Ginger Tosser or Ginger Genius?
Ginger Tosser or Ginger Genius?
So what do we make of the Ginger Tosser's exploits so far this season then? Who would have believed that hecould have taken a team from relegation to second top within three seasons?
Theirtransformation is all the more surprising when you think how crap they looked when we beat them 2-0 in April. I suppose they have made a few changes since then but still, never in a million years would you have expected them to be about 25 points ahead of us after a quarter of this season.
Butwhat it does me make wonder is how much of Hibs great start is down to him. Is he finally just getting a real grip on management after six years?
Imean many of us have tried to belittle and explain away anything he's ever achieved since he left us in somewhat acrimonious fashion. On reflection he must have been desperate to go as soon his luck began to turn at Fir Park, and when Hibs came calling a second time no amount of sweet talking from the Motherwell board was going to keep him in Lanarkshire this time.
Recallhow we all scoffed at his 'Best Young Manager in Scotland' tag that he was constantly labelled with while he was at Motherwell - even in the bad times. To 'Well fans there was little evidence that was the case yet plenty that the title was more down to who his pals were in the media rather than anything he'd done at Fir Park.
Whilehe didn't have a great amount of time to sort out Jim Duffy's mess, we still took great pleasure in his failure to save Hibs from the drop and even though they went straight up surely it was easiest First Division to win for seasons.
Admittedlythey did do pretty well in the SPL last season in their first season back but that again could be explained away. Most teams do well when they come up a division as the initiative from their promotion success continues for a time. And by the time that was a distant memory they had long since been given the safety net of no relegation thanks to Falkirk's failure to have an SPL standard ground. Therefore the Hibees had a rather gentle return to SPL life with time and space to gauge exactly what was required to succeed in the top flight.
Butthis season I do find myself having a bit of trouble explaining Hibs success away. It really has been a brilliant start for them and they (and I suppose old Ginge) deserve a hefty amount of praise. If they can keep their nerve and challenge the Old Firm for the title then that can only be a good thing and I would will them on against those two.
Somaybe McLeish has pulled it all together, learned the lessons from past experience, and is now doing things the way they should be done - I don't know. Maybe it's all a flash in the pan and the Hibees will drop like a stone next year.
Assuminghe is at last justifying something close to his 'Best Young Manager in Scotland' tag what if anything can we learn from him? Well for one, if its taken him nigh on six years managing two teams before he has moulded a team to challenge at the top, maybe we shouldn't be so harsh on Billy Davies, who of course has had little over two years in the job.
As it happens I think we do now have the 'Best Young Manager in Scotland' - Lets give Davies the breathing space and support to make sure he proves it.
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