Michael Weir: Christian Doidge has been good for Hibs - and club has been good for him

There’s a lot to like about the Welsh goalscorer, writes Michael Weir

By MIchael Weir
Friday, 14th August 2020, 12:30 pm
Christian Doidge wheels away after scoring the only goal of the game against Dundee United
Christian Doidge wheels away after scoring the only goal of the game against Dundee United

I didn't ever play alongside a striker at Hibs who reminds me exactly of Christian Doidge but he does remind me of Chris Malkin, who I played with at Millwall.

He was a centre-forward who caused problems, and who scored goals, but was very underrated.

What I like about Doidge is that he's not scared to go in where it hurts, all the time. He's not scared to miss a chance either, and players like that are very difficult to get hold of.

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Some players miss a chance and it affects them for the rest of the game. Doidge doesn't think like that. He's willing to miss two chances to get the one that counts.

He gets the bread and butter goals that Hibs have been missing for some time and he gives the team something different up top.

He could play alongside somebody quick. He can play on his own.

But crucially he gives the team a presence in attack, and the wide players will know that if they get the ball into the box, anything can happen.

He doesn't necessarily need to get a goal; we saw against Livingston how he knocked the ball down for Nisbet to score, and he'll do that a lot this season, bring others into it.

I'm a great believer in partnerships in football throughout the team: centre-backs, central midfielders, strikers.

If a manager is changing things all the time, picking two different strikers one week, there isn't that continuity.

The great teams throughout football have all had partnerships. Take Liverpool for example - it's virtually the same eleven each week. If they're fit, then they play.

But there are also games where you need to change tactics or adapt, and I think Doidge allows Hibs to do that.

He can play with anyone, with different types of strikers, and still be successful.

But I'm also really impressed with his work rate. He works hard for a striker, and he's a nightmare for defenders.

I watched him against Celtic at Easter Road last year. Celtic had so much of the ball, and he was playing up top on his own, and he led the line really well.

For a defender, it doesn't matter how good they are technically, there's nothing worse for them than knowing they're coming up against someone who is going to work them hard in the box, and be a nuisance, and Doidge is both of those things.

There have been a few players like him at Easter Road recently; players like Mixu Paatelainen or Craig Brewster - strikers with a presence.

Doidge has that same presence about him and it's something I think all teams need.

A bit further back, Hibs had Alan Gordon and Jimmy O'Rourke, and Doidge sometimes reminds me a bit of Gordon, like an old-school target man, someone who puts himself about a bit and causes problems for the opposition.

I think he's really matured as a player in the year or so he's been at Hibs; I think the club has helped him, and I think playing for Hibs has helped him too.