The Christian Doidge goal stats which should encourage Hibs fans

The Welshman has ended a goal drought with four in his last two games

Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 4:45 pm
Christian Doidge hit his fourth goal in two games for Hibs against Motherwell. Picture: SNS

Christian Doidge was being written off by many following his league debut for Hibs.

At Easter Road against St Mirren on the opening day of the season he came off the bench and, at times, looked like the footballing equivalent of Guy Goma.

Goma had arrived for a job interview at the BBC but was thrust into the spotlight, live on air, having been mistaken for technology journalist Guy Kewney. While he became an almost anti-hero for the situation he was placed in, Doidge emerged as the punchline.

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Doidge's nadir at Hibs came at Aberdeen where he missed a number of chances. Picture: SNS

He could easily have netted a hat-trick. First there was the stumble over the ball with an open goal in front of him. Then there was the pass he received from Florian Kamberi but he could only steer a long way wide despite being presented with an open goal. The third was simply a meek shot.

Later that month, at home to St Johnstone, he made a great run in behind only to hit the ball with as much as a learner golfer striking into the turf before sending the ball trundling three feet in front.

Nadir in the north

Despite playing a key role in the 1-1 draw with Celtic in September, the nadir arrived in Aberdeen. If you don’t need reminding scroll down a paragraph or two.

Three chances, ranging from good to ‘how are you not scoring?’ came and went. One effort was poked at Joe Lewis, another saw Doidge do everything to avoid using his left foot, allowing Lewis to close him down, and then the one where team-mates were screaming for him to square the ball. He didn’t.

Paul Heckingbottom’s marquee signing did, however, contribute in other ways, such as the assist for Scott Allan’s goal in the win over St Mirren, or his role in the opening goal against Celtic in the league draw.

But, as with any striker, especially one who cost six-figures, he is going to be judged by goals, and not ones which came against lower league opposiiton in the Betfred Cup.

Lease of life

It just so happened they have arrived in the league after Heckingbottom’s departure.

A hat-trick against St Johnstone was followed up by another strike against Motherwell. It, along with Florian Kamberi’s new lease of life, has seen fans vindicated in their desire to see the two strikers play together.

They have been dovetailing effectively, something which Doidge noted after Saturday’s win over the Steelmen.

He said: “I played in a two down south quiet a bit, especially at Forest Green. That suited me a lot, I try to win headers and bring people in to play, so to have a team-mate close by, it makes my job a lot easier.

“We’ve worked well together and getting the best out of Scotty playing as a No.10 helps us. It’s helped us as a team and it’s got the best out of us.”

Something else of note also struck a chord.

Doidge said: “I’ve got a habit in my career of going on a goal-scoring run after maybe three or four games without getting one, then going on a long run.

“Hopefully that will happen here and I’ll score many more and we’ll see where I end up.”

Looking back at the 27-year-old’s career that has very much been the case, as the four previous league seasons show:

2015-2016: 13 games without a goal was followed by four in seven fixtures.

2016-2017: Five games without a goal was followed by 23 in 29 fixtures.

2017-2018: Nine games without a goal was followed by seven in six fixtures.

2018-2019: 15 games without a goal was followed by 10 in 18 fixtures.

While Doidge may be an erratic finisher, he is adept at getting into positions to finish. That in itself is skill desired by strikers at every level across the world.

You can see it in his movement, his intelligence to attack areas and create space for himself in and around the box. Hibs, especially Scott Allan and Martin Boyle, will always have a target in the box, someone who can be illusive and distract defenders.

With eight games across the next 32 days, Doidge has found the perfect time to hit on a goal-scoring run. Who knows where he will end up between now and the end of the year.