Should Hibs sack Neil Lennon?

For us to know if sacking the manager is the right answer, perhaps we need to take a closer look at what is the question?

Why is a squad of good players performing so badly, over such a long period of time?

Lennon could of course point to the fact that the team needed such major surgery last summer, summer that was only partially completed at best. This is absolutely a fair point, losing such a brilliant midfield unit in one go was always likely to leave a gaping hole.

Lennon could also justifiably point to the injury record this season, which again is a fair point – it has been as bad as I can remember it being, and with a mixture of short term and long-term injuries affecting every area of the pitch, it is not a straight forward problem to overcome.

But there is a rule in problem solving called Occam’s Razor which says that in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the simplest solution is most likely to be the correct one.

Given that the bad form and bad feeling around the team can be traced back exactly to the game at Tynecastle; given that since then, Lennon has at various times stopped doing media work; and given that he has been almost constantly and quite publicly slagging-off the players (individually and collectively), the simplest answer is that he has lost command of the players.

This obvious bad spirit, alongside his complete inability to pick a consistent team, and inability to have them well set-up and well drilled defensively where everyone knows what their job is (and does it), it increasingly looks like he is the main problem.

Lennon made a big play when he arrived of making Hibs tougher, getting a winning mentality and not accepting poor standards.

Well applying those principles to the current team, the bottom-six is completely unacceptable, as is the run we are on, as is how disorganised we look. We look a poorly coached side at the moment, and we look poorly motivated.

I’m not going to say he should be sacked, because I am not privy to what is actually going on within the squad and club. But Leeann Dempster and George Craig should be.

What I will say is that I just don’t believe that Livingston, Kilmarnock, Hearts, St Johnstone or Aberdeen have considerably, if at all, better squads than Hibs do.

So, the question is, what are those teams’ managers doing that Lennon is failing to do, and is he capable of fixing it?

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James Stephen Blog

Football writer and author of What Kept You Hibs?, the definitive story of the fall and glorious rise of Hibernian, smashing football’s greatest curse. Available on amazon e-book now Unfortunately the 150 limited edition hard copies have sold out. Guest contributions and feedback welcome

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