‘Emergency situation’ mishap
There was drama even before kick-off at a sun-kissed Tony Macaroni Arena. Thirty minutes before kick-off, the tannoy burst into life with repeated messages warning of an “emergency situation” and that the stadium should be evacuated immediately. Most people waited until the fifth or sixth airing of said message before vacating their seats, with stewards at a loss to explain what was going on. Just as people started to look a little concerned, a voice interjected stating that this was in fact a “false alarm” and people could re-enter the premises, before a song by Kanye West and Rihanna was played over the airwaves to try and restore calm. As it was, no harm done, but the whole scenario was pretty shambolic and makes you wonder what would have happened had there been a real “emergency situation”.
Two managers who love to talk
David Martindale is always excellent value with the press, before and after matches, and it was no different here. “Something special” is happening at Livingston, the manager professed, and Joel Nouble reminds him of Lyndon Dykes. All fair. Martindale is a likeable chap – he even offered this writer a lift to the train station when exiting the stadium – and what he has built in West Lothian is so admirable. His counterpart at Hibs, Lee Johnson, also appears to enjoy the media’s company. He is the purveyor of a fine quote and his pearl of wisdom here was likening his Hibs team to a bunch of toddlers who have been asked to make a cup of tea, only to get themselves burned. Scottish football is serious business but it is also entertainment and it is nice to have such characters at our clubs.
Stephane Omeonga – what Hibs need
Right, on to matters on the pitch. Stephane Omeonga made a strong impression during his two loan spells at Hibs and the little Belgian, when made available for a permanent transfer from Pescara last year, looked a nap to join Hibs. Whether he was (a) offered to the club and (b) they wanted him is up for debate but he would be an upgrade on the current Hibs midfield in terms of tenacity and composure. Hibs lack a bit of bite and street-savvy, something that Omeonga would offer. The club is supposedly finished in the transfer window, having spent the rest of its budget on Boyle, unless players are moved on. Finding some extra pennies for a midfielder of Omeonga’s ilk would be advisable.
Transfer links with Luke McCormick
As mentioned above, Hibs used the rest of their budget to land Boyle. While AFC Wimbledon attacking midfielder Luke McCormick is a player they admire and are keeping tabs on, the signing of Boyle appears to have put paid to any deal despite reports on Saturday morning saying a move to Edinburgh is on the cards. That’s not to say Hibs won’t be active in the rest of the window, but incomings are probably more reliant on players leaving or a fresh injection of cash by the board. Hibs have already spent a fair dollop of cash in this window.