There – I’ve quoted the name. The one that’s tripping off practically every Hibs supporters lips at the current time. Presently Derek remains sitting out his contract at Celtic, shorn of match fitness by manager Strachan who appears to have taken personal exception to the young goal scorer and who has consistently refused to play him for the Glasgow club during his own at Parkhead.
At the time of writing – and this situation is a dynamic one that could change at any moment, the transfer window in Scottish Football is due to close on Monday and the usual rumour-mill is wound up to full speed. The Hibs online communities are beside themselves to discuss the possibly of a Messiah-like return to Hibs of the slimly built hit-man. Literally scores of forum threads have been dedicated to the subject rendering the persuing of those messageboads almost unreadable at times.
As those with an interest know, Derek left Easter Road around two years ago amidst a bad atmosphere and one of recriminations around the manner of his departure. He was seen by many to have sold the club short financially at that time and one of the many rumours surrounding his exit was that CEO Rod Petrie had played hardball with the youngster and in turn the player had responded accordingly. Of course this is just one of the theories and perhaps we will never know the truth.
A little nudge for any fellow Hibbies dropping by the site as I know some of you do regularly. Our good friends in Northern Ireland, NI Hibs are hosting one of their terrific tribute nights very soon, this time to the great Arthur Duncan.
There are very few Hibbies that will not know of Arthur’s achievements with Hibernian. A stalwart of 610 games for the club on the left wing and latterly left back. Arthur had the sort of career that will likely never be repeated in the modern age of football.
Remembering his days at Easter Road, Arthur was an old-fashioned winger with great pace, sometimes a little reckless with the final ball as we will all recall! Hugely effective though and a worthy addition to the armoury of talent available to the great Turnbull’s Tornadoes team of the 1970s’. Many will also look back and remember his way with the fans at that time too, a friendly wave and a little banter with Nijinsky from the touchline was a regular feature most games.
Northern Ireland Hibs proudly carry the Hibernian flag for all of us in their home. I am always happy and grateful as a lifetime Hibernian supporter to see this. We should all be proud of them and offer them our support. Much like their hugely successful tribute nights to those Hibs legends, Lawrie Reilly, Eddie Turnbull and Pat Stanton, I hope this night will be a resounding success. I’m certain it will be. Well done all.
Whether it’s a fallacy or not, Hibernian Football Club have a persistent image amongst some of being a team that plays with that much over-used expression ‘flair’. The notion of a good deal of style, flash and panache has surrounded the team over the years – even when it has clearly not necessarily been deserved.
Currently the club has an uneasy battle with this image as new manager, Finn, Mixu Paatelainen shoulders the task of improving Hibernian’s fortunes with the considerable disadvantage of a less accomplished batch of players than have worn the famous green-and white jersey over the past few seasons. This situation being the result of the heavy sales of many of Hibs’ young and talented squad to be replaced by one or two arguably more humdrum professionals. As I write, it has been my observation that much criticism or certainly comment by the club’s fan base is directed at the lack of flowing football played at grass height. This opinion is probably understandable but the style (or lack of) is arguably necessary as the first team travels through a transitional stage.
A familiar old Mass Hibsteria fanzine phrase and one that is very apt at this time. I’ve spent the afternoon following The Hibees progress at Ibrox against a Rangers team who scored an excellent 3-0 victory in Europe during the past week. I use methods like Radio Scotland on the net and/or the Sporting Life text coverage along with the Hibs messageboards – anything in fact that keeps me in contact with Hibs’ fortunes down here in Nottingham.