Hibs fans despair as Caldo’s losing streak continues

Has Caldo bitten off more than he can chew at Easter Rd?

By Gail Pickering

Disappointed Hibs fans are today coming to terms with a crushing derby defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Hearts. The first Edinburgh derby of the season, played at Easter Road yesterday, brought goals in each half from David Templeton and Stephen Elliott.  As a result of the comfortable 0-2 Hearts victory, the Gorgie based side are now placed 4th in the SPL table, whilst Hibs struggle in the  position of second bottom.

Although the Jambo’s performance was not particularly impressive, Hibs never looked threatening and the Heart’s keeper Marian Kello had very little to do during the 90 minutes.  Un-impressed Hibs fans therefore left the stadium in large numbers after the second goal was scored in the 67th minute.

Both sides went into the game on the back of disappointing defeats last weekend.  Jim Jeffries made three changes to the side that lost out to Kilmarnock, playing Templeton, Elliott and Black instead of Calum Elliot, Suso and Barr. Calderwood, however, may regret his decision to stick with the same side that were beaten 1-0 by Dundee United.

The pressure is now on Colin Calderwood as he is still looking for his first victory as Hibs boss.  Since taking over from John Hughes last month his team have endured three straight defeats and fans are not happy. Jimmy Little, who has been supporting the Hibees for 54 years was bitterly disappointed after the defeat stating ‘last week was bad but today we surpassed ourselves.’  Fellow hibs fan Chris Milner adds ‘the team have no fight, we are in trouble.’

During the ill-tempered match, newly appointed Hibs captain Derek Riordan was sent off in the dying minutes following the aggressive foul against Hearts fan’s favorite Rudi Skacel which Calderwood described as ‘pointless’.  Riordan has since appologized to both his team mates and hibs fans, an despite his conduct the Hib’s boss has announced he will remain the team’s captain.

The chaos and frustration of the game was mirrored off the pitch as flares and missiles were thrown onto the park by both sets of supporters, something which the SFA will now investigate.

Hibs fan Mark McElhaney who traveled from Newcastle to attend yesterday’s game, doesn’t blame the hibs boss for his team’s poor performance.  He defends Caldwerwood  stating ‘he has inherited too many foreign players who are rubbish.  He has to now stop farming out our young talented players to other teams, that’s the only way we are going to bounce back’.

Hibs may be set for further misery on Wednesday night when they travel to Ibrox to play current league leaders Rangers.  In a post match interview published on the official club website Calderwood talked about the daunting game ahead and the  importance of ‘taking something from the game’ adding ‘it will give us something to build on’.


Burley faces date with destiny

By Stewart Primrose

Scotland surely face a “must win” match on Wednesday as they take on Iceland after their humbling defeat by the Dutch at the weekend.

footballscotland

Kirk Broadfoot scored for Scotland against Iceland in 2008

Saturday’s 3-0 loss in Amsterdam means the Scots have moved down to third place by virtue of goal difference.

Iceland, the team directly above them, come to Hampden Park this week, meaning it is even more important for manager George Burley to gain all three points.

A victory would propel them upwards and hope of reaching next years World Cup will be restored. Defeat, on the other hand, would severely weaken the nation’s chances of major tournament football for the first time in 12 years.

It would also heap pressure on Burley, who is starting to show signs of the strain he is under. Saturday’s game was seen as a write-off by the Scotland camp, but Burley seemed to concentrate on the referee’s performance rather than that of his own team, perhaps a signal that everything is not rosey for the former Hearts’ boss.

A frustrated George Burley for Scotland

A frustrated George Burley for Scotland

“There were one or two decisions that went against us. Allan McGregor was blocked for the corner and then we scored a perfectly good goal and no one can work out what the referee has given a free kick for.”

Results have not been good for Burley. Goals have been hard to come by and he only has one win to his name – against Iceland. Anything other than a win will intensify calls for his removal from office. It is doubtful this will happen, but another defeat could be the beginning of the end for a man who has not been fully accepted by fans and the media.

One defence for Burley’s performance so far in his short tenure is he has never had a full squad to choose from. From day one he has had constant call-offs, which remind you of the dark days of bungling Bertie Vogts. To take the Holland match for example,  6 definite starters were injured including Alan Hutton and James McFadden. When this happens to Scotland they are bound to struggle as there just is not the same strength or depth as in previous years. To be blunt Scotland need their first eleven out if they are to stand any chance against decent opposition.

Against Iceland, Hutton will be fit alongside defender, Stephen McManus. This will surely boost the backline, but it is still goals that the Scots lack. Two goals in their opening four games is just not qualification material. Kenny Miller has experience of scoring in the big games,  but his old ways are returning after his miss on Saturday. He simply is not reliable enough to guarantee goals. With Kris Boyd already stating he will not play again under Burley, it is hard to see where the goals will come from.

The pressure is on Scotland to deliver. Even the opposition knows what it means.

“I’m sure there is more pressure on them than there is on us,” said  Eidur Gudjohnsen, Iceland’s star player.

“Expectations of the Scottish team are much higher than of Iceland.”

A bad result will make the hysteria of 18 months ago in Paris seem a distant memory. Scotland simply must improve or the consequences will be hard but fair.

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