2008–09 Hibernian F.C. season

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Hibernian
2008–09 season
Chairman Rod Petrie
Manager Mixu Paatelainen
Scottish Premier League 6th
Scottish Cup R4
CIS Cup R2
Intertoto Cup R2
Top goalscorer League: Derek Riordan (12)
All: Derek Riordan (12)
Highest home attendance 17,223 v Hearts
Lowest home attendance 10,317 v St Mirren
Average home league attendance 12,684

Season 2008–09 for Hibernian was their tenth consecutive season of play in the Scottish Premier League. The SPL season began on 9 August 2008 with a 1–0 defeat at Kilmarnock. The team were eliminated from each cup competition at the first hurdle, due to defeats by IF Elfsborg in the last Intertoto Cup, Greenock Morton in the Scottish League Cup and Edinburgh derby rivals Hearts in the Scottish Cup. The team was inconsistent in the league, and only squeezed into the top six by a single point ahead of Motherwell. This led to the resignation of manager Mixu Paatelainen at the end of the season.[1] One bright spot for the club was the performance of the under–19 team, which won the Scottish league & cup double.[2]

Pre-season[edit]

Hibs manager Mixu Paatelainen announced during May 2008 that the Hibs players would only have four weeks off after the end of the 2007–08 season, giving them two weeks to prepare for the first Intertoto Cup game.[3] Hibs entered the last Intertoto Cup competition at the second round stage. They were drawn to play IF Elfsborg, who defeated Hibs 4–0 on aggregate, 2–0 at both Easter Road and the Borås Arena. Hibs lost a glamour friendly 6–0 against Barcelona at Murrayfield Stadium on 24 July.

Hibs then also lost a friendly to Third Division club Cowdenbeath. This prompted media speculation that Mixu Paatelainen would resign from his position as manager, which was denied.[4] Hibs then suffered another heavy defeat, 3–0 to First Division club Clyde, before finally scoring their first goal of the season in a 3–2 defeat to Premier League club Middlesbrough. Hibs completed their programme of friendlies with a 1–0 defeat against Wigan Athletic.

Results[edit]

League season[edit]

Having suffered through a very poor pre-season, Hibs were under pressure to get off to a good start in the Scottish Premier League, but they lost their first game 1–0 at Kilmarnock. The team then bounced back with an entertaining 3–2 win at Easter Road against Falkirk, but drew with Inverness Caledonian Thistle and lost 1–0 at home to Motherwell. The Scotland on Sunday reported after the latter result that Hibs' "lack of quality" was the reason for their poor results.[5] Hibs bounced back to record back to back wins over Dundee United (2–1) and Hamiton (1–0). However, in their next game, Hibs lost 3–0 at home to Rangers. The team then travelled to Pittodrie to face Aberdeen where the Hibees won 2–1 with two goals from Riordan.

An international break followed as Scotland drew 0–0 with Norway. The next game back was the first Edinburgh derby of the season, played at Easter Road. Steven Fletcher gave Hibs an early lead and it looked as though they would go on to score more. However, the game went on to be a tight affair and Hearts equalised from a Bruno Aguiar free-kick. The game finished 1–1 after both teams missed chance after chance to take the bragging rights of Edinburgh. The draw in the derby started a run of six games without a win for Hibs, including defeats by Celtic (4–2), Inverness (2–1) and Dundee United (2–0). In the last game of the run, Hibs came from 2–0 to draw 2–2 with Aberdeen. The winless run was ended emphatically when Hibs won 4–1 at Motherwell.[6] Hibs then built on that win by drawing at Falkirk and beating Celtic and Hamilton Academical at home.

After that, however, Hibs went on another very poor run of results, winning only one win of their next nine league matches. Put together with the early exit from the Scottish Cup, this run of form increased the pressure on manager Mixu Paatelainen.[7] This pressure was eased somewhat by league wins against Hamilton and Hearts, which was a first Edinburgh derby win for Paatelainen as Hibs manager.[8] Despite Hibs failing to win any of their last four games before the split, Motherwell's 2–0 defeat by St Mirren meant that Hibs squeezed into the top six by a single point.

A home defeat by Dundee United in the first game after the split effectively ended Hibs' chances of qualifying for the Europa League. The team then enjoyed some unexpectedly good results, winning the last derby of the season at Tynecastle, and holding both halves of the Old Firm to draws at Easter Road.

Results[edit]

Final table[edit]

Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
Qualification or relegation
1 Rangers (C) 38 26 8 4 77 28 +49 86 2009–10 UEFA Champions League Group stage
2 Celtic 38 24 10 4 80 33 +47 82 2009–10 UEFA Champions League Third qualifying round
3 Heart of Midlothian 38 16 11 11 40 37 +3 59 2009–10 UEFA Europa League Play-off round
4 Aberdeen 38 14 11 13 41 40 +1 53 2009–10 UEFA Europa League Third qualifying round
5 Dundee United 38 13 14 11 47 50 −3 53
6 Hibernian 38 11 14 13 42 46 −4 47
7 Motherwell 38 13 9 16 46 51 −5 48 2009–10 UEFA Europa League First qualifying round
8 Kilmarnock 38 12 8 18 38 48 −10 44
9 Hamilton Academical 38 12 5 21 30 53 −23 41
10 Falkirk 38 9 11 18 37 52 −15 38 2009–10 UEFA Europa League Second qualifying round
11 St Mirren 38 9 10 19 33 52 −19 37
12 Inverness Caledonian Thistle (R) 38 10 7 21 37 58 −21 37 Scottish First Division 2009–10

Updated to games played on 24 May 2009.
Source: BBC Sport
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored
(C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.

Scottish League Cup[edit]

Having failed to qualify for European competition in the previous season, Hibs entered the Scottish League Cup in the second round. They were drawn at home to First Division club Morton,[9] but suffered a shock 4–3 defeat after extra time.[10]

Two decisions by referee Iain Brines during the second period of extra time were perceived to be wrong by Mixu Paatelainen.[10] The first decision was to award Morton a penalty kick for handball by Dean Shiels, which led to their third goal.[10] The second decision was to award a direct free kick against Chris Hogg, which led to the fourth and winning Morton goal.[10] The incident involving Hogg caused him to suffer from headaches, which eventually forced Hogg to stop playing for nearly a month.[11]

Paatelainen threw a towel to the ground in disgust at the referee's decisions, which prompted Brines to send the Hibs manager to the stands.[10] The SFA subsequently banned Paatelainen from the technical area for four SPL matches.[12]

Results[edit]

Scottish Cup[edit]

Hibs were drawn at home to Edinburgh derby rivals Hearts in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup. Hearts won the game 2–0 to extend Hibs' drought in the competition another year.[13] Steven Fletcher was sent off by referee Craig Thomson for a lunging tackle on Hearts captain Christophe Berra during the first half while the match was still goalless.[13] Hibs manager Mixu Paatelainen was critical of the referee's decision, and stated his belief that Hibs were the better side until the sending off.[13]

Results[edit]

Transfers[edit]

Hibernian home kit (2008-09)
Hibernian away kit (2008–09)

There was expected to be something of a clear-out of players during the 2008 summer transfer window because manager Mixu Paatelainen stated that he wanted to reduce the size of the first team squad from 32 players to around 25 players.[14] Paatelainen began this process by releasing four players who had been out on loan during the 2007–08 season. He also released left-back Abderraouf Zarabi, who had only been signed a few months previously.[15] Key midfielder Guillaume Beuzelin signed for Coventry City under freedom of contract.[16]

Right-back David van Zanten signed for Hibs, having made a pre-contract agreement to sign when his contract with St Mirren expired. Fabián Yantorno was given access to Hibs' medical facilities with a view to him signing when he recovered from a long-term injury sustained whilst playing for Gretna,[17][18] and he signed for Hibs in August. Former Nantes youth player Steven Thicot and former Chelsea player Joe Keenan were taken on trial and signed on in July.[19]

Hibs then trimmed their squad on the final day of the summer transfer window by releasing Martin Canning, Brian Kerr and Zibi Malkowski, but they brought in Dunfermline central defender Souleymane Bamba. Mixu Paatelainen was quoted as expecting a "busy day",[20] which was highlighted when Derek Riordan completed a much-anticipated return from Celtic.[21]

On 13 November, Hibs announced that they had signed Jonatan Johansson to a pre-contract agreement. Johansson was included in the squad from the start of January 2009,[22] and made his debut in the Edinburgh derby played on 3 January. Former Dundee United goalkeeper Grzegorz Szamotulski signed a deal with Hibs until the end of the season. Thierry Gathuessi and Filipe Morais, who had both been signed by John Collins in the summer of 2007 but fell out of favour under Mixu Paatelainen, were released on 8 January and both signed deals with Inverness Caledonian Thistle until the end of the season.[23][24]

Player stats[edit]

During the 2008–09 season, Hibs used 30 different players in competitive games. The table below shows the number of appearances and goals scored by each player.[30]

No. Pos Nat Player Total SPL Scottish Cup League Cup Intertoto Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK Hungary David Grof 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
GK Democratic Republic of the Congo Yves Makabu-Makalambay 23 0 21 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
GK Scotland Andrew McNeil 8 0 6 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
GK Poland Grzegorz Szamotulski 13 0 12 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
DF Ivory Coast Souleymane Bamba 30 0 29 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
DF Scotland Martin Canning 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
DF Scotland Paul Hanlon 9 1 7 1 0 0 0 0 2 0
DF England Chris Hogg 35 0 31 0 1 0 1 0 2 0
DF England Rob Jones 35 4 32 4 1 0 0 0 2 0
DF Scotland Darren McCormack 8 0 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
DF Scotland Ian Murray 32 0 28 0 1 0 1 0 2 0
DF Republic of Ireland David van Zanten 33 0 29 0 1 0 1 0 2 0
MF Scotland Ross Chisholm 21 0 19 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
MF Finland Jonatan Johansson 10 0 9 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
MF England Joe Keenan 16 1 15 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
MF Scotland Brian Kerr 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
MF Portugal Filipe Morais 4 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
MF Republic of Ireland Alan O'Brien 26 0 24 0 1 0 0 0 1 0
MF Scotland John Rankin 38 3 34 3 1 0 1 0 2 0
MF Hungary Denes Rosa 12 0 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MF Northern Ireland Dean Shiels 23 4 20 3 0 0 1 1 2 0
MF Scotland Lewis Stevenson 32 0 29 0 1 0 1 0 1 0
MF France Steven Thicot 20 0 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MF Uruguay Fabian Yantorno 7 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
MF Morocco Merouane Zemmama 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
FW Scotland Ross Campbell 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
FW Scotland Steven Fletcher 38 11 34 11 1 0 1 0 2 0
FW Scotland Colin Nish 35 8 31 8 1 0 1 0 2 0
FW France Steve Pinau 9 1 8 0 0 0 1 1 0 0
FW Scotland Derek Riordan 33 12 32 12 1 0 0 0 0 0

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Paatelainen parts with Hibernian". BBC Sport. 29 May 2009. Archived from the original on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 29 May 2009. 
  2. ^ "Hibernian youths complete double". BBC Sport. 29 April 2009. Archived from the original on 2 May 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  3. ^ "Mixu: Short break no big deal for Hibs". Edinburgh Evening News. Johnston Press. 13 May 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2008. 
  4. ^ Pattullo, Alan (30 July 2008). "Relaxed Paatelainen says he will not quit". The Scotsman. Johnston Press. Retrieved 30 July 2008. 
  5. ^ Hibernian 0 – 1 Motherwell: Hibs' lack of quality their undoing, Scotland on Sunday, 31 August 2008.
  6. ^ Hardie, David. Motherwell 1 – 4 Hibernian: Decisive victory ends Hibs' losing streak, Edinburgh Evening News, 22 November 2008.
  7. ^ Paatelainen held culpable as Hibs toil to break out of spiral of decline, The Scotsman, 24 February 2009.
  8. ^ Mixu Paatelainen finally finds joy in derby, The Times, 16 March 2009.
  9. ^ Co-op Ins Cup - second round draw, BBC Sport, 11 August 2008.
  10. ^ a b c d e Hibs boss critical of ref Brines, BBC Sport, 26 August 2008.
  11. ^ Gordon, Phil. Chris Hogg heartened by doctors’ news after torment of post-concussion, The Times, 30 October 2008.
  12. ^ Grahame, Ewing. Hibernian's Mixu Paatelainen fails to overturn touchline ban, Daily Telegraph, 23 October 2008.
  13. ^ a b c Hibs boss slams Fletcher red card, BBC Sport, 11 January 2009.
  14. ^ Hibs squad to get a summer trim – Mixu, Edinburgh Evening News, 20 May 2008.
  15. ^ Wright, Angus. Zarabi exits Hibs after four months, The Scotsman, 22 May 2008.
  16. ^ Guillaume Beuzelin "lacked commitment" says Pat Stanton Archived 3 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine., Coventry Telegraph, 16 June 2008.
  17. ^ Yantorno given chance with Hibs, BBC Sport, 9 April 2008.
  18. ^ I'll prove I'm worth Hibs deal, Daily Record, 19 June 2008.
  19. ^ Crowther, Stuart. Hibernian sign two[permanent dead link], Hibernian official site.
  20. ^ Etherson, Brian. Paatelainen expects busy day, Setanta Sports, 1 September 2008.
  21. ^ Riordan reunited with his first love, The Scotsman, 2 September 2008.
  22. ^ Johansson agrees Hibernian switch, BBC Sport, 13 November 2008.
  23. ^ Hibs pair heading for Inverness, BBC Sport, 8 January 2009.
  24. ^ SQUAD UPDATE Archived 9 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
  25. ^ Dey, Graeme. Bamba on his way back to the SPL, The Courier, 1 September 2008.
  26. ^ Etherson, Brian. Mixu welcomes 'matured' Riordan, Setanta Sports, 2 September 2008.
  27. ^ Jardine, Peter and Greechan, John. Riordan relief as he leaves Celtic while Cousin, Gow head south as Gers cut salary bill, Daily Mail, 2 September 2008.
  28. ^ Donaldson was sold for a "six-figure fee" according to BBC Sport.
  29. ^ MIXU: FLETCHER WILL STAY LOYAL, Sporting Life, 2 February 2009.
  30. ^ "Hibernian 2008/2009 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 24 November 2008.