Hibernian: A team to match The Tornadoes (3)
Today: The third and final part of the trilogy attempting to compare and contrast Hibs’ lauded team of the 1970s’ with a selection of all-stars from the decades since. The respective managers take a hand too – one that is more than a little influential!
Striker: Jimmy O’Rourke (9) v Steve Archibald (9)
Jimmy is many people’s favourite Hibee and it’s not hard to fathom why. There was a certain spell when he couldn’t seem to stop scoring hat-tricks though a certain Edward Turnbull at times seemed blind to these deeds. Jimmy O’Rourke was a predatory natural scorer and with him buzzing around up front…well anything was likely to happen.
Stevie Archibald came along to a few fanfares direct from Barcelona and was maybe one of the most outright classy players I’ve witnessed in the green and white. Slightly imperious and dismissive of attitude at times, one had to accept this of ‘Archiegoals’ has he was a player who knew his own worth! He came along in an interesting time at Hibs when a few headline-making signings were being committed to the Hibs cause. It didn’t last but it was a heck of a good watch while it lasted.
Striker: Alan Gordon (9) v Keith Wright (8)
Alan Gordon was an intelligent footballer as his manager famously noted and was also a pleasure to watch the way he fulfilled his striker’s role. Like so many players under the spotlight here, it was difficult to hurry Gordon in to a move he didn’t want to make. His play was based around the way he wanted to play and let go the kind of shot or pass that he determined was the right one at the right time. At times it appeared somewhat languid. Alan Gordon was certainly one of those players who had the uncanny ability to be able to ‘hang’ in the air when rising for a header in the box. Of course we all know that this ability is all about split-second timing and it’s perhaps this that gave the Tornadoes striker such a feared reputation as an aerial threat.
I loved Keith Wright for Hibs. This man was born to play centre-forward for our team and appeared to know it, revelling in every minute as soon as his career took him Easter Road way. Very much an old-fashioned leader of the line and a dynamic presence around the penalty area with a good shot in either foot and considerable power in the air. It’s a great pity that he didn’t arrive at the club earlier as was much mooted in that era but Keith really took the bull by the horns when he got there and helped lead his team to its first silverware for many years. One of the best-loved Hibees of all.
Manager: Eddie Turnbull (9 v Tony Mowbray (8)
This comparison is perhaps a little unfair as Tony Mowbray has potentially many years of top-class management in front of him whilst Eddie’s is well-documented. It’s my view that Eddie Turnbull is occasionally looked on through rose-tinted spectacles but this should not detract from his great success and knowledge. Never a man to suffer fools gladly and with an abrasive manner and tongue to match, Eddie knew what he wanted of his team and ruthlessly set out assembling it. It’s easy to look back upon his mistakes in tearing apart his wonderful Tornadoes but it’s perhaps the former he should be remembered for. He also did a great job and proved himself in Aberdeen for a period too.
Tony Mowbray swept into Easter Road as a non-entity managerial wise. He soon went about changing that and with an approach that was heavily philosophically and psychologically based, began gaining an appreciative and interested audience within the Hibs support and general media. Mowbray had his weaknesses in perhaps only having one approach to the game, whatever the circumstances, but boy was it fun while it lasted. Hibs were no less than scintillating at times under his tutelage.
Time to look at the final score line then. It’s close – very close, and in the final analysis and not without a little irony its ‘Ned’ himself, Eddie Turnbull that makes for a swinging 70s’ victory!
Turnbull’s Tornadoes 94 v The Challengers 93
All this means little though and instead rests with the best traditions of a good old-fashioned bar-room debate about our mostly erstwhile Hibs Heroes. Every reader of this will no doubt have their own views and counter-arguments. That’s why we just love this game isn’t it?
With apologies to the following aces that narrowly missed the cut.
In no particular order:
George Best – Guillaume Beuzelin – Mathius Doumbe
Gordon Hunter – Darren Jackson – Kevin McAllister
Ally McLeod – Ian Murray – Mixu Paatelainen
Garry O’Connor – Mickey Weir