Mickey Weir: Why I'm baffled by Hibs decision to sack Shaun Maloney

I know I’m far from the only Hibs fan to be completely baffled by Tuesday’s news that manager Shaun Maloney has left the club with immediate effect.

By Mickey Weir
Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 5:05 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 6:23 pm

I don't understand how you can bring a manager in and sack him after such a short space of time. I'm really surprised it's happened so quick. I thought he would get at least a good chunk of next season for the club to properly find out what we had.

Results haven't been great and the last couple of weeks certainly haven't been great either, but I still don't understand how they can sack a manager without giving him enough time to get his own players on the pitch. Yes, he's brought some players in. But a lot of the guys we signed were younger players and January is famously the most difficult time to recruit and have them hit the ground running.

But why appoint Shaun Maloney, a rookie manager in the first place, if you're not going to give him time? There's never been a manager in football who hasn't been through a rough patch. That’s the making of a good manager: coming through adversity and the bad spells. A young manager is going to make some mistakes along the road.

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Shaun Maloney during his unveiling as Hibs manager on December 20, 2021. He managed the club for just 19 games. Picture: SNS

Injuries and the sale of Martin Boyle have played a significant part in the poor form, as has the decision to go after younger players again. I know I’m sounding like a broken record at this point, but you can’t keep buying potential. You need to always have four or five experienced and quality players at any one time to succeed.

I've said it for a long time and it shows. It showed in the semi-final defeat to Hearts at Hampden. The young lads gave their all. I don't think they could have given anything more, but they just lacked that bit of nous.

We played well across the game, particularly in the second half. It was a bad start, losing such poorly defended goal. It was an excellent finish from Ellis Simms, but from our point of view the defence should’ve done better to recognise the danger. We showed in the second half we could go compete with Hearts and if it wasn't for getting Joe Newell sent off I think we could easily have pushed the game into extra-time or even won it.

We now need an experienced manager. Maloney has strong experience as coach at the highest level but prior to arriving in Leith he hadn't managed at any level and coming into Hibs for your first job is very, very difficult. I want to see a manager who is ripe and ready to deal with the pressures and expectations that come with being at Hibs.

I wish Shaun all the best. He was hired to do a job and I believe he gave everything to try and make it a success.

There were signs at times that he could be the man to take us forward, mainly when we had the majority of our best players available. I was looking forward to seeing what he would do next year with the players he would bring in, but obviously that's not going to happen now.

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