Date: 12th January 2009 at 1:10pm
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My opinion of Hibs manager Mixu Paatelainen wasn’t particularly high after watching his side failing to impress in the extreme with their two derby performances in the last week or so, but like all young managers he needs to be afforded the luxury of at least some time to get things right.

However after his graceless post-match antics at Easter Road yesterday following his side’s departure from the Scottish Cup, I really do wonder if our Edinburgh rivals should be looking to cut their
losses now and start looking for a manager who can at least handle himself appropriately in the public eye when the pressure’s on.

Mixu’s antics on the touchline yesterday were bad enough – jumping up and down like a schoolboy every time something didn’t go in his favour and actively encouraging his team-mates to assault opponents (as Ian Murray did to Christian Nade right in front of the dug-out) isn’t exactly what you’d expect from a distinguished leader of men, but not having the decency to shake hands with his opposite number after the match would indicate to me that he’s simply not up to such a high pressure job.

Even after the Finn had had time to digest what had happened out there and watch a few incidents on the TV replays, he was still refusing to accept that Stephen Fletcher’s challenge on Christophe Berra was a bad one, instead trying to point the finger at Berra for getting his player sent off. For anyone who has had the benefit of watching the same pictures as the Hibs manager, this is frankly laughable (it perhaps wasn’t quite as bad as I’d thought after one viewing at the game itself, but it was still a bad and dangerous challenge that Mixu will know), and although I don’t expect that he’ll be in any hot water over his remarks, in particular calling the Hearts captain a cheat, he should be thanking his lucky stars that the SFA don’t quite have it in for his club in the same way as they do ours, as there would be no question that Csaba would have been in trouble for behaving in the same way.

I’m sure everyone has had their fun at this latest derby win for Hearts – it’s always nice to stick it up your local rivals on their own patch, no matter how good or bad they are, but I do think that it’s important for clubs such as ourselves, Hibs and Aberdeen to be strong if we all want to achieve what should be our ultimate goal – putting down a sustained challenge to the Old Firm. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Csaba Laszlo can continue the good work that he’s started in restoring Hearts’ respectability (although there’s much work to be done there), but when you look at Aberdeen and Hibs you really have to ask whether they’ll ever get close to serious improvement under the comedy regimes they appear to have running their teams. The Sheep should have binned Calderwood ages ago but seem determined to hold themselves back from progress by retaining the services of a man who seems to be everyone in the press’ mate (no doubt they all share the same favourite football team!), and if Mixu continues to embarrass Hibs like he did yesterday, then they should seriously consider taking this sort of action too before things get even worse.

Mind you, I don’t suppose too many people reading this will care one bit about whether or not Hibs deserve a better boss than Mixu……….!

 

18 Replies to “Mixu – An Absolute Embarrassment”

  • He must have been informed pre-match that it’s okay to kick Hearts players & expect no retribution (or the punishment going the other way). I expect he watched Zaliukas getting sent off for being headbutted by Lee Miller against Aberdeen, and took his cue from that. In any event, the guy is a total £^”&!er and if anything it just makes the victory all the sweeter. In truth, Fletcher’s challenge probably only merited a yellow, but I could see why the ref thought it was a straight red (and it had nothing to do with Berra impersonating a fish either(!?)). Bad loser. Small man. Perfect to be in charge of the wee team. MIXU MUST STAY!!!!

  • There’s certainly no way that Berra cheated there. That was a reckless challenge – I did think he’d meant to hurt Berra at the game but the TV pictures indicate that he just lunged in recklessly in an attempt to get the ball. He was off the ground though and Berra’s lucky he’s still walking properly today.

  • Let’s not forget that getting a Hearts player sent off now wins you player of the month too so Fletcher must be gutted.

  • I think a red card was quite harsh. It’s a mans game, and after it is a derby game, passions run high, a stern warning and yellow card would have been sufficient in my opinion. As for Mixu not shaking hands, I personally wouldn?t be too critical of him for doing that, Boruc done the same last year when he refused on the field, point blank to shake anyone?s hands despite being offered by several of the Rangers players. Nobody likes to get beat, so I can understand Mixus reaction. I react the same when I get beat at anything. Humans are like that, emotional creatures. I think Hearts thoroughly deserved the victory though, and it was only a matter of time (given the recent derby game that finished 0-0 amazingly) before Hearts give Hibs a doing. But I suppose none of this matters, after all there is only going to be one name on the cup this year 😉 A can see a treble on the horizon.

  • I think Mixu’s intensely bad sportsmanship demonstrates the pitfall of appointing a popular ex-player too early in his management career. Mixu looks to be struggling to master the skills needed for dealing with games, players, tactics and media at this level – and possibly thinks he can make up the shortfall by behaving like an extreme fan. Great example to set his young players, eh ? The best managers distance themselves a fair bit from the obvious bias of fans. Love him or hate him, Strachan doesn’t have any Celtic “baggage”. So he isn’t a badgekisser – more of a manager with his own ideas of how to produce results for his club but who doesn’t care if it upsets “Celtic folks”.

  • Yeah fair comment there on the likes of Strachan – you only need to see the emotional effect that having that job had on say Tommy Burns, who still did a great job in my opinion, but ultimately it got to him when it came to speaking in public. Mixu has quite clearly been thrown in much deeper than his credentials allow him to manage, and although RK cites Boruc and people like that showing a lack of respect for others at times, aren’t managers supposed to be above that? And to be honest, Boruc aint exactly the greatest role model to use as a comparison here is he?!

  • Mr H i can actually understand someone being upset @ end of game although i think once they have calmed down surely they should sort it out by way of an apology?

  • I’m glad that our manager seems able to switch from his animated emotions on the touchline during the 90 minutes to a respectful and gracious human being as soon as the final whistle goes. Yet another reason for us to be cheerful about Csaba !!!

  • What I found interesting and laughable is that Mixu defended his tactics by saying that he had planned for 11 men not 10 that says everything doesn’t it? Great tactical abilities. Mixu, olet vain huono löyhemmän ! (Mixu you are just a bad looser!)

  • By the time Mixu was calling Berra a cheat he’d had plenty of time to watch the replays on TV and calm down a bit. Clearly the pressure is getting to him….either that or he really turning into a Bond bad guy and is starting to lose his sanity!

  • Imagine if it had been Zaliukas instead of Berra that Fletcher had clattered ? The pundits and meeja (and Mixu) would be having a field day – Lithuanian diving once again, immediate SFA reversal of Fletcher’s card, retrospective red for Zaliukas, even heftier fine for Hearts disciplinary record.

  • Honestly you would think Mixu had just lost the world cup the way he has been going on. I listened to, god knows why, the football phone in on Real Radio last night and was amazed by the number of fans calling in to blast Berra as a cheat. Frankly if I were Berra I would have jumped out of the way too. The challenge was dangerous and rash, the fact that Fletcher made little contact has nothing to do with it. You can get sent off in football for throwing a punch or a slap and not connecting. Kenny Clark released a statement saying the ref was right. Ultimately these things even themselves out, as most people say. Again I can go back to stupid sending offs’ Hearts have experienced in the past but wont as frankly the whole thing is getting tedious. The result stands no matter what and like any other win I am happy with it. If Hearts lose next year to Hibs through a controversial decision I will do what I always do, shut up and keep my head down or say we were crap, instead of bleeting on radio phone-ins etc as it will make no difference. The entire debacle caused by Mixu has made the derby game a joke just like his team. Sorry guys, had to get that out of my system.

  • I think that Mixu and the rest are missing the important point – Hibs created next to nothing during the course of the game. You could argue (and I will) that Hearts are the best team to be down to 10 men playing against, as while we insist on 1 up front it should be (in theory) fairly straighforward to go 3 at the back and be able to contain a lone striker. I’m not playing down the difficulty of uneven sides but on Sky after about 15 – 20 mins of the second half the possession stats were 25%/75% in favour of Hearts!

  • Hmm not sure I can agree totally there inm – we’ve no idea what way the game would have gone had Fletcher stayed on. Remember they had already created a gilt-edged chance that he himself missed – not saying they’d have done that again but we’ll never know that. Bottom line is that his own stupidity got him sent off – if Mixu can’t see that then his team will continue to struggle.

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