What does it take to win your love?
“What does it take to win your love for me?
And how can I make this dream come true for me?”
The words were made famous by Tamla Motown act, Junior Walker and The All-Stars but they’re worthy of consideration in the enduring, honey-glowed aftermath of the latest chapter of the Edinburgh derby story. In a game that few of a Hibernian persuasion expected anything but grief and derision from, out team came through for what was a famous and mighty victory against all odds. Hasn’t it ever been thus?
It’s enough to be aware that the majority of a full first-team Hibs side were sidelined for Tynecastle but practically every factor seemed a negative prior to that Thursday evening. Or did it? Mixu has been struggling mightily to turn his own Easter Road fortunes around with little enduring success. The quality of our football has been poor; our opponents are at the right end of the SPL and so on. Of course we can all be a great judge in hindsight but how many really expected to gain ‘a result’ in modern parlance, from that scenario?
One pointer however might be a very similar result this season when all looked more that lost and that’s an important indicator I feel. Another factor is surely the type of football that we as a support have mostly been decrying all season, with it’s over-reliance on the long ball and a somewhat hapless, clumsy and aimless approach. I’ll not practice hypocrisy here as the way in which Hibernian play is very important to me. We should though probably consider the habits in which the Gorgie team have prospered through in derby games in the past. It was certainly mostly not achieved by the free-flowing, neat and attractive football that most of us, dare I suggest yearn for at Easter Road. Those victories were gained by good old-fashioned graft – a rolling-up of the sleeves metaphorically. Rarely do Hearts play with a flourish but rather more as an effective unit who all know what their jobs are once they cross over the white lines. This is no better evidenced than in the Edinburgh derby. Who would dare say that this is not exactly the approach required for this unique fixture?
It’s clear to me that whilst Hibs haven’t played in a colourful and entertaining style this term the approach they do take is absolutely ideal as a one-off for the derby games. An unbeaten series of league games against our Edinburgh rivals this season backs this view up. We have suffered for entertainment value for the ticket price this last winter but the flip side of that dour and soulless coin is the glorious success at Tynecastle last week and it’s like. Let’s at least take some comfort in that and appreciate what we have achieved.
The fact also is, (and I know many of those that read this will be nodding sagely) that Hibs rarely come up to expectations when they are placed high. The men in green and white can look like absolute certainties to be victorious only to come away with egg dripping from their chin. We’ve all seen it so many times. This is therefore why I am not terribly surprised by the Hibs win last week, nor the one before it when expectations were reasonably rock-bottom too. This is Hibs. This is how it works. This is how it feels.
So what does it take to win our love, Hibs? Well a simple answer is to keep putting one over on the other lot – no matter what it takes to achieve it. We’ll love you even more if you can offer us something more of a romantic view for other alternative opposition throughout the season though!
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