Did Hibernian get the right Calderwood?

Hibernian have a new manager, Alex Hendrikson asks if he is the right man for the job.

Had you told a Hibs supporter a week ago that Calderwood was to become the new man in charge at Easter Road, you probably would not have got the most positive response. In the immediate aftermath of John Hughes stepping down from the position, it was the former Aberdeen and Dunfermline boss, Jimmy Calderwood that looked likely to take charge.

Jimmy C had been eyeing the Hibs job back in 2009 even before the appointment of Hughes, but chairman Rod Petrie has again decided to think outside the box and appoint a man with no previous managerial experience North of the border. Colin Calderwood has had spells in the hot seat with Northampton Town and Nottingham Forest, taking them both up a level. With Forest he stalled in the Championship and was sacked after a Christmas defeat to Doncaster Rovers but since then he has proved successful as Chris Hughton’s assistant at Newcastle United during last season’s promotion campaign.

According to Petrie, over one hundred applications for the post were made and described the appointment as a “coup.” The Edinburgh club has gone through some eight managers in ten years, with John ‘Yogi’ Hughes lasting little over a year. Hughes got off to a promising start and this time last season their was even muted talk of a title challenge being made, however the side collapsed during the second half of the campaign and only won their first game this season on Saturday.

Calderwood’s appointment is somewhat of a wildcard, but his lack of experience in Scottish football may not be too damaging. Starting fresh in Scottish football, he will not carry the kind baggage that would come with the likes of Jimmy Calderwood. Fans should and will be more likely to give him time to implement his ideas on how to move the club forward. Tony Mowbray and John Collin’s have arguably been the Hibee’s two most successful managers of recent times, and they similarly had no previous experience of managing in Scottish football when taking the job.

Petrie’s stated ambition is to make his club the third force of Scottish football, but this will have to be done on limited resources and with bigger clubs both in Glasgow and down South constantly coming in for their good young players. The test that awaits Calderwood then is perhaps the toughest of his short managerial career. As anyone who saw Hibs’ 2-1 win over Kilmarnock at the weekend will know, there is a lot of work to be done but in this writer’s opinion, the Hibees have the right Calderwood.

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