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Opportunity Knocks For New Faces

Pat Fenlon was a very busy man in January as he attempts to build a team capable of preventing Hibernian from the dreaded drop. A new air of optimism is wafting around the Hibee world as we managed to secure the services of no fewer than 9, yes 9, players! With 5 players leaving, Hibs were by far the busiest Scottish club this transfer window.

Only Eoin Doyle and  Pa Saikou Kujabi are actual signings, with the other 7 lads being loan deals. But Hibs fans are not going Tonto over this, in fact we are very happy with our Loan Arranger. In Pat we trust.

So practically a brand new team and it breaks down like this…

Matt Doherty- Wolves (Defender)  – loan to June 2012
Roy O’Donovan- Coventry City (Striker) – loan to June 2012
Jorge Claros- Motagua (Midfielder) – loan to January 2013
Pa Saikou Kujabi-Unattached (Defender)  – signed to June 2013
George Francomb- Norwich City (Defender) – loan to June 2012
Tom Soares- Stoke City (Midfielder) – loan to June 2012
James McPake- Coventry City (Defender) – loan to June 2012
Eoin Doyle -Sligo Rovers (Striker) – signed to June 2013
Leigh Griffiths -Wolves (Striker) – loan extension to June 2012

Players that have left the club:

Akpo Sodje
Michael Hart
Junior Agogo
Victor Palsson
Matthew Thornhill
David Crawford

2 players that are getting the Hibee hoardes salivating are Pa Saikou Kujabi and Jorge Claros.

Kujabi is a rampaging left back who is known in his homeland as the ‘Gambian Roberto Carlos’. 25 years old and 10 international caps, he has played in Austria & Germany.

Claros is exciting the Hibs faithful the most though. A target for Rangers who seemingly put in a “laughable” bid for him only to have us to pinch him from under their noses. The Rangers (spit) messageboards went into meltdown when they found out he would be signing for us ‘junkies’, for that is what they call us in the banterous world of Scottish fitba. Yes their humour knows no bounds…

Claros is Honduran and is known there as ‘The Pitbull’. This man has even survived a bullet to his head in a failed robbery attempt. A tough cookie it seems. Just what the Cabbage have been crying out for. He has played 15 times for his country.

After a dismal 4-0 thumping from Rangers last Saturday, there is a new spring in our step with all these signings. Up next is the Scottish Cup clash with Kilmarnock. Could it be possible that this bunch can do what no Hibs team has done since Buffalo Bill was still fighting the Indians, and win that most elusive of prizes?

Who knows? But it sure is gonna be exciting finding out.

Good Work Undone

After getting a great result last week at Dunfermline, typical Hibs go and shoot themselves in the foot by losing to St Johnstone at home in the following match.

The feel good factor has gone already and now it’s back to “Help ma boab! We might get relegated”. Scary times at the Leith San Siro. A crowd of just under 9000 turned up to witness one of the most inept displays of defending I have ever seen in many a long year. And (sadly) I have seen a lot of it when it comes to Hibs.It wasn’t that the St Johnstone forwards were that good (which they were) it really is down to basic, frankly absurd mistakes in our back four that handed the ‘Tractor Boys’ the three points. This cannot go on. Pat Fenlon needs to, no, has to, find us a couple of centre halfs in this window or we are going down. Rumours today that we are getting James McPake on loan from Coventry City. Seems a decent enough player to get in, he knows the Scottish game as he’s played here before. I’m just hoping he’s a bit (to use an Edinburgh term) radge! A fighting, battling, take no prisoners, type of defender.

The club as a whole has been rudderless for years. Starting from the boardroom down. I am not a fan of our so called chiefs who are businessmen rather than football men. Sure, they built us a shiny new stadium and training centre but they took their eye off the ball when it came down to being a football club. And the shiny new stadium will be a massive white elephant if ,god forbid,we end up playing in the First Division.

There are no leaders in the team. Not one player who will impose himself on our own lads, never mind the opposition players. I want shouters and battlers screaming at our team to get their fingers out and realise the situation we are in. Another rumour is we are after midfielder Jim Goodwin from St Mirren. He is exactly the type of player we are needing right now. A 30 year old Irishman who keeps it simple and goes in hard. Getting him may be fruitless as he is quoted as saying he is happy at the Buddies. He is their club captain after all.

Some good news though, Leigh Griffiths scored again and is looking a quality signing for us. But he IS a radge! A homegrown, dyed in the wool, Hibee radge, who shows desire and skill but can get caught up in the hurly-burly of it all. Another hand gesture to the crowd (his third in recent weeks) which will see him sitting in the stands rather than doing what he does best. Scoring the goals to keep us up.

Rangers at Ibrox up next. Let’s hope we do what we did last season and go there and tank them 3-0. That was the craziest result for us last year, as we were woeful leading up to that game too, yet we pulled off our greatest result of another infuriating season.

As Greavsie always said to the Saint “It’s a funny old game” By gum, he was right!.

A Trip Back In Time

I’ve been to a lot of grounds in Scotland but Saturday was my first trip to the proverbial “One horse town” known as Cowdenbeath. Hibs had drawn the ‘Blue Brazil’ in the Scottish Cup.I had managed to wangle a free ticket from a fellow kind Hibee from the excellent website ‘Hibees Bounce’. Nice one.

The ground itself is an eye opener to say the least. 2 ramshackle stands, terracing that belongs in the past, a (what looked like) pigeon hut in one corner, and a ( I kid you not) a stock car racing track surrounding a tattie field of a pitch. One look at the place and I thought “the Hibs players are in for a shock when they take to the park.”With an Arctic blast blowing all afternoon there was no shelter on the terracing from it’s icy grip. It must have been terrible for both teams to play in. However they managed to provide the 2600 odd crowd with a Cup cracker.

Hibs went one down within 16 seconds. The 2000 Hibees groaned collectively. “Here we go again” we’re all thinking. Hibs didn’t let the goal get to them though. Slowly they got into their stride and started to dominate. 3 cracking goals from Griffiths, new boy Doyle (I like the look of this lad) and Spoony had us on easy street. But this is Hibs, we do things the hard way, and with 20 minutes to go Beath scored again (a sublime goal) to set up a nervy ending to the match.

3-2 Final Score, and the main thing is the ‘Cabbage’ are through to the next round.I wonder who we will get when the draw is made on Monday? Fingers crossed for a home tie against lower league opposition, though to be fair, these clubs will probably want Hibs as we are an easy touch at the moment. But at least we are there and I have faith in Nutsy in turning us around.