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Thread: Just Back … To Reality – A Season 2017/18 Retrospective

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    Justified Radge



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    Just Back … To Reality – A Season 2017/18 Retrospective

    It’s over. But I’ll start my report card by saying simply this - season 2017/18 has been easily the most enjoyable season for this reporter in at least 10 years, probably more. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, and remember some of our important moments…

    I began the season in July-time by totally wetting the bed about our transfers. My hand is held up – I thought we’d blown it big time. But as it transpired…

    Anyway, July really was the Simon Murray show, as he ripped through the league cup group stages with an absolute hatful of goals. Add to that the fact that he for all the world looked like a guy who was grasping his big chance with undisguised glee, I think we all thought we might have a prolific striker on our hands. But the big striking news, and the moment that really had me eating transfer humble pie, was the return of Tony Stokes, memorably noted on Hibs twitter with a simple “fire” emoji. It really felt like the piece of the puzzle we’d been waiting for.

    5th August: The Hibees make their triumphant return to the Premiership on a glorious sunny day, memorably marked by the “Guess Who’s Back?” banner (the first of some seriously good work done by Since1875 – kudos). After a wee reminder from Partick with the opening goal, we ran out 3-1 winners. I had to leave at half-time for an anniversary do, but boy it felt good to be back where we belong. Let’s never leave again, eh?

    8th August: Hibs hammer Err Untied 5-0, with Tony Stokes on the scoresheet – the prodigal son was back, with an as-yet blissfully unblotted copybook…

    12th August: Hibs resume their now customary trolling of Der Hun by winning 3-2 in an aggro-filled game at Ibrox; with Slivka scoring a peach, and Lenny seemingly unable to hear what the Orc hordes were singing at him. STATEMENT INCOMING.
    My main recollection is meeting one of my ST mates Andy up the town at a festival now in full flow, and us bellowing at each other across a packed Bristo Square when we spotted each other. The rollercoaster was now beginning to gather some speed…

    19th August: …and it took its first dip when we were well beaten 3-1 at home by Hamilton Accies, our first real aberration. Their third goal was a peach, but still it was a stark reminder that there’s no “gimmes” in the top division.

    16th September: This was bookended by spunking another two home points to Murderwell, giving away a two-goal lead on my birthday. Cheers, Hibs.
    However, this was brightened by my Uncle surprising me in the pub pre-match, back in Embra after 30 years in Australia. I’m happy to say, he quickly got the bug, and joined our merry band of supporters – and it’s also a bellwether of the times that we are hoping that on 1st June, a season ticket seat might come up somewhere near us. Just a few short years ago, he could’ve had his pick around us in Section 39 of the East. Not any more.

    30th September: The first of our two cracks at ending Celtc’s unbeaten run, with a hard-fought 2-2 at Celtc Park, with SJM the standout with two cracking goals. We effectively show everyone else the way – believe, and go toe-to-toe. I’m also pleased to say that this is clearly now The Hibs Way in general.

    24th October: after getting mugged at home by the Sheep, and losing a ding-dong league cup tie at Hampden to Celtc, we welcomed the Gunts to ER for their first visit, and duly sent them back to Gorgie in no doubt what the power balance in Embra now looks like (whatever they like to think after the odd win in 12…). Simon Murray’s finest hour with a vicious strike to cement the most one-sided 1-0 you can imagine.

    10-16th December: The Week Of Doom. So close to ending Celtc’s run AGAIN at ER, we are then on the end of the mugging of all muggings at home to Der Hun. This result is the one that really does still rankle with me, as we were so dominant, and so good – how the Huns even got a point, let alone all three, was a mystery. When even the Huns manager admits as much, you know you’ve really been robbed. A team clearly still feeling the mental effects of that then went up to Aberdeen and were chastened 4-1 in surely our most deserved loss of the season. 1 point from 9 in a week that promised so much really took its toll on me, and I’d wager many supporters.

    27th December: me and the boys sat in the Arty and watched a $#@! game on a ploughed field, which should have been won by Ollie Shaw but for the clowns in black. A feature of the game from the top down in Scotland, unfortunately.

    31st December: me and some other bouncers go unbeaten in a mini-tournament to mark the passing of Shaun McKinley. We fittingly remained unbeaten, and I rolled back the years, buckling my swash as a devastating attacking full back. I may or may not have been late into a tackle. Shouts out to @GORDONSMITH7 and family – I’m sure Shaun will have loved watching the Hibs from up there this season. Gone, but not forgotten – Live Forever.

    21st January: December's derby is closely followed by the cup loss at the PBS in another $#@! game (are games ever NOT $#@! there?). Possibly our lowest point of the season? With Stokesgate upsetting the apple cart, we were a little all-at-sea.

    However, here Lennon really showed us why he’s our best manager since fcuk knows when. Stokes and Murray were ruthlessly emptied, with Kamberi and McLaren coming in, along with Allan in a bizarre love triangle that had Scott Bain rocking up to Parkhead in a Hibs tracksuit. This was to prove both pivotal and inspired, imo.

    3rd February: Do the Huns AGAIN at Ibrox; courtesy of a truly heroic performance from the makeshift back three of Efe, Lewis and young Ryan Porteous – surely just a staging post on his development into a first-rate Hibs centre-half.

    17th February: A truly scintillating performance, especially second half, puts the Sheep to the sword 2-0. The fast-emerging revelation that is Flo on the mark again. For me too, I was impressed as ever by Derek McInnes who is never shy to give credit to the opposition when they are well beaten. Respect, and glad he finished above the Huns whom he gloriously bumped after a protracted media campaign. This game though marked the emergence of Hibs 2.0 in the context of the 2017/18 season.

    24th February: HOWEVER, we then chucked a two-goal lead for the second time. These results, imo, more than any ghost goals or bad decisions, are what cost us second place.

    9 March – THE NATURAL ORDER game. Scott Allan’s scrappy goal seals a dominant derby victory. Of course, there was nothing really between the two teams. Except skill, exuberance, belief, and a distaste for Wimbledon circa 1984-style fitba. A truly iconic photo was helpfully provided by the weirdo that is Potter, in front of Since1875’s most inspired moment of the season. That one will live forever boys, well done.

    16th March: After playing 76 mins with 10 men after Rocky’s brain fart, another two points were spilled. This completes a set of nine points dropped: two at Killie, two at home to Motherwell, three at home to the Huns, and two against a St. Johnstone side we never beat. These games were in the end the real difference to our final league position, in my humble opinion.

    The Split came up next, and as it’s relatively fresh in all our minds, I won’t dwell on it too much, other than to note the following: home to Celtc a wonderful performance, and surely the best lunchtime atmosphere ever; Killie 5-3 had me with my hands over my face begging it to stop at 4-2; 0-0 at the Sheep – what cost a missed pen?; Gunts at the PBS is a game we’d all rather forget, including the fallout; but finishing with the most gloriously bonkers game I’ve ever witnessed at ER, which pretty much summed us up: we will take any fcuker on at fitba, because when we are on song, we are impossible to live with. However, it’s high risk/high reward stuff, but I for one would rather see that than set records for nils.

    We finished with:
    -A record points total
    -Fewest games lost outwith Celtc
    -$#@!slapping the Orcs at Ibrox as standard practice
    -Loads of goals and often devastating football
    -Biggest crowds since 57/58

    Myself and my merry (and ever-expanding) band have thoroughly enjoyed this season’s thrills and spills – I’m genuinely sad it’s over. There may be a World Cup on, but let’s face it – nothing beats meeting yer pals for a beer, then watching the Hibs. Keep yer Messi’s, Ronaldo’s, etc. We’ve got McGinn, McGeouch, Kamberi, Lewy, and so many other guys who make the weeks of my year tick by with highs and lows that only the initiated and committed can know. I can’t wait to see how long this wave can crest…

    Finally, to those that make the Bounce happen – you know who you are. I thank you most sincerely for keeping up this site that’s genuinely a part of my life – please keep it going, and know that there’s more than a few of us you can count on if you need us.

    Viva Le Bounce, and Viva Just Back!

    GGTTH

    Aggie
    Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'...

  2. #2
    Hibernian, Hibernian Ra Ra Radge



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    Great summary @aggie. Thanks for that mate
    They're gone, not here, forgotten
    The maroon brigade now cry
    The city is now Hibernian
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    [© Daddy O'Hibee]



    If you don’t know what introspection is, you need to take a long, hard look at yourself

  3. #3
    I Was There And Went Radge


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    Excellent report and I agree with everything you say.

    It was easily the most enjoyable season in my lifetime (I’m 27) and Neil Lennon is, IMO, the best manager we’ve had in my life time.

    It’s genuinely difficult to pick the most memorable moment of the season as there were so many. Lennon’s aeroplane yesterday the latest in a long list.

    Can’t wait to do it all over again. I love this team & I love this club.
    Seems like there's a hole in my dreams, or so it seems

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    Quite a bit past it radge






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    Good job Aggie.

    Well done.

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    Radge Private Member

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    Good reading mate
    until the sky turns green

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    Excellent summary Aggie...here's my tuppence worth.

    My expectations prior to the season starting in August were a top 6 finish and 5th was my prediction. The fact we finished 4th and well above the 5th placed club means we have exceeded what I thought we would achieve and I am very happy about that. I do think Lennon gambled big time with several of his summer signings last year, but was brave enough in January to admit some of these gambles did not work and made significant changes which then had a marked effect on performances and results. It's fair to say the loan signings of Kamberi, McLaren and Scott Allan were inspired moves from the manager. Our home form especially picked up big time and we provided some great entertainment. In the first half of the season we had some very good results but we let too many teams off the hook especially away from home. Too many away games were drawn when we had dominated possession. A lack of ruthlessness on the road in front of goal cost us the chance of any higher a finish and it's something we have to improve on next season.

    We had some fantastic results this season especially winning twice at Ibrox, beating Celtic and Aberdeen at Easter Road (the two best home performances of the season IMO) and beating Hearts twice at Easter Road when more goals should have been scored.

    The low points of the season were two awful home defeats to Hamilton and St Johnstone and allowing Motherwell to come back from a 2-0 deficit at ER to draw 2-2. A shocker of a performance at Pittodrie led to a 4-1 hammering but we were unlucky with the timing of that game. By far the lowest point of the season however was our ill-fated trip to Portugal in January for our winter training camp. Our marquee summer signing and club legend Anthony Stokes went too far and was kicked out the club. Swanson and Boyle were also in the bad books for the same incident and as if that wasn't bad enough we lost our legendary captain David Gray to injury for the rest of the season. All that led to a bitterly disappointing SC exit in the first round at Tynecastle. Our defeat at the same venue last midweek cost us any hope of second or third and next season one of the things I want to see is Hibs starting to assert themselves more at Tynecastle and getting at least one victory there.

    Overall it's been a superb season with huge crowds and great football. Next season will be tough to replicate what we have done this term but we must strive to do so and believe we can better it. Both cups have to be a big target as well. I'm sure we would all love to see another trophy being paraded next season. Lennon has his work cut out but he is up for the task thankfully and my hope is that he secures the players he wants. I would like to see Porteous becoming more of a regular next season. I think he is being groomed to succeed Darren McGregor. Oli Shaw I reckon will play much more often but we do need to properly replace the players who leave and continue with the upward push.

    Enjoy the summer and the World Cup and here's to 2018/19 with hopefully some European football to look forward to as well.
    "I can't stress enough how important it is to be in possession of the football - it is better to be the matador rather than the bull"

    John Hughes

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    Radge Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenmachine View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Excellent summary Aggie...here's my tuppence worth.

    My expectations prior to the season starting in August were a top 6 finish and 5th was my prediction. The fact we finished 4th and well above the 5th placed club means we have exceeded what I thought we would achieve and I am very happy about that. I do think Lennon gambled big time with several of his summer signings last year, but was brave enough in January to admit some of these gambles did not work and made significant changes which then had a marked effect on performances and results. It's fair to say the loan signings of Kamberi, McLaren and Scott Allan were inspired moves from the manager. Our home form especially picked up big time and we provided some great entertainment. In the first half of the season we had some very good results but we let too many teams off the hook especially away from home. Too many away games were drawn when we had dominated possession. A lack of ruthlessness on the road in front of goal cost us the chance of any higher a finish and it's something we have to improve on next season.

    We had some fantastic results this season especially winning twice at Ibrox, beating Celtic and Aberdeen at Easter Road (the two best home performances of the season IMO) and beating Hearts twice at Easter Road when more goals should have been scored.

    The low points of the season were two awful home defeats to Hamilton and St Johnstone and allowing Motherwell to come back from a 2-0 deficit at ER to draw 2-2. A shocker of a performance at Pittodrie led to a 4-1 hammering but we were unlucky with the timing of that game. By far the lowest point of the season however was our ill-fated trip to Portugal in January for our winter training camp. Our marquee summer signing and club legend Anthony Stokes went too far and was kicked out the club. Swanson and Boyle were also in the bad books for the same incident and as if that wasn't bad enough we lost our legendary captain David Gray to injury for the rest of the season. All that led to a bitterly disappointing SC exit in the first round at Tynecastle. Our defeat at the same venue last midweek cost us any hope of second or third and next season one of the things I want to see is Hibs starting to assert themselves more at Tynecastle and getting at least one victory there.

    Overall it's been a superb season with huge crowds and great football. Next season will be tough to replicate what we have done this term but we must strive to do so and believe we can better it. Both cups have to be a big target as well. I'm sure we would all love to see another trophy being paraded next season. Lennon has his work cut out but he is up for the task thankfully and my hope is that he secures the players he wants. I would like to see Porteous becoming more of a regular next season. I think he is being groomed to succeed Darren McGregor. Oli Shaw I reckon will play much more often but we do need to properly replace the players who leave and continue with the upward push.

    Enjoy the summer and the World Cup and here's to 2018/19 with hopefully some European football to look forward to as well.
    Very good summary GM


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy, it ceases to be a subject of interest.

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    Toddler Radge
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    Absolutely spot on mate. Great read that.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Radge Private Member





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    Cheers @aggie, good stuff.

    It's been a thoroughly exciting season.

    I expect next season will be will be even more exciting but it will be tough.
    Space to let

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    Radge Private Member
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    Brilliant @aggie mate.

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    Radge Monthly Contributor

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    Great summary.Well done.

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    Quality read, bud.

    I'll comment further when I'm not half-juked tomorrow.

  13. #13
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    Like a car that had been in the garage , not getting used much for three years , we took a while to get going. It showed some good signs of performance , but it took a while to really grease up all the parts. The turning point came in the new year with some upgraded parts, and at times it we were a truly finely tuned machine. Lots of speed, and a bit of grunt when required.

    Lennon in the main has been fantastic, but I can't help feeling his outburst after the defeat to the poppy thieves, was borne out of his own frustration at himself, for changing a system and line up which had worked so well in recent months .
    All the players played there part, but the standout for me has been Lewis , his sheer commitment, professionalism and consistency has been immense .
    Flo, has improved with every game , the fittest guy I can recall playing for Hibs.
    A special mention must also go to the fans . They rallied round after the Hamilton/Butcher knockout blow, and the momentum has just grown since , aided of course by a wee big cup win!, but it had already started for sure .
    Let's hope Shaw and Porteous step up to the mark given a chance next season , throw in a back in favour Swanson , who has the tools to unlock any team , and a couple of top drawer new signings , then I think we have a chance of amassing the same points total , and must be in with a shout of at least a final. Not easy by any means , but I see no reason why we can't give it a good go .
    Easter Road is a great place to go just now, oh how times have changed for the better.

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