Talking point: Do Hibs replace Adam Bogdan with Ofir Marciano in goal?
In the midst of a seven-game winless streak, there is a another damning statistic: Hibs have conceded 13 goals in their past seven matches.
Manager Neil Lennon has reconfigured his defence incessantly, using Paul Hanlon, Efe Ambrose, Ryan Porteous, Darren McGregor, Lewis Stevenson, Miquel Nelom, Steven Whittaker and Charis Mavrias in various different combinations. In this period, they’ve only kept one clean sheet, and that was in the derby against Hearts.
The question now is whether Lennon looks at his last line of defence in goalkeeper Adam Bogdan.
The on-loan Liverpool stopper, in all honesty, has been pretty decent since arriving in the summer. He’s made some good saves and is a Hungarian internationalist, so there’s no doubting his pedigree. However, against St Mirren he looked suspect for both goals during the only two meaningful test of his credentials. Adam Hammill’s 55-yard lob was audacious, but when a keeper concedes a goal from that range, questions have to be asked. At the second goal, when Efe Ambrose nodded into his own net, Bodgan hesitated in coming for the cross. Not a major mistake, but enough to add to the calamity of it all.
It’s hard to point the finger at Bogdan for howlers - he has not committed any, and has by in large done well. But when a team is shipping so many goals, especially against those in the lower reaches of the league, then it’s only natural to wonder if Lennon might make a change in between the sticks.
What may turn a temptation into action is that his back-up is another internationalist in Israeli Ofir Marciano, who was Lennon’s undisputed No.1 until a finger operation sidelined him for months. The 29-year-old is now fully fit and patiently sitting on the bench, waiting for his chance.
There are undoubtedly those who would see demoting Bogdan for Marciano as a cruel move, but Hibs just cannot continue to ship goals at the rate they are. Marciano has had his moments in a Hibs shirt, but he’s also made some astonishing saves. I don’t see a great deal between the two – in fact, Bogdan has marginally more form in the book, so to speak – but in a period when Lennon is trying desperately to arrest a wretched slide down the Premiership table, he may turn to a fresh face in goal on the back of a underwhelming Bogdan performance. Clean sheets are needed if Hibs are to revive their season.