Neil Lennon’s third full season in charge of Hibernian saw the wheels come off in a manner akin to the famous old Jose Mourinho adage. Indeed, while the former Celtic boss is largely regarded as Hibs’ best manager in years, the season hasn’t ever really got going and his current suspension at Easter Road leaves the club in a mess.
Despite their status as one of Scotland’s biggest clubs, Hibs don’t tend to do continuity all too well. No consecutive top-four finishes in over ten years now are largely covered up (at least in an emotional sense) by the famous 2016 Scottish Cup win and it’s vitally important Leann Dempster gets this appointment right.
Lennon’s arrival at Easter Road came after Alan Stubbs who, despite delivering the one trophy so dearly craved by everyone in Leith, ultimately failed in his primary task – taking the club back into the Scottish Premiership. Prior to the Liverpudlian, the likes of Terry Butcher and Pat Fenlon endured shocking tenures in charge, so Lennon is currently the exception to the recent ruling of Hibs bosses.
Frustratingly for Dempster, there aren’t all too many stand out candidates right now. In fact, when Lee Clark is the man seemingly most open to the job, it’s probably not the best time to be searching for a new manager.
Still, an emotional move for Gordon Strachan has been touted (as per the Daily Mail via the Scottish Sun) and, while the former Scotland boss would certainly be a big name, we’re going to analyse to pros and cons.
Pro 1 – Status
Lennon’s appointment back in 2016 certainly brought a certain level of interest back to a club previously petering out. A huge name in Scottish football and a relative coup considering Hibs’ second-tier standing at the time, the same strategy could be applied to Strachan now.
One of the most successful Scottish managers of the modern era and a man who only left the national job recently, Strachan’s arrival would lift everyone at Easter Road.
Con 1 – Short-termism
At 61, Strachan would surely only be a short-term option. He’s unlikely to stay for years and build something and the idea of him coming to steady the ship may be a good one for the next few months or so, but where does that leave Hibs in the summer?
If he doesn’t get the new manager bounce, it could be a miserable end to his managerial career.
Pro 2 – Convincing the players
There does seem to be an element of discontent behind the scenes at Hibernian. The reports suggesting Florian Kamberi was a huge reason in the disagreement that led to Lennon’s suspension certainly speak to the potential narrative that the dressing room had been lost.
Hibs have a huge amount of attacking quality on offer and, as already proven this season, can beat anyone on their day.
What better way to convince the players that club do have ambition and raise the excitement levels than making a big name appointment?
Con 2 – Financial hit & thinking inside the box
Despite the emotional pull of finally bringing Strachan to the club he supported as boy, any potential deal may not make a huge amount of sense to those behind the scenes. Chariman Rod Petrie isn’t one to play fast and loose with his cash and, presumably, the ex-Celtic boss wouldn’t come cheap.
Kilmarnock have shown thinking outside the box when it comes to getting a new boss in can have major success, so perhaps some more strategical thinking behind the scenes is a better option.
Ignore the emotion and think outside the box. Gordon Strachan would be a big name but big names don’t always work and Hibs’ previous appointments along a similar line haven’t gone well at all, such as John Hughes and Mixu Paatelainen.
Granted, the former coach of the Tartan Army is probably a level above those names but why spend relatively big on a short-term deal? The likes of Gary Holt or Tommy Wright surely make more sense and that’s without even considering some of the more left-field appointments that have made the Scottish Premiership so much more interesting of late.
As long as it’s not Lee Clark. Anyone but Lee Clark.
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