Blogs & Opinion


Andy Walker says Hibernian must capture Leigh Griffiths on permanent contract

Andy Walker - Andy Walker Posted 5th November 2012 view comments

As Hibernian prepare to host Dundee United live on Sky Sports on Sunday, I think it's fair to say no-one really knew how the Edinburgh side would react when they suffered the embarrassment of losing 5-1 in last season's Scottish Cup final to bitter rivals Hearts.

It will undoubtedly take a long time for the fans to get over that one but after 12 games this season, Hibs sit proudly at the top of the SPL alongside Celtic.

It's a credit to manager Pat Fenlon that he has been able to instil a winning mentality into his group of players following that painful defeat.

Griffiths: the on-loan Wolves man is thriving in Edinburgh

Griffiths: the on-loan Wolves man is thriving in Edinburgh

Having good players helps, of course, and in Leigh Griffiths, Hibs possess a front man who consistently makes all the difference. He is in the form of his life and may well earn a call-up to the full Scotland side.

Saturday's double against St Mirren took his total for the season to 11 and without him the simple truth is that Hibs would be ordinary.

Madness

Griffiths is on loan at Easter Road until January from Wolves, but Wanderers boss Stale Solbakken has already indicated that the 22-year-old won't be part of his plans and he's happy for him to pursue his career away from Molineux.

The simple truth is that Hibs would be ordinary without Griffiths and it would be madness if they didn't secure his services on a permanent basis.

Andy Walker
Quotes of the week

Hibs are renowned for running a tight ship but it would be madness if they didn't secure his services on a permanent transfer.

Griffiths was known for his temperamental outbursts but it looks as though he has tried hard to put that juvenile streak behind him and is maturing into a constant threat.

The big concern I can see for Hibs fans is that if they keep putting his potential signing off - and he keeps scoring at his current rate - he may well attract the attention of clubs prepared to take a chance on a goalscorer in a rich vein of form.

My guess is that rather than get involved in a bidding war with other clubs for his services, they do a deal quickly to give both the player and the fans a boost. It would also help Pat Fenlon plan a better future for the club.

Developing

To be fair to Hibs, they are entitled to highlight how well they are run off the park. When Tony Mowbray and John Collins were managing the team, they had the luxury of developing a talented group of exciting young players.

Scott Brown, Kevin Thomson, Steven Whittaker and Steven Fletcher all came through the youth set-up together and were sold for millions by the club. That money has been used to improve the ground and build a training centre to nurture the talent of the future.

But after a truly awful season last time round when relegation was a real possibility in April, the supporters needed a lift and like fans of every club, they love to idolise a goal-scorer.

Sunday's game should provide the opportunity to see a number of talented Scots in action and Johnny Russell and Gary Mackay-Steven are capable of scoring goals for a Dundee United side who produced a remarkable comeback last weekend.

Trailing SPL champions Celtic by two goals with a minute to go, United showed great fighting spirit to get a goal back then secure a point with an equaliser in injury time.

With Griffiths on one side scoring for fun and the Terrors' exciting young talent on the other, it's a fixture that promises goals.

Don't miss Hibernian v Dundee United, 12.30pm, Sunday, Sky Sports 4 HD.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Paul Merson

Merson's predictions

Paul Merson predicts the weekend scores and says Chelsea will only avoid defeat if Diego Costa plays....

Gary Neville

Neville - Step back for City

Gary Neville says Manchester City must learn to see games out if they are to win the Champions League....

Ed Chamberlin

Ed: City can make statement

Ed Chamberlin can't wait for Man City-Chelsea on Super Sunday and gives his early Ryder Cup tips....

Latest News RSS feeds

Everton brush aside Wolfsburg

Everton opened their Europa League Group H campaign with a convincing 4-1 win over Wolfsburg at Goodison Park.

Spurs secure Partizan point

Spurs were held to a goalless stalemate in their Europa League Group C opener against Partizan Belgrade.

Neville - Step back for City

Gary Neville says Manchester City must learn to see games out if they are to win the Champions League.

Poch hits out at banner

Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino was angered by the "unacceptable" anti-Semitic banner displayed by Partizan fans.

Martinez delighted by big win

Roberto Martinez was delighted with Everton's display as they brushed aside Wolfsburg to win 4-1 in the Europa League.

Features

Kevin Davies selects his five favourite footballers

Kevin Davies selects his five favourite footballers

We asked our football expert, former England international Kevin Davies, to name the his timeline of favourite footballers from boyhood idol to present day icon. Read on to find out his five selections...

Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa were Atletico Madrid team-mates but their routes to the top have been so different

Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa were Atletico Madrid team-mates but their routes to the top have been so different

With 64 goals between them last season, Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa are two of the game’s best strikers. Born just three months apart on opposite sides of the Argentina-Brazil border, they were even team-mates at Atletico Madrid. But the pair have taken very different routes to the top.

Champions League: Yaya Toure off the pace as Manchester City succumb to late goal against Bayern Munich

Champions League: Yaya Toure off the pace as Manchester City succumb to late goal against Bayern Munich

Vincent Kompany said earlier this week that Yaya Toure was "not far off" signing a new Manchester City deal; that's considerably closer than he got to any Bayern Munich midfielder on Wednesday night.