Shaun Maloney sack timing is mental and Hibs board’s thought process doesn’t add up – Tam McManus

I’ve Hibs to thanks for shanking my drive on the first tee at Straven Golf Club into the woods.

My phone was red hot on Tuesday morning with the shock news that Shaun Maloney had been sacked.

The first three holes were a disaster, all over the place, call after call before switching to silent mode and eventually settling down to win 3 and 2.

It seems like only yesterday I was writing my RecordSport column and backing the manager to get it right if funds were released this summer.

The initial reaction is that the decision to remove Maloney is harsh, the timing especially doesn’t add up.

Sixteen games isn’t enough time to make a considered judgment on a young manager and if he was going to be axed why did the board not do it after the shocker at Tynecastle the previous week?

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There’s a certain irony about this sacking on the back of a Scottish Cup defeat to the Jambos where the general consensus was the team had played very well.

That said, chairman Ron Gordon is the majority shareholder and he runs the club as he sees fit.

The supporters will be split over this, some of them wanted Maloney to be given time, they wanted to see what he could do in the next transfer window and have a summer where he could rebuild. There are others like my massive Hibee mate who just wanted him gone.

I’d like the new manager to be brought in quickly, there are five games left and the new man needs to see who he wants to keep for next season and who should be shunted out the door.

It could be that David Gray could be given these games to show he should get it on a permanent basis.

David Gray stepped up when Jack Ross was sacked

He’s already had a spell as caretaker and would be a popular choice, if he was to win all of these games then how could you not give it to him?

Maloney was always going to be a gamble, he had the gravitas of being part of the Belgium national team’s backroom staff and that persuaded the board to take the punt.

Will they now be stung by this and go for an experienced manager like a Derek McInnes? Maybe they have someone lined up who will come straight in, people will put two and two together and come up with five with the likes of Scott Brown being mentioned.

I honestly have no insider information on any of it but I do know there are always things going on behind the scenes.

If it is to be Brown then it’s another young manager with very little coaching experience and it may tick a box for some fans but it also comes with a huge risk of just bringing in a name.

The timing of this is a bit mental as if the club were thinking about it, I’ll repeat myself and ask why they didn’t do it after Tynecastle.

There is a bottom line here and when you arrive as a manager at any club then it’s all about getting results and Maloney didn’t get them when it mattered. It’s been really poor and he didn’t provide the club with a bounce despite winning his first couple of games.

He also appeared a bit thin skinned when criticized but I have a degree of sympathy.

The sale of Martin Boyle, his best player and top scorer has come to be the nail in his managerial coffin.

Most of the signings are also project players, it’s all added up to a perfect storm.

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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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