Mixu For The Hibbies
So our Edinburgh rivals Hibs have now replaced John Collins with another former player, Mixu Paatelainen. Is he likely to turn Hibs into a force again?
It's very difficult to tell with a young manager who is relatively untested at a big club (in Scottish terms) like Hibs. Some are comparing his appointment to when Hearts brought Craig Levein
to Tynecastle as their manager straight from the lower leagues in Scotland. I can see where these comparisons come from of course (young manager, former player, managed Cowdenbeath!), but every manager is different and I'm quite sure that Mixu will be his own man - whether that's good enough to breathe new life into Hibs is anyone's guess at this stage though.
Any managerial appointment is a risk, especially when the successful candidate is as inexperienced as Paatelainen is, but all of the true greats had to start somewhere didn't they? I can remember quite a bit of triumphant gloating coming from the Hearts support when Tony Mowbray was unveiled at Easter Road. He was another manager who lacked any real experience before getting the Hibs job, but despite all the 'Tony who?' questions and 'monkey's heid'' jibes, Mowbray did a fantastic job there, and continues to carry it on at West Bromwich Albion.
Of course, for every Mowbray there is a Franck Sauzee, so it'll be interesting to see which category Mixu ends up moving towards. The one thing that he has in his favour though, is that he has no Old Firm connections whatsoever. This is always important for new managers taking over at the Edinburgh clubs, as someone who does have a connection who starts off badly is likely to get a much harder time from the supporters early on than someone who doesn't - just ask Bobby Williamson for confirmation of that!
I wonder if, by the time Mixu has been in the Hibs job as long as John Collins was, Hearts will have a new manager? Nah scratch that suggestion........I'm just being silly now!