Kris Commons rips into Hibs as Celtic pal Shaun Maloney ax sparks fuming ‘trigger happy’ board verdict

Raging Kris Commons has launched a firm defense of former Celtic pal Shaun Maloney after he was sacked by Hibs.

And he didn’t hold back on the Easter Road board after Maloney’s four month stint in Leith was brought to an abrupt end.

Maloney’s spell ended after he failed to secure a top six Premiership finish before enduring a 2-1 defeat to their biggest rivals Hearts in Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi final on Saturday.

It follows Jack Ross being shown the door in December despite him leading to the Premier Sports Cup Final and finishing third last season.

However, Commons reckons the Hibs board should have been preparing for a massive summer overhaul rather than wielding the ax for a second time this season.

Having played alongside Maloney at Parkhead and with Scotland, he reckons that his former teammate could have turned it around if he had been given time.

Shaun Maloney has been shown the door at Hibs after four months

Commons reckons the board are putting the club through a “constant cycle of transition” ahead of another overhaul in the summer.

Writing in his Daily Mail column, he said: “I understand that results haven’t been great. But this still strikes me as a ridiculous decision from owner Ron Gordon.

“When you appoint a rookie head coach, you surely have to understand that it might take some time for them to get it right. You are making a commitment to someone and there needs to be a degree of patience.

“Maloney was never going to provide a quick fix. He was never going to walk in and reinvent the wheel from day one. He needed time but Hibs simply weren’t willing to give him any.

“Which makes you wonder what on earth the point was in giving him the job in the first place if you’re just going to sack him after four months?

“I feel sorry for Maloney. I know him personally from our time playing together with Scotland and Celtic and I can tell you he’s a really honest and genuine fella.

“Listen to all of his former teammates and ex-managers. You won’t hear anyone with a bad word to say about him.

He’s extremely intelligent and that shone through any time he did punditry work on TV prior to taking the Hibs job. He obviously wanted to introduce a high pressing, possession-based game.

“Hibs sold their top scorer and best player in Martin Boyle in January. They have also lost Kevin Nisbet to a season-ending injury, so Maloney lost his two main goalscorers. That’s a scenario which would challenge even the most experienced of managers.

“I’ve seen Hibs a few times in recent months. There were times when you could see Maloney’s style working and it looked like they were making progress.

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“But he (Gordon) got rid of Jack Ross just a week before the League Cup final back in December. Now he’s given Maloney the bullet with just five games to go until the end of the season.

“It just strikes me as a panicked, thoughtless move from Gordon. He’s stumbling around in the dark, making one mistake after another. In his mind, the back-to-back defeats to Hearts were the final straw. But constantly chopping and changing the manager is harmful to a club.You end up in this constant cycle of transition.

“The new manager will come in and decide to have a clear-out of players. The squad ends up being ripped up every 12 months or so. There’s no continuity or sense of identity when you’ve got a trigger-happy owner like Gordon charge.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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