way to sign a permanant contract with an on loan player from Aberdeen so that they could bring in Celtic keeper Logan Bailly to help them through the injury spell.  Only Bailly let them down late on Monday evening.  Raith then went on to ask for a postponement of the match which was denied by the SPFL.  There were other ways for Raith to have a secured a keeper but those options did not seem to be taken by Raith or they were unable to use those options.  They ended up deciding to put Ryan Stevenson in goals who was up for it.

The secon part of the meltdown around this involved Hibs being able to sign Efe Ambrose but Raith not being able to sign an emergency goalkeeper.  St Mirren keeper and coach, Jamie Langfield, was particularly vocal about this on Twitter, as were several other people.  Hibs fans responded by trying to point out the efforts Raith had made and why Hibs had bought in Efe Ambrose.  Some people don’t or don’t want to understand and that’s how they’ll always be.  Apparently Hibs were abusing a rule “again” that any team not in the SPL can use.  You just have to make sure you don’t have too many loan signings already, that is all.

Another thing worth pointing out is that although the rule has the word “emergency” in it, it doesn’t need to be so.  Even if we didn’t have our CD injury problems, Neil could have brought in Ambrose just to bolster the position.

At the end of it all, Ryan Stevenson gave a good account of himself on Tuesday evening.  According to those who witnessed the game at Somerset Park, Ryan made some excellent saves.  Raith lost 1-0 (goal scored for Ayr by ex-Hibs player Farid el Alagui) on that evening.  Maybe a goalie who didn’t know the team might have let in more?

However, Twitter meltdown aside, Hibs went into Wednesday night game with Efe Ambrose in the starting XI and Brian McLean on the bench.  Top side against bottom side.  Maybe we expected we’d just win it.

When my phone went bzzz with a score update I fully expected it to be Hibs, but no.  St Mirren had gone one up with January signing Stelios Demetriou.  OK, I thought, Hibs will pull this back.  I went onto Twitter to see the thoughts of those at the game and they were not good.  Phone went bzzz at half time and I thought, well, Lennon would haul them over the coals at half time.  Well, if he did, it didn’t work.  Mere seconds after my phone went bzzz for the restart it went bzzz for St Mirren’s second goal, also scored by Demetriou.  Twitter and texts told me all I needed to know, Hibs were abysmal. No way back for Hibs.  Zero points for the league leaders and three for the club at the bottom of the league.  Good on you St Mirren, from all accounts you wanted it more and played the current Scottish Cup Champions and league leaders off the park.  You deserve the three points.

So, what next Hibs? Lennon wasn’t as irate as anyone thought he would be.  He was very mild considering two weeks ago a draw and a point had seen him lose it.  First loss in three months and he’s fairly quiet about it.  What is there to say though? Ranting at the team hasn’t worked.  So is it right to take the quieter approach and just say that he hopes the team learn from it?

Who knows? Hibs are seven points clear at the top of the Championship but we go to Tannadice on Friday.  If we lose there it’s four points difference and they have a game in hand.  We never do things easily but Hibs, I can’t do another season in this league.  It’s been fine for rebuilding – I would rather have done that in this league than the SPL – we’ve won that elusive Scottish Cup and no one will ever take away the magic and the memories of the 21st of May 2016 (and the day after!).  As much as we’d love to win the Cup again we HAVE to go up this season.  We have to do it automatically.  We’re tired of this league.

It’s OK to go out on Saturday and get beat by Ayr, although not destroyed by them! It will be disappointing for sure but we’ll still be Scottish Cup Holders until someone else lifts the trophy in May, and we’ll still have won it.  But we have to go up this season.  It’s not even questionable.

If the players minds are on the cup and not on the league them please, Neil Lennon, Garry Parker, Alan Coombe and everyone else – get their minds sorted.  If we beat Ayr on Saturday then fine but the concentration is on the league.  A few weeks ago Neil Lennon said the cup will take care of itself.  It will, but the league will not.  We have to win it.

We’ll be behind you ever more Hibs.  GGTTH

Second fifth round Derby defeat puts Hibs in charge of the City

I’d been buzzing all week for this derby.  Whatever I’ve been doing it’s been there in my mind, somewhere in my mind there was a rendition of Hibs, Hibs or Here We Go, Two in a Row going on.  I was also singing Hibs, Hibs but using other words like “Clips, Clips” and when at home in my freezer “Chips, Chips”. Continue reading

Replay sell out, let’s do it again Hibs.

On Saturday I wrote a blog after Neil Lennon’s post match interview.  Well, it wasn’t really a blog, more a gigantic rant about his comments, particularly those about Jason Cummings.

On Sunday I re-read it and thought ‘hmm, not sure that’s a helpful blog and it is a rant’ so I tweeted about it and ended up having such a great debate on Twitter about it all that I decided the blog didn’t need posted.  That’s the great thing about Twitter, people actually discuss.  Had I tried that on Facebook I would likely be told I was the worst Hibs fan ever.

Anyway, Saturday is over and done with.  Lennon was justified in some of his comments and not in others, in my opinion.  I just hope he hasn’t let the team heads go down.

This week Hibs have two floodlit matches.  Wednesday night against Hearts in the replay and Saturday at Easter Road as well against Dumfermline, kick off 17:15.  I have to admit, it’s by chance I spotted the kick-off time on Saturday or else I would have been there at three o’clock wondering why it was very quiet…

I have to admit I am buzzing for Wednesday night.  I cannot wait.  The ground is sold out and I am hoping the Leith San Siro is going to be bouncing.  Hibs statement about the sell out below.  Straight to the point.

Tickets for Wednesday’s William Hill Scottish Cup Fifth Round replay against Heart of Midlothian have now sold out.

An additional 1300 tickets were placed on sale on Monday morning, with all tickets selling out for the Edinburgh Derby.

Monday evening and I was watching Sutton United living the dream and playing Arsenal at their own ground, the wonderfully named Gander Green Lane.  The ground holds just over 5,000 and Arsenal only had about 500 seats and the rest went to Sutton fans who had the place bouncing.  As I was watching this I was also flicking through Twitter and saw the following video in my timeline.


It’s a beautifully made video charting Darren McGregor’s career so far and finishing with him being at the club he loves.  It also includes footage of the 2016 Cup Final.  I still get goosebumps and a shiver down my spine when Gray nods in Liam Henderson’s corner.  ‘What’s kept you Hibs?’, ‘At last, at last, at last!’.

All eyes are now on the replay at Easter Road.  Well, not those of the people who didn’t get tickets.  The selling of the tickets for this match was fair but supply can’t meet demand when you sell out and people still want tickets.  I’m not sure why the game isn’t being shown on the TV, must be contractual because I have had a look at my TV guide and on Wednesday night only Sky Sports 1 is showing live sport at the time we play, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are all showing programmes that could be changed.  As for the other channels well…

Here it comes, football under the floodlights, a packed ground, Hibby’s will be in fine voice, the South Stand will have Quiet Please signs all over the place.  No doubt they’ll make a half-hearted effort of their own song before lapsing into silence with their song book dead and buried.  Efforts have been made on their laugh-inducing forum to come up with new songs.  One of the best being sung to the tune of Sunshine on Leith.  Yes, they went there.  Please sing it on Wednesday.  Pleeeasssse.

League be forgotten if only for one night.  I’m confident of a win, that much is true.  It may be misplaced but I am.  Why? Because I feel we can do it.  We’re missing Paul Hanlon and we don’t have a settled team but I just think the mentality is there.  I think the toughness is there.  Fingers crossed Lennon starts Jason and also Holt.  Don Cowie will think twice with McGregor hovering around.  If anyone didn’t see it, Darren McGregor sent Cowie into outer space in the original tie.  I’m sure Cowie is still seeing stars as it was a cracker.  Holt might be lacking goals but he is tough and takes no crap.  Hearts found it hard to deal with him in the original tie and I don’t think they’ll have worked out how to deal with him as he just batters his way through teams.  He has his critics but I am not one.

Put your all and everything into this Hibs, we want to win it.  Two in a row would be fab but it’s not our season goal.  Our goal this week is to put Hearts in their place then carry on with the league.  We can go out to Ayr in the next round, I won’t mind, but defeating Hearts is a must.

Let’s do this Hibs.

Remember and brush up on your lyrics for this song.  Whatever happens on Wednesday they can ram their 1902.

Ploughing the Tynecastle field, Hibs, Hibs woah oh oh oh oh oh

Another cup run, another fifth round meeting with Hearts at Tynecastle, another draw, another replay at Easter Road.  Another seethe from Hearts fans who can only come at us with “celebrating a draw”.

Watching on TV Sunday it was clear that Hibs fans were backing our team.  The best I have heard in a while.  The whole away end singing and backing the team.  That’s the difference.  That’s what we do.  It’s hardly “celebrating a draw” to support your team to the 90th minute.

However, singing in the home stands at Tynecastle appears to be an offence.  A few brave souls clad in maroon and white did try a half-hearted attempt before the start of the match but after that it was if they’d all gone home.  The difference between Hibs and Hearts at the moment are that Hibs fans are supporting the team.  In a key game the fans got out there and backed the team.  The team will always respond to that.  If there had been a moment in the game that would have seen Hibs heads go down the fans would have lifted them right up again.

The input on matchday that Hearts fans give is dreadful.  This is from the “big” team, the one that rules the city.  They’re going to outsing us in the replay, apparently.  By singing what exactly? They haven’t replaced the song book they lost on the 21st of May 2016 at 90+2.  Maybe Ian Cathro can look up some on his magic iPad.

I’ll admit to nerves going into Sunday’s derby but then it’s a derby and I always do have them despite how confident I am.  I don’t always agree with everything Neil Lennon does but when the starting XI was put out I knew straight away that this was the best team for this match.  From the players he was able to select from he got it spot on (I’m sure he’ll be glad to hear that haha).  Derby experience and toughness in there.  Only Holty and Marciano having never experienced the Edinburgh derby before but no worries there.

It might have been Cathro and Lennon’s debut derby but Lenny has the advantage of being a player and a manager in the most hated filled of derbies in the west of the country.  He’d obviously done his homework on Hearts.  They were filled with a bit of confidence after deafeating a terrible Rangers team and ten-man Motherwell.

Hibs were always going to dominate.  It was evident from the moment the game started.  It’s not that Hearts were dreadful (they were) but that there was very little derby-experienced players in there.  Ah well.

It was always going to be hard to play free-flowing football on a pitch that looks like it’s just been dug up for tattie season.  I know Anne is desperate to get the money for the new stand but using the pitch for growing spuds has not been one of her better ideas, it has to be said.

In his after match interview Cathro said he would have liked to have seen more free flowing football… On a lumpy pitch, Ian? Really? Did you even take a look at the pitch before thinking up the tactics or did the magic iPad come up with that one?

Hibs were, to a man, great on Sunday lunchtime.  No complaints about anyone.  Bartley’s back pocket was bulging, Don Cowie will never go near Darren McGregor again, Marciano, just back from a knock, knew exactly where the ball was at the right time.  John McGinn taking on two or three at a time, sometimes lost the ball but always got it back.  The team flew.

There’s always the threat that Hearts will get their usual penalty and that was the only danger they threatened us with.  Their ten minute sparky spell after half time fizzed out easily.  Referee Willie Collum was actually pretty fair throughout the match, he picked up on the dirty tactics of a home team who were just way out of their depth.

Holty has his critics, I am not one.  He was in the team today to add toughness and it worked.  No longer will Hibs be bossed on the pitch.  We’ve needed this toughness for a long time and today it was there in abundance and it worked.  We have been too soft before and we have lost concentration before but neither was a worry on Sunday.

Meanwhile at Ibrox…

Friday night was interesting.  Flicking through Twitter and suddenly there’s a Rangers statement regarding Mark Warburton.  Rangers statements are always comedy gold so it was clicked on and read.  After that was a complete shambles.  Rangers had accepted his resignation, Warburton denied having tendered it.  Should have a word with your agent about that Warbs.  That’s what happens when you try and sneak a move to another club and send your agent in to speak to your bosses.  Despite Rangers JUST getting by Morton on Sunday afternoon (and Morton missed a great chance to take the tie to a replay) the headlines are never about the football at that club.

So on to  the replay on the 22nd.  A Wednesday evening at 19:45.  Football under the lights.  If it’s not 3pm on a Saturday it should be mid-week under the lights.  We love it.  We LOVE it.  If any Hearts fan thinks they’re coming to Easter Road to skelp us then think again.  We won’t be outsung and you won’t put us out the cup.  That honour will be for Ayr.

GGTTH

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